4300 - Cholón and Arawak, a case of language contact?

Cholón, a North Peruvian language, is now possibly extinct. The area in which it was spoken is rather vast. It reaches from Juanjui in the north down to Huanuco in the south (ca. 600 km.), and from the valley of the River Huallaga up to the eastern slopes of the Andes. Cholón has been classified in a small language family together with Híbito, a neighbouring language, which is also extinct now.

In this talk Cholón is compared with Yanesha', a member of the Arawakan languages of the Pre-Andine subgroup (Adelaar, 2004:22). Yanesha' is spoken in the central Peruvian forest slopes, south of the Cholón habitat. The comparison can show the differences and the points of agreement between both languages, and bring to light to what extent the languages may have influenced each other.


Adelaar, Willem F.H. with the collaboration of Pieter C. Muysken. 2004. The Languages of the

Andes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Alexander-Bakkerus, Astrid. 2005. Eighteenth Century Cholón. Utrecht: LOT.

Derbyshire, Desmond C. and Geoffrey K. Pullum, eds. 1986-1998. Handbook of Amazonian

Languages. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Duff-Tripp, Martha. 1997. Gramática del idioma Yaneshá (Amuesha). Serie Lingüística Peruana

43. Lima: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.

1998. Diccionario Yaneshá (Amuesha) – Castellano. Serie Lingüística Peruana 47. Lima

Instituto Lingúístico de Verano.

Wise, Mary Ruth. 1986. Grammatical characteristics of Pre-Andine Arawakan languages of Peru.

In Derbyshire and Pullum, pp. 567-642.

Keywords: Yaneshá, language contact., Cholón

Author: Bakkerus, Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus (ALCL, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands / Niederlande)


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