Lencan languages

Lencan is a small family of nearly extinct indigenous Mesoamerican languages.

Lencan
EthnicityLenca people
Geographic
distribution
El Salvador, Honduras
Extinctby 2007
Linguistic classificationHokan ? Macro-Chibchan ?
  • Lencan
Subdivisions
ISO 639-3len
Glottologlenc1239[1]

ClassificationEdit

There are two attested Lencan languages, both extinct (Campbell 1997:167).

 
Map of El Salvador's Native American civilizations and their kingdoms:
  Kingdom of the Lenca people
  Kingdom of the Cacaopera people
  Kingdom of the Xinca people
  Kingdom Maya Poqomam people
  Kingdom of Maya Ch'orti' people
  Kingdom of the Alaguilac people
  Kingdom of the Mixe people
  Kingdom of the Mangue language
  Kingdom of the Pipil people

The languages are not closely related; Swadesh (1967) estimated 3,000 years since separation. Arguedas Cortés (1987) reconstructs Proto-Lencan with 12 consonants (including ejectives) and 5 vowels.

Their external relationships are disputed. Inclusion within Macro-Chibchan has often been proposed; Campbell (1987) reported that he found no solid evidence for such a connection, but Constenla-Umaña (2005) proposed regular correspondence between Lencan, Misumalpan, and Chibchan.

Campbell (2012) acknowledges that these claims of connection between Lencan, Misumalpan, and Chibchan have not yet been proved systematically, but he notes that Constenla-Umaña (2005) "presented evidence to support a relationship with two neighboring families [of languages]: Misumalpan and Lencan, which constitute the Lenmichí Micro-Phylum. According to [Constenla -maña's study (2005)], the Lenmichi Micro-Phylum first split into Proto-Chibchan and Proto-Misulencan, the common intermediate ancestor of the Lencan and the Misumalpan languages. This would have happened around 9,726 years before the present or 7,720 B.C. (the average of the time depths between the Chibchan languages and the Misulencan languages)...The respective subancestors of the Lencan and the Misumalpan languages would have separated around 7,705 before the present (5,069 B.C.), and Paya and the other intermediate ancestors of all the other Chibchan languages would have separated around 6,682 (4,676 B.C.)." [3][4]

Another proposal links Lencan with the Xincan language family (Campbell 1997). On the other hand, Jolkesky (2017:45-54) found some compelling lexical evidence, such as pronouns and kinship terms, which may point to the inclusion of the Lencan language family in the Hokan stock.[5]

HistoryEdit

The Proto-Lencan homeland was most likely in central Honduras (Campbell 1997:167).

At the time of the Spanish conquest of Central America in the early 16th century, the Lenca language was spoken by the Lenca people in a region that incorporated northwestern and southwestern Honduras, and neighboring eastern El Salvador, east of the Lempa river. While the Lenca people continue to live in the same region today, Lyle Campbell reported in the 1970s that he found only one speaker of the language in Chilanga, El Salvador, and none in Honduras. Campbell also concluded that Salvadoran Lenca was a distinct language from Honduran Lenca.

Indigenous movements in both countries are attempting to revive the language, and recent press reports from Honduras indicate that elementary school textbooks in Salvadoran Lenca have been distributed to public schools in the region.

A 2002 novel by Roberto Castillo, La guerra mortal de los sentidos, chronicles the adventures of the "Searcher for the Lenca Language."[6]

Proto-languageEdit

Proto-Lenca reconstructions by Arguedas (1988):[7]

No. Spanish gloss
(original)
English gloss
(translated)
Proto-Lenca
1. abrir open (verb) *inkolo-
2. agua water *was
3. anciana old woman
4. araña spider *katu
5. ardilla squirrel *suri
6. bailar dance *uli-
7. bañar bath *twa-
8. beber drink *tali-
9. blanco white *soko
10. boca mouth *in
11. bueno good *sam
12. cabello hair *asak
13. caites sandals *waktik
14. camarón shrimp *siksik
15. camino path *k’in
16. casa house *t’aw
17. cerrar close (verb) *inkap-
18. cinco five *ts’aj
19. comal comal *k’elkin
20. comprar buy *liwa-
21. cortar cut *tajk-
22. coyol coyol *juku
23. coyote coyote *sua
24. chupar suck
25. decir say *aj-
26. desear want *saj
27. diente tooth *nek
28. dos two *pe
29. él he *inani
30. enfermo, estar sick *ona-
31. espina thorn *ma
32. este this *na
33. estrella star *sirik
34. flor flower *sula
35. fuego fire *juk’a
36. grande big *pukV
37. guacal tub *k’akma
38. hermano brother *pelek
39. hígado liver *muts’u
40. hormiga ant *its’its’i
41. hueso bone *ts’ek
42. ir go *o-
43. jocote jocote *muraka
44. lavar wash *ts’ajk-
45. leña firewood *sak
46. lluvia rain *so
47. macho male *kew
48. maíz corn *ajma
49. mapachín raccoon *wala
50. milpa cornfield *ta
51. montaña mountain *kotan
52. mover move *lum-
53. nariz nose *nep
54. niño boy *we
55. nosotros we *apinani
56. nube cloud
57. oír hear *eni-
58. orinar urinate *wajsa-
59. pavo turkey *lok
60. peine comb *tenmaskin
61. pelo, pluma hair, feather
62. perro dog *su
63. pico peak *ints’ek
64. piedra stone *ke
65. piña pineapple *mats’ati
66. piojo louse *tem
67. puerco de monte wild pig *map’it, *nap’it
68. pulga flea *t’ut’u
69. quebracho quebracho tree *sili
70. quién who *k’ulan
71. reír laugh *jolo-
72. río river *wara
73. roble oak *mal
74. ropa clothes *lam-
75. rostro face *tik
76. saber know *ti-
77. seis six *wi
78. sembrar sow *isa-
79. tapesco, cama bed frame, bed *le-
80. tigre (jaguar), león (puma) tiger (jaguar), lion (puma) *lepa
81. tocar touch *jete-
82. trabajar work
83. tres three *lawa
84. you (sg.) *amanani
85. uña fingernail *kumam
86. venir come *po-
87. yo I *unani
88. zarigüeya opossum *ts’ewe
89. zopilote vulture *kus

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lencan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b Liliana Fuentes Monroy (2012). "Buscan rescatar lengua potón". La Prensa. Archived from the original on 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Campbell, Lyle (2012), "Classification of the Indigenous Languages of South America", The Indigenous Languages of South America, DE GRUYTER, doi:10.1515/9783110258035.59, ISBN 9783110258035
  4. ^ Constenla-Umaña, Adolfo (2005). "Existe relacion genealogica entre las lenguas misumalpas y las chibchenses?". Estudios de Linguistica Chibcha. 23: 9–59.
  5. ^ Jolkesky, Marcelo. 2017. Lexical parallels between Hokan and Lenka.
  6. ^ "Beatriz Cortez ¿Dónde están los indígenas? La identidad nacional y la crisis de la modernidad en La guerra mortal de los sentidos de Roberto Castillo". Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  7. ^ Arguedas Cortés, Gilda Rosa. 1988. Los Fonemas Segmentales del Protolenca: Reconstrucción Comparativa. Filología y lingüística XIV. 89-109.

BibliographyEdit

  • Campbell, Lyle. 1997. American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Campbell, Lyle. 2012. The Indigenous Languages of South America: A Comprehensive Guide. De Gruyter Mouton: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.
  • Constenla Umaña, Adolfo. (1981). Comparative Chibchan Phonology. (Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).
  • Constenla Umaña, Adolfo. (1991). Las lenguas del Área Intermedia: Introducción a su estudio areal. Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, San José.
  • Constenla Umaña, Adolfo. (1995). Sobre el estudio diacrónico de las lenguas chibchenses y su contribución al conocimiento del pasado de sus hablantes. Boletín del Museo del Oro 38-39: 13-56.
  • Constenla Umaña, Adolfo (2005). "Existe relacion genealogica entre las lenguas misumalpas y las chibchenses?" Estudios de Linguistica Chibcha. 23: 9–59.
  • Fabre, Alain. 2005. Diccionario etnolingüístico y guía bibliográfica de los pueblos indígenas sudamericanos: LENCA. [1]
  • Hemp, Eric. 1976. "On Earlier Lenca Vowels". International Journal of American Linguistics 42(1): 78-79.
  • Jolkesky, Marcelo 2017. "On the South American Origins of Some Mesoamerican Civilizations". Leiden: Leiden University. Postdoctoral final report for the “MESANDLIN(G)K” project.
  • Lehman, Walter. 1920. Zentral-Amerika. see pp. 700–719 (Salvadoran Lenca) and pp. 668–692 (Honduran Lenca).

External linksEdit