|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld The Amazon River (Rio Amazonas Río Amazonas of South America is the largest river in the world by volume with a total river flow greater than the next top ten largest rivers List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family Muran is a small Language family of Amazonas, Brazil. Family division Muran consists of 4 languages Mura ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages ISO 639 -3 (ISO 639-32007 is an international standard for Language codes The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages In Computing, Unicode is an Industry standard allowing Computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world's|
Pirahã (also spelled Pirahá, Pirahán; Portuguese: Pirarrã; Pirahã language: xapaitíiso) is a language spoken by the Pirahã — an indigenous people of Amazonas, Brazil, who live along the Maici river, a tributary of the Amazon. Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them The Pirahã people are an indigenous Hunter-gatherer tribe of Amazon natives who mainly live on the banks of the Maici River in Brazil Amazonas (amaˈzonas is a state of Brazil, located in the northern part of the country |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld The Amazon River (Rio Amazonas Río Amazonas of South America is the largest river in the world by volume with a total river flow greater than the next top ten largest rivers
Pirahã is believed to be the only surviving member of the Mura language family, all other members having become extinct in the last few centuries. Muran is a small Language family of Amazonas, Brazil. Family division Muran consists of 4 languages Mura It is therefore a language isolate, without any known connection to other living languages. A language isolate, in the absolute sense is a Natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic" relationship with other living languages that is It is estimated to have between 250 and 380 speakers . It is not thought to be in danger of extinction, as its use is vigorous and the Pirahã community is mostly monolingual.
The Pirahã language has a number of linguistic features that are claimed by some linguists to be unusual, though others have argued that they are found in other languages as well. The most significant source for information about the grammar of Pirahã is Daniel Everett, who has authored more than two dozen papers about the language. Daniel Leonard Everett (born 1951 in Holtville California) is a Linguistics professor best known for his study of the Amazon Basin 's Pirahã people
Noteworthy features of Pirahã are alleged to include:
However, some of these claims are controversial.
The Pirahã language is one of the phonologically simplest languages known, claimed to have as few as ten phonemes (one less than Rotokas). Phonology ( Greek φωνή (phōnē voice sound + λόγος (lógos word speech subject of discussion is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU Rotokas is a Language (part of the East Papuan language phylum) spoken by some 4000 people in Bougainville, an island to the east of However, this requires analysing [k] as an underlying /hi/. In Morphophonology, the underlying representation (UR or underlying form (UF of a Morpheme is the abstract form the morpheme is postulated to have before If this analysis is not accepted, then Pirahã women have ten phonemes, but Pirahã men have eleven, equal to Rotokas and Hawaiian. The Hawaiian language (Hawaiian ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i) is an Austronesian language that takes its name from Hawai'i, the largest island in the tropical (Ian Maddieson has found in researching Pirahã data that /k/ indeed has an unusual distribution). Ian Maddieson is a linguist at UC Berkeley, and vice-president of the International Phonetic Association.
The 'ten phoneme' claim also does not consider the tones of Pirahã, at least two of which are phonemic (marked by an acute accent and either unmarked or marked by a grave accent). Tone is the use of pitch in Language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is to distinguish or inflect words History An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels. Pitch The grave accent was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, where it occurred only on the last syllable of a word in cases where the Sheldon (1988) claims three tones, high (¹), mid (²) and low (³). In Everett's work only two tones are recognized.
When languages have inventories as small and allophonic variation as great as in Pirahã and Rotokas, different linguists may have very different ideas as to the nature of their phonological systems. In Phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar speech sounds ( Phones that belong to the same Phoneme.
