Kakua phonology : first approach

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2010-12

Authors

Bolaños Quiñónez, Katherine Elizabeth

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Abstract

This work presents a preliminary analysis of the phonology of Kakua, an endangered language of the Kakua-Nukak family (formerly classified as Makú). Kakua is spoken by approximately 300 people living in the Vaupés region of the Amazon rain forest, in northwest Amazonia, Eastern Colombia. This analysis is based on data collected with Kakua speakers from the village of Wacará, a settlement of approximately 120 people, living along the basin of Caño Wacará, located between the Querarí and the Vaupés Rivers, to the east of Mitú, close to the Colombia-Brazil borders.
The phonological inventory of Kakua includes five vowels and seventeen consonants. Kakua also presents contrastive prosodic features of nasalization and an inventory of three contrastive tones. Kakua phonology presents various interesting typological features from both areal and cross-linguistic perspective. The work presented here is a first attempt to provide a better illustration of a little-known endangered language of Amazonia.

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