Tuyuca language

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Tuyuca
Native toColombia, Brazil
Native speakers
ca. 1,000  (1995–2006)[1]
Tucanoan
  • Eastern
    • Central
      • Bara
        • Tuyuca
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
tue – Tuyuca
pok – Pokangá (Bará)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
 
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Tuyuca
Native toColombia, Brazil
Native speakers
ca. 1,000  (1995–2006)[1]
Tucanoan
  • Eastern
    • Central
      • Bara
        • Tuyuca
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
tue – Tuyuca
pok – Pokangá (Bará)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Tuyuca (also Dochkafuara, Tejuca, Tuyuka, Dojkapuara, Doxká-Poárá, Doka-Poara, or Tuiuca) is an Eastern Tucanoan language (similar to Tucano) spoken by the Tuyuca people. The Tuyuca are an indigenous ethnic group of some 500-1000 people who inhabit the watershed of the Papuri, Inambú and Tiquié rivers in the Colombian department of Vaupés and the Brazilian state of Amazonas.

Grammar[edit]

Tuyuca is a postpositional agglutinative SOV language with mandatory type II evidentiality. Five evidentiality paradigms are used: visual, nonvisual, apparent, secondhand, and assumed, though secondhand evidentiality exists only in the past tense and apparent evidentiality does not appear in the first person present tense.[2] The language is estimated to have 50 to 140 noun classes.[3]

Phonetics & Phonology[edit]

The consonants in Tuyuca are /p t k b d ɡ s r w j h/ and the vowels are /i ɨ u e a o/, plus syllable nasalization and pitch accent.[2]

Vowels

BackCentralFront
Highiɨu
Mideo
Lowa

Consonants

BilabialAlveolarPalatalVelar
Voiceless stopptk
Voiced stopb ~ md ~ nɡ ~ ŋ
Fricatives
Rhoticɺ ~ r ~ r̃
Continuantw ~ w̃dʒ ~ j ~ ɲh ~ h̃

Consonantal contrasts[edit]

The following words show some of the consonant contrasts.[4]

Bilabial contrasts

/pakó/ 'mom'
/bapá/ 'plate'
/wapá/ 'payment'

Alveolar contrasts

/botéa/ 'a fish'
/bodé/ 'dragonfly'
/bosé/ 'party'
/boré/ 'whitening'

Velar and palatal contrasts

/bɨkó/ 'ant-eater'
/bɨɡó/ 'aunt'
/hoó/ 'plantain'
/joó/ 'thread'

Consonantal variation[edit]

Nasal Assimilation[edit]

Nasal Harmony[edit]

Segments in a word are either all nasal or all oral.

/waa/ 'to go'
/w̃ãã/ 'to illuminate' (the /w/ is nasal)

Note that voiceless segments are transparent.

/ãkã/ 'choke on a bone'
/w̃ãtĩ/ 'demon'

See further remarks regarding the oral/nasal nature of affixes in the Morphophonemics section.

Suprasegmental features[edit]

The two suprasegmental features in this language are tone and nasalization.

Tone[edit]

There is a high tone (H) and a low tone (L) in Tuyuca. The phonological word has one and only one high tone which may occur in any syllable of the word. The low tone has two variants: a mid-tone that occurs in words that have at least three syllables in free variation with the low tone in internal syllables that have an [i] vowel contiguous to the H-tone and not preceded by a low-tone.

/díi/ 'blood'
/dií/ 'mud'
/eté/ 'parakeet'
/b̃ésa/ 'table' ( ← Portuguese 'mesa')

Nasalization[edit]

Nasalization is phonemic and operates on the root level:

/sĩã/ 'to kill'
/sia/ 'to tie'

Phonetic distribution and syllabic structure[edit]

A syllable is considered any unit that may take tone and consists of a vocalic nucleus with or without a consonant before it.

Restrictions

Morphophonemics[edit]

All affixes fall into one of two classes:

  1. Oral affixes which may undergo nasalization, like the plural morpheme -ri: /sopéri/ 'marks'[clarification needed]
  2. Affixes that are intrinsically oral or nasal and cannot be changed.

When a nasal CV suffix occurs where C is a continuant or a vibrant /r/, the nasalization spreads regressively to the preceding vowel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tuyuca at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Pokangá (Bará) at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ a b Janet Barnes (1984). "Evidentials in the Tuyuca verb." International Journal of American Linguistics 50, pp. 255–71.
  3. ^ "Difficult Languages: Tongue Twisters - In search of the world’s hardest language". The Economist. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  4. ^ Barnes, Janet; Silzer, Sheryl (1976). "Fonología del tuyuca". Sistemas fonológicos de idiomas colombianos (SIL) 3: 125. 
  5. ^ Barnes, Janet; Silzer, Sheryl (1976). "Fonología del tuyuca". Sistemas fonológicos de idiomas colombianos (SIL) 3: 127. 
  6. ^ Barnes, Janet; Silzer, Sheryl (1976). "Fonología del tuyuca". Sistemas fonológicos de idiomas colombianos (SIL) 3: 134. 

External links[edit]