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Studies in Overseas History

Indigenous Languages of Latin America (ILLA)

Complete list of Volumes in this Series

Vol. 7 - Uchumataqu. The lost language of the Urus of Bolivia (NEW JUNE 2008)

Vol. 6 - Baure. An Arawak language of Bolivia (2007)

Vol. 5 - Language Endangerment and Endangered Languages (2007)

Vol. 4 - Diccionario Tehuelche-Español / Indice Español-Tehuelche (2005)

Vol. 3 - Current Studies on South American Languages (2002)

Vol. 2 - Diccionario Ranquel-Español / Español-Ranquel (2001)

Vol. 1 - Indigenous Languages of Lowland South America (2000)

No. 158
ISBN 978-90-5789-158-8
304 pp.
Leiden 2008
Price: € 47,50
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Uchumataqu. The lost language of the Urus of Bolivia. A grammatical description of the language as documented between 1894 and 1952
Katja Hann

This book is the first comprehensive grammatical description of Uchumataqu, the language of the Uru of Lake Titicaca in north-western Bolivia. Uchumataqu forms part of the isolated language family Uru-Chipaya but has been influenced to differing degrees by Aymara, Quechua, and Spanish. The Uchumataqu language became extinct around 1950.
Although several researchers had documented the language during the first half of the twentieth century, much of the material remained unstudied. This book is the first to take into consideration every previous study of the Uchumataqu language. The grammatical description is based on former publications and archive material and seeks to describe Uchumataqu as comprehensively as possible. It includes a description of the phonological system of Uchumataqu as well as a presentation of its morphological processes. The nominal and verbal systems are discussed in detail. Particular attention is paid to the complex person-marking system of Uchumataqu, of which person-marking clitics are a vital part that distinguishes Uchumataqu from the neighbouring Aymara and Quechua language. Another important issue are nominalisation and subordination strategies as well as adjectives which form a word class of its own. The relationship of Uchumataqu with the surrounding Aymara and Quechua language, and particularly the way in which influence on Uchumataqu was exerted, are described in detail.
The appendices contain a transcription of the afore unpublished manuscripts of Max Uhle and Walter Lehmann on Uchumataqu as well as a comparative and diachronic dictionary.

This book is aimed at linguists from all disciplines but is of equal interest to anthropologists, Americanists, historical linguists, typologists, and linguists with a special interest in Andean studies. It is not only an important contribution to the study of Andean languages and their interrelationship, but also an account for the descendants of the last Uchumataqu speakers of their lost language.
(In English, 304 pp.)

Vol. 7 of ILLA
No. 155
ISBN 978-90-5789-155-7
480 pp.
Leiden 2007
Price: € 59,95
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Baure. An Arawak language of Bolivia
Swintha Danielsen

This book is first and foremost a grammatical description of Baure, a seriously endangered language from Bolivian Amazonia. Baure belongs to the Southern Arawak language family and it forms part of the Guaporé-Mamoré linguistic area. This book is the first detailed and comprehensive grammatical description of Baure, covering its phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse stucture. It is based on the author's extensive fieldwork in Bolivia in 2003, 2004, and 2006. The book furthermore addresses the historical, cultural, and sociolinguistic background of the speakers of Baure.

Special attention is given to th e complex (morpho)phonological processes within a phonological phrase, the rich noun classification system, the distinction of verbal and non-verbal predicates with respect to the argument marking pattern, the three-level distinction of verbal morphology, and specific clause types based on different nominalization strategies, which also play an important role in clause subordination. The relation to the surrounding Southern Arawak languages Trinitario, Ignaciano, and Paunaca is investigated through comparison of the lexicon and the grammar.

The appendices contain different text types, lists of grammatical morphemes, classifiers, and the Swadesh 200 word list. It is a highly valuable addition to our knowledge of South American languages and cultures in general and the Arawak languages in particular. This book is aimed at linguists from all backgrounds and is of special interest to typologists, historical linguists, Arawakanists, Americanists, and anthropologists. It is also an important record of a dying language for its speech community and their descendants.
(In English, 480 pp., ill.)

