About 550 people speak Hixkaryána, a member of the Southern Guiana branch
of Cariban languages, on the Nhamundá, Mapuera and Japatú rivers,
tributaries of the Amazon in Brazil. One unusual feature of Hixkaryána
is that it's one of the few lanuguages that normally uses a Object Subject Verb
word order, before it was first described by the linguist Desmond Derbyshire,
no language was thought to use such word order.
Parts of the Bible were translated into Hixkaryána in 1966, and
the complete New Testament was published in 1976. Only about 30% to 60% of
those who speak Hixkaryána the language are able to read and write it.
Other names for this language include: Hixkariana, Hishkaryana, Parukoto-Charuma,
Parucutu, Chawiyana, Kumiyana, Sokaka, Wabui, Faruaru, Sherewyana, Xerewyana,
Voiceless consonants are lengthed when followed by h, e.g. ahakheno
[æhæk̭ːhunɔ] (my dead father); tamutho
[tæmutːhɔ] (grandfather); sokɨtxhe
[sɨk̬ɯtːʃhi] (after bringing it).
Sample text in Hixkaryána
Onà wyaro-tà amnyehra nehxakonà, Khoryenkom
karyehtanà ywero, yaworono ywero-he. Yukryeka-htxero-tyakàhtoy-ha,
Khoryenkomo. Kahe-t yakàhtoy-xarha. Àro wyaro-t omeroro
nakàtoy-ha. Wewe-komo, tano-mya tàtosom-komo, omeroro-t
In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless
and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The spirit of God was
hovering over the water.
Information about the Hixkaryána language and people
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet