Itonama language

Itonama is a moribundlanguage isolate spoken by the Itonama people in the Amazonian lowlands of north-eastern Bolivia. Greenberg’s (1987) classification of Itonama as Paezan, a sub-branch of Macro-Chibchan, remains unsupported and Itonama continues to be considered an isolate or unclassified language.

Native to Bolivia
Region Beni Department
Ethnicity 2,900 (2006)[1]
Native speakers
5 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ito
Glottolog iton1250
ELP Itonama
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It was spoken on the Itonomas River and Lake[2] in Beni Department.

. . . Itonama language . . .

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Nambikwaran languages due to contact.[3]

An automated computational analysis (ASJP 4) by Müller et al. (2013)[4] found lexical similarities between Itonama and Movima, likely due to contact.

Front Central Back
High i ɨ u
Mid e o
Low a

Diphthongs: /ai au/.

Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Plain p t k ʔ
Voiced b d
Affricate Plain
Ejective tʃʼ
Fricative s h
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Flap ɾ
Semivowel w j

The postalveolar affricates /tʃ tʃʼ/ have alveolar allophones [ts tsʼ]. Variation occurs between speakers, and even within the speech of a single person.

The semivowel /w/ is realized as a bilabial fricative[β] when preceded and followed by identical vowels.

. . . Itonama language . . .

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. . . Itonama language . . .

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