Pirahã (híaitíihí)

Pirahã is thought to be the last surviving member of the Mura language family. It is spoken by about 150 people, who live along the Maici river, a tributary of the Amazon in Amazonas State of Brazil.

Pirahã has one of the smallest inventories of phonemes of any living language. There are differences in the way men and women pronounce some of the phonemes. There are only two numerals, "one" and "two"; no colours, other than "light" and "dark", and there's a word that means both mother and father. As well as being spoken, the language can also be whistled or hummed.

Pirahã pronunciation

Pirahã pronunciation

Sample

Tíobáhai hi báaiso kohoaihíaisóogabagaí. Tí ‘ísi báaiso ‘ogabagai, gíiai ‘ogihíaihiaba. Tíobáhai hi ‘ísi báaiso ‘oaboihaí. ‘Ahoakohoaihio ‘ísi kaopápihaí.

Links

Information about the Pirahã languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirahã_language http://www.socioambiental.org/pib/epienglish/piraha/ling.shtm
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001387.html
http://www.sil.org/americas/brasil/LANGPAGE/EnglPHPg.htm

Pirahã Dictionary / Dicionário Mura-Pirahã
http://orbita.starmedia.com/~i.n.d.i.o.s/piraha1.htm

Audio sample of sung Pirahã — two boys singing about a day's events
http://www.llc.ilstu.edu/dlevere/Audio/song.mov