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The Pemon language (or Pemón in Spanish), is an indigenous language of the Cariban family spoken by some 30,000 Pemon people, in Venezuela's Southeast, particularly in the Canaima National Park, in the Roraima State of Brazil and in Guyana.

Pemon
Arecuna
Ingarikó, Kapon
Native toVenezuela, Brazil, Guyana
EthnicityPemon
Native speakers
(6,000 cited 1990–2006)[1]
Cariban
  • Venezuelan Carib
    • Pemóng–Panare
      • Pemóng
        • Pemon
Dialects
  • Camaracoto
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3aoc
Glottologpemo1248[2]

It covers several dialects, including Arecuna (or Arekuna), Camaracota, Camaracoto, Ingariko (or Ingarikó), Taulipang, and Taurepan (Camaracoto may be a distinct language). The Pemon language may also be known and designated informally by one of the two dialects Arecuna (or Arekuna) or Ingariko (or Ingarikó), or incorrectly under the name Kapon which normally designates another closely related small group of languages.

Pemon is one of several other closely related Venezuelan Cariban languages which also include the Macushi and Kapon (or Kapong, also sometimes used by natives to name the Pemon language itself, even if Kapon strictly covers only the two Akawaio and Patamona languages). These four languages (including Macushi) form the group of Pemongan (or Pemóng) languages. The broad Kapon (or Kapong) and selective Ingariko (or Ingarikó) terms are also used locally as an common ethnonym grouping Pemón, Akawaio, and Patamono peoples (and sometimes as well the Macushi people), and may be used as well to refer to the group of the four Pemongan (or Pemóng) languages that they speak.

Contents

TypologyEdit

The Pemon language's syntax type is SOV with alternation to OVS.[3]

WritingEdit

Pemon was an oral language until the 20th century. Then efforts were made to produce dictionaries and grammars, primarily by Catholic missionaries, specially Armellada and Gutiérrez Salazar. The Latin alphabet has been used, adding diacritic signs to