The segmental phonemes are:
|Stop||Voiceless||p||t||(k)||ʔ (written "x")|
[k] has been claimed to be an optional portmanteau of /hi/. A front vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far forward A back vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as A close vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in many spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as A mid vowel is a Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned mid-way between an An open vowel is a Vowel sound of a type used in most spoken Languages The defining characteristic of an open vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far as In Phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a Consonant articulated with both Lips The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets Glottal consonants are Consonants articulated with the Glottis. A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. Voice or voicing is a term used in Phonetics and Phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless Voice or voicing is a term used in Phonetics and Phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together Voice or voicing is a term used in Phonetics and Phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless Women sometimes substitute /h/ for /s/.
|[tʃ] before /i/||tii “residue”|
|/b/||[b]||xísoobái “down (noun)”|
|[m] initially||boopai “throat, neck”|
|/g/||[g]||xopóogií “inga (fruit)”|
|[n] initially||gáatahaí “can (noun)”|
|[*] (see below)||toogixi “hoe”|
|/s/||[s]||sahaxai “should not”|
|[ʃ] before /i/||xísiisí “fat (noun)”|
|/h/||[h]||xáapahai “bird arrow”|
The number of phonemes is thirteen if [k] is counted as a phoneme and there are just two tones; if [k] is not phonemic, there are twelve phonemes, one more than the number found in Rotokas. The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU Within Phonetics, a phone is a speech sound or gesture considered a physical event without regard to its place in the Phonology of a Language Inga is a Genus of tropical trees and shrubs member of the infrafamily Ingeae. (English, by comparison, has about thirty to forty-five, depending on dialect). A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος dialektos) is a variety of a Language that is characteristic of a particular group of However, many of these sounds show a great deal of allophonic variation. In Phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar speech sounds ( Phones that belong to the same Phoneme. For instance, vowels are nasalized after the glottal consonants /h/ and /ʔ/ (written h and x). Also,
Because of its variation, Everett states that /k/ is not a stable phoneme. By analysing it as /hi/, he is able to theoretically reduce the number of consonants to seven.
Because of the consonant chart above, Pirahã is sometimes said to be one of the few languages without nasals. However, an alternate analysis is possible. By analysing the [g] as /n/ and the [k] as /hi/, it could also be claimed to be one of the very few languages without velars:
In 2004, linguist D. In Phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a Consonant articulated with both Lips The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets Glottal consonants are Consonants articulated with the Glottis. A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. A nasal consonant (also called nasal stop or nasal continuant) is produced with a lowered velum in the mouth allowing air to escape freely through the Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together L. Everett discovered that the language uses a voiceless dental bilabially trilled affricate, [t͡ʙ̥]. The bilabial trill is a type of Consonantal sound used in some spoken Languages The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this He conjectures that the Pirahã had not used that phone in his presence before because they were ridiculed whenever non-Pirahã heard the sound. The occurrence of [t͡ʙ̥] in Pirahã is all the more remarkable considering that the only other languages known to use it are the unrelated Chapacura-Wanham languages Oro Win and Wari’, spoken some 500 km west of the Pirahã area. The Chapacuran languages are a nearly extinct Native American Language family of South America. Oro Win is a moribund Chapacuran language spoken in Brazil. Oro Win is one of only five languages known to make use of a Voiceless dental bilabially The Wari’ language (also Orowari, Wari, Pacaá Novo, Pacaás Novos, Pakaa Nova, Pakaásnovos) is the sole remaining Oro Win too is a nearly extinct language (surviving only as the second language of a dozen or so members of the Wari’ tribe) which was discovered by Everett in 1994. The Waricaca', also known as the Pakaa Nova, are an Amerindian Nation indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. 
Pirahã has a few loan words, mainly from Portuguese. Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. Pirahã "kóópo" ("cup") is from the Portuguese word "copo", and "bikagogia" ("business") comes from Portuguese "mercadoria" ("merchandise").
The Pirahã culture has the simplest known kinship system of any human culture. Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin through either biological cultural or historical descent A single word, baíxi (pronounced [màíʔì]), is used for both mother and father, and they appear not to keep track of relationships any more distant than biological siblings.
According to Everett (1986), Pirahã has words for 'one' and 'two', but more recently he has claimed that Pirahã has no words for numerals at all. There are apparently only three words that roughly describe quantity, somewhat akin to "a few", "some", and "many. Quantity is a kind of property which exists as magnitude or multitude " There is no grammatical distinction between singular and plural, even in pronouns (see below). In linguistics grammatical number is a Grammatical category of nouns pronouns and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions (such as "one" Plural is a Grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the Referent in the real world
There is also a claim that Pirahã lacks any color terminology, being one of the few cultures (mostly in the Amazon basin and New Guinea) that only have specific words for light and dark.  Although the Pirahã glossary in D. L. Everett's Ph. D. thesis includes a list of colors words (page 346), Everett (2006) now claims that the items listed in this glossary are not in fact words but descriptive phrases, based on his subsequent additional twenty years of field research.
