Language Documentation of Enawene-Nawe (Arawak)

Language Documentation of Enawene-Nawe (Arawak)

Language: Enawene Nawe (ISO639-3:unk)
Depositor: Ana Paula Brandao
Location: Brazil
Deposit Id: 0572
Grant id: IPF0280
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
This collection has documentation of language use and ritual practices of the Enawene Nawe people. It includes audiovisual corpus which is annotated in the programs ELAN and FLEx.

Group represented
The Enawene Nawe people live in the area of the Juruena valley, where they are in contact with other ethnic groups such as Nambikwara, Rikbaktsa, Myky, and Paresi-Haliti (Rezende, 2003), which are part of the called Guaporé-Mamoré linguistic area (Crevels & van der Voort, 2008). The transmission of the Enawene-Nawe language is high (Moore et al, 2008), but the language is among the 10% of languages in Brazil which have fewer than 1000 speakers. According to Lisboa (1985), the first contacts were made in 1974, when the indigenous group had 97 people. The Enawene-Nawe lived isolated until the middle of the 80’s. Rezende, in her work in 2003, affirms that the Enawene-Nawe were monolingual, but she already mentions that the presence of the national language was increasing in the last five years. The situation changed in 1998 when the soybean farmers started to open a road in the northwest portion of the indigenous territory, with the aim of connecting the municipalities of Sapezal and Juína for draining soybean production (Zorthêa, 2006). The Enawene-Nawe received powerboats from the farmers and started to go more frequently to the urban centers.

Language information
The Enawene Nawe language belongs to the Arawak family, and it is spoken by approximately 1000 people in the Halataikwa community, in the northwest of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Phonetically, the language has seven oral and seven nasal vowels, six diphthongs, nine long vowels, two semivowels, and twenty-nine consonants. Phonologically, there are four vowels and thirteen consonants. Phonological and morphophonological processes such as coronalization, palatalization, nasalization, and labialization are very common. The syllabic structure of the language is (C)V(V). With regards to stress, Rezende gives a few generalizations: i) primary stress falls on one of the two last syllables; ii) suffixation of nouns and verbs interferes with stress; iii) prefixation does not interfere; iv) there was no minimum pair to show that stress is contrastive; v) the right edge is relevant for attributing stress. Fabre (2005) groups Enawene-Nawe in the same branch of Paresi and Saraveca based on a testimonial of Lisboa (1985), according to which a Paresi Indian understood an Enawene Nawe Indian.

Special characteristics

Deposit contents
1 hour of traditional narratives

Deposit history

Other information

Acknowledgement and citation
To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus this way: Brandão, Ana Paula. Language documentation of the Enawene Nawe (Arawak). London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: [insert URL]. Accessed on [insert data here].


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Ana Paula Brandao
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Affiliation: Universidade Federal Do Pará

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