About the author

The author Swintha Danielsen studied English Linguistics, Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Hanover and received her Magister degree with a thesis on article and aspect in English and English-based Creoles. She participated in the LEXIKURS-project at the University of Hanover and obtained a doctoral scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Radboud University in Nijmegen , the Netherlands to carry out research on the Baure language and more in general on comparative issues concerning Arawak languages in Bolivia.

Vol. 6 of ILLA
No. 154
ISBN 978-90-5789-154-0
440 pp.
Leiden 2007
Price: € 54,95
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Language Endangerment and Endangered Languages
Leo Wetzels (ed.)

The studies gathered together in this book were originally presented at two conferences sponsored by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), which were held at the VU University Amsterdam, in late August 2004.

The first part Language Endangerment and Endangered Languages deals with issues related to language endangerment and the problems linguists and other researchers encounter when documenting these languages, both in general terms and with an eye on the Andean/Amazonian situation.


The second part, Specific Studies: Languages and Cultures of the Andean-Amazonian Border Area, contains three sections. The first deals with topics that relate to the Maku peoples and languages of Brazil (Eastern Maku) and Colombia ( Western Maku ). The second section features papers that address anthropological and grammatical issues concerning the Nambikwara peoples and languages (Brazil). The third section discusses various other languages in the Andean/Amazonian border area.

Content of this book

The editor of the book, Leo Wetzels, was recently appointed as a research director (directeur de recherche) at the Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie (LPP), Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)/Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle, in Paris. He has retained a part-time appointment as Professor of Romance and Amazonian languages at the VU University Amsterdam to supervise his PhD students, who are working mainly on endangered South-American languages. His personal research is directed towards questions of phonological and morphological typology, for which the properties of the Amazonian languages play a decisive role, and the phonology of Brazilian Portuguese.

(In English and Portuguese, 440 pp., ill.)
Vol. 5 of ILLA
No. 138
ISBN 978-90-5789-092-5
208 pp.
Leiden 2004
Price: € 37,50
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Diccionario Tehuelche-Español /Índice Español-Tehuelche
Ana Fernández Garay
Tehuelche is a language of the Argentinian part of Patagonia, which is now practically extinct. It was spoken by people known in Spanish as the Tehuelches Meridionales Australes, or Aonek’enk. They were also known as Patagones, Chewelches, or Chewelchos, and they lived in the region between the Santa Cruz River and the strait of Magallan. Even though some of the native speakers who were involved as consultants in the collection of linguistic data are still alive today, the language no longer functions as a vehicle for intergroup communication.
The principal objective of the Diccionario Tehuelche-Español / Indice Español-Tehuelche may be used as a companion to the grammar of this language (El tehuelche, Universidad Austral de Chile, 1998) and the texts published in this language (Testimonios de los últimos tehuelche, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1997).
Another objective of this dictionary is to serve as an inventory of Tehuelchan lexemes, particularly in view of the fact that lexical data recorded with scientific rigour used to be practically nonexistent. Only a few vocabularies were produced by distinguished amateurs who had no or almost no linguistic training.
It should be pointed out that this bilingual dictionary is both linguistic and encyclopedic in nature. As it is intended to serve as a linguistic dictionary, the Tehuelche lexemes are described phonologically, grammatically and semantically by means of a metalanguage.
As an encyclopedic dictionary it is a collection of distinct aspects of Tehuelchan culture. In view of the state of imminent disappearance of the language and the culture of the ethnic group, it was deemed necessary to document all ethnographic data that could be found.
(In Spanish, 208 pp., ill.)
Vol. 4 of ILLA
No. 114
ISBN 978-90-5789-076-5
346 pp.
Leiden 2002
Current Studies on South American Languages
Mily Crevels, Simon van de Kerke, Sérgio Meira, Hein van der Voort (eds.)

The articles brought together in this volume are improved versions of presentations given during two symposia on the indigenous languages of South America at two international events held in the year 2000: the 50th International Congress of Americanists in Warsaw (Poland), and the 3rd Workshop on Amerindian Languages in Leiden (The Netherlands). Two such events in the same year demonstrate the increasing interest in South American languages. In fact, there have never been as many scholars interested in the enormous linguistic diversity of South America - and actively involved in its study - as today. However, the situation of these languages and their speakers has also never been as precarious as today, which makes their study and protection an urgent need. The articles in the present volume report on current research by a number of scholars, most of whom discuss new linguistic data obtained during their own fieldwork. Over thirty languages from a large number of families and isolated stocks are represented: Chahuapana, Canichana, Carib, Cayubaba, Chapakura, Chiquitano, Chocó, Cholón, Gê, Itonama, Jaqi, Kamsá, Kwaza, Leko, Maipure-Arawak, Mataguayo, Mosetén, Movima, Pano, Peba-Yagua, Tacana, Tupí-Guaraní, Yuracaré, and Záparo. This volume is not only intended to inspire discussion and exchange between colleagues, but also to stimulate others to participate in carrying out the tasks that lie ahead.

Content of ILLA 3

(In English, 346 pp.)

Vol. 3 of ILLA
No. 100
ISBN 978-90-5789-058-1
202 pp.
Leiden 2001
Price: € 39,95
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Ranquel-Español/Español-Ranquel. Diccionario de una variedad Mapuche de la Pampa (Argentina)
Ana Fernández Garay
Ranquel-Español / Español-Ranquel, es, como lo indica su título, el inventario léxico de una variedad de la lengua mapuche hablada en la provincia de La Pampa, Argentina. Este dialecto se halla actualmente en proceso de extinción, razón por la cual elaboración del texto fue realizada con cierta urgencia con el objeto de que el pueblo ranquel que hoy trata de recuperar su lengua, pueda contra con materiales apropiados para tal fin.
El Diccionario consta de cuatro partes: Introducción, Diccionario Ranquel-Español, Indice Español-Ranquel, y Bibliografía. En la Introducción se presenta la comunidad indígena ranquel, las teorías sobre el origen de esta etnia y su situación sociolinguística actual. Asimismo, se describen aspectos de la fonología y de la sintaxis de la variedad hablada por este grupo, a fin de ayudar al lector a una major comprensión del diccionario.
La parte más importante del libro es el Diccionario Ranquel-Español, que reúne todos los términos que se han podido documentar en el estado actual de la lengua. Los materiales linguísticos utilizados para la elaboración del diccionario provienen de enunciados orales recogidos personalmente por la autora in situ con la colaboracíon distintos consultantes ranqueles.
Un aspecto destacable es que este Diccionario es no solo lingüístico sino también etnográfico. Debido a la situación en que se encuentran la lengua y la cultura ranquel, se pensó que este inventario debía informar a los usuarios sobre los terminos culturales específicos de esta etnia. Para ellos se recurrió no sólo a los datos aportados por los mismos informantes, sino también a fuentes escritas.
Por último, es necesario señalar que, si bien este Diccionario no es el primer intendo de compilación de la variedad ranquel, es, sin duda, el primer registro realizado dentro de los marcos provistos por la lingüística moderna.
(In Spanish, 202 pp.)
Vol. 2 of ILLA
No. 90
ISBN 978-90-5789-044-4
330 pp.
Leiden 2000
Indigenous Languages of Lowland South America. Contributions to the 49th International Congress of Americanists in Quito 1997
Hein van der Voort & Simon van de Kerke (eds.)

This volume is the result of a number of talks on the indigenous languages of the South American lowlands (i.c. Amazonia and the Gran Chaco region) held at the 49th International Congress of Americanists in Quito in 1997. Lowland South America is one of the linguistically most diverse parts of this world. The articles in the present volume reflect this diversity. They are based on linguistic data from over 60 languages from over 25 different linguistic families: Araucanian, Arawa, Carib, Chapakura, Cholon, Guaykuru, Jaqi, Jivaro, Macro-Jê, Maipure, Makú, Mataguaya, Pano, Piaroa-Sáliba, Quechua, Tacana, Tukano, Tupi, Uru-Chipaya, Yanomami and a number of isolates and unclassified languages. The articles are all written by specialists in their field, and the data are mostly from firsthand experience. This book also reflects a good range of different approaches to the subject: it contains descriptive, comparative, historical and theoretical articles on the phonological, morphosyntactic and pragmatic components of the linguistic systems concerned. This collection is intended to contribute to the study of the indigenous languages of South America, and to further the interest in the highly endangered linguistic heritage of this underdocumented part of the world.

Content of ILLA 1

(In English and Spanish, 330 pp.)

Vol. 1 of ILLA
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