The basic Pirahã personal pronouns are ti "I", gíxai [níʔàì] "you (singular)", hi "s/he, they". In Linguistics and Grammar, a pronoun is a Pro-form that substitutes for a (including a noun phrase consisting of a single Noun) with or These can be serially combined: ti gíxai or ti hi to mean "we" (inclusive and exclusive), and gíxai hi to mean "you (plural)". In Linguistics, clusivity is a distinction between inclusive and exclusive first-person Pronouns and Verbal morphology, There are several other pronouns reported, such as 'she', 'it' (animal), 'it' (aquatic animal), and 'it' (inanimate), but these may actually be nouns. The fact that different linguists come up with different lists of such pronouns suggests that they are not basic to the grammar. In two recent papers, Everett cites Sheldon as agreeing with his (Everett's) analysis of the pronouns.
Sheldon (1988) gives the following list of pronouns:
Pronouns are prefixed to the verb, in the order SUBJECT-INDOBJECT-OBJECT where INDOBJECT includes a preposition "to", "for", etc. They may all be omitted. E. g. hi³-ti³-gi¹xai³-bi²i³b-i³ha³i¹ "he will send you to me".
For possession, a pronoun is used:
Pirahã is agglutinative, using a large number of affixes to communicate grammatical meaning. In Linguistics, agglutination is the morphological process ofadding Affixes to the base of a Word. Even the 'to be' verbs of existence or equivalence are suffixes in Pirahã. For instance, the Pirahã sentence "there is a paca there" uses just two words; the copula is a suffix on "paca":
Pirahã also uses suffixes which communicate evidentiality, a category which English grammar lacks. The Genus Cuniculus contains the two species of pacas It is the only genus in the family Cuniculidae. In Linguistics, evidentiality is broadly the indication of the nature of evidence for a given statement that is whether Evidence exists for the statement and/or One such suffix, -xáagahá, means that the speaker actually observed the event in question:
|Hoaga'oai||s/he||[a fish]||catch-ing- (I saw it)|
(The suffix -sai turns a verb into a noun, like English '-ing'. )
Other verbal suffixes indicate that an action is deduced from circumstantial evidence, or based on hearsay. Unlike in English, in Pirahã a speaker must state their source of information: they cannot be ambiguous. There are also verbal suffixes that indicate desire to perform an action, frustration in completing an action, or frustration in even starting an action.
There are also a large number of verbal aspects: perfective (completed) vs. In Grammar, the perfective aspect is an aspect that exists in many languages imperfective (uncompleted), telic (reaching a goal) vs. The imperfective aspect is a Grammatical aspect. It refers to an action that is viewed from a particular viewpoint as ongoing habitual repeated or generally containing internal In Linguistics, telicity is the property of a Verb or Verb phrase that presents an action or event as being complete in some sense atelic, continuing, repeated, and commencing. In Grammar, a frequentative form of a word is one which indicates repeated action However, despite this complexity, there appears to be little distinction of transitivity. In Linguistics, transitivity is a property of Verbs that relates to whether a verb can take Direct objects It is closely related to valency. For example, the same verb, xobai, can mean either 'look' or 'see', and xoab can mean either 'die' or 'kill'.
According to Sheldon (1988), the Pirahã verb has 8 main suffix slots, and a few sub-slots:
These suffixes undergo some phonetic changes depending on context. For instance, the continuative xii³g reduces to ii³g after a consonant, e. g. in ai³t-a¹b-xii³g-a¹ → ai³ta¹bii³ga¹ "he is still sleeping".
Also an epenthetic vowel gets inserted between two suffixes if necessary to avoid a consonant cluster; the vowel is either i³ (before or after s, p, or t) or a³ (other cases), e. In Phonology, epenthesis (/əˈpɛnθəsɪs/ Ancient Greek ἐπένθεσις - epenthesis from epi "on" + en "in" g. o³ga³i¹ so³g-sa³i¹ → o³ga³i¹ so³gi³sa³i¹ "he possibly may not want a field".
Conversely, when the junction of two morphemes creates a double vowel (ignoring tones), the vowel with lowest tone is suppressed: si³-ba¹-bo³-ga³-a¹ → si³ba¹bo³ga¹ "he caused the arrow to wound it".
For further details, see Sheldon's 1988 paper.
In order to embed one clause within another, the embedded clause is turned into a noun with the -sai suffix seen above:
|I||want-this-very. In Grammar, a clause is a word or group of words that consists of a subject and a predicate, although in some Languages and some types of much||you||arrow||make-ing|
Everett claims that this structure does not really constitute embedding, but is an instance of parataxis, but this has been disputed by other linguists. Parataxis (from Greek for 'act of placing side by side' fr para, beside + tassein, to arrange contrasted to Syntaxis) is a Literary technique  Everett responds to these criticisms with the claim that -sai marks 'old information' and does not nominalize. 
The Pirahã do not count with numerals. In Linguistics, the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis ( SWH) (also known as the " Linguistic relativity hypothesis " postulates a systematic relationship They use only approximate measures, and in tests were unable to consistently distinguish between a group of four objects and a similarly-arranged group of five objects. When asked to duplicate groups of objects, they duplicate the number correctly on average, but almost never get the number exactly in a single trial.
Being (correctly) concerned that, because of this cultural gap, they were being cheated in trade, the Pirahã people asked Daniel Everett, a linguist that was working with them, to teach them basic numeracy skills. Trade is the willing exchange of goods, services, or both Trade is also called Commerce. "Innumeracy" redirects here For the book of same name see Innumeracy (book. After eight months of enthusiastic but fruitless daily study, the Pirahã concluded that they were incapable of learning the material, and discontinued the lessons. Not a single Pirahã had learned to count up to ten or even add 1 + 1. 
Everett argues that test subjects are unable to count for two cultural reasons and one formal linguistic reason. First, they are nomadic hunter/gatherers with nothing to count and hence no need to practice doing so. Second, they have a cultural constraint against generalizing beyond the present which eliminates number words. Third, since numerals and counting are based on recursion in the language according to some researchers, then the absence of recursion in their language predicts a lack of counting. Recursion, in Mathematics and Computer science, is a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition That is, it is the lack of need which explains both the lack of counting ability and the lack of corresponding vocabulary. Everett does not claim that the Pirahãs are cognitively incapable of counting.
Everett claims that most of the remaining Pirahã speakers are monolingual, knowing only a few words of Portuguese. Monoglottism ( Greek monos, "alone solitary" + glotta, "tongue language" or more commonly monolingualism or unilingualism Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. The anthropologist Marco Antonio Gonçalves, who lived with the Pirahã for 18 months over several years, writes that "Most men understand Portuguese, though not all of them are able to express themselves in the language. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of Women have little understanding of Portuguese and never use it as a form of expression. The men developed a contact ‘language’ allowing them to communicate with regional populations, mixing words from Pirahã, Portuguese and the Amazonian Língua Geral known as Nheengatu. Língua Geral ( Portuguese: literally 'common' or 'general language' is the name of two distinct linguae francae spoken in Brazil The Nheengatu language often spelled Nhengatu, is also known by the Portuguese names língua geral da Amazônia and língua geral amazônica " In recent work, Jeanette Sakel of the University of Manchester is studying the use of Portuguese by Pirahã speakers. The University of Manchester is a " red brick " civic University located in Manchester, England. Everett's claim is that the Pirahãs use a very rudimentary Portuguese lexicon with Pirahã grammar when speaking Portuguese, though their Portuguese is so limited to very specific topics that they are rightly called monolingual, without contradicting Gonçalves (since they can communicate on a very narrow range of topics using a very restricted lexicon). Although Gonçalves quotes whole stories told by the Pirahã, the Portuguese in these stories is not a literal transcription of what was said, but a free translation from the pidgin Portuguese of the Pirahã. A pidgin is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common in situations such as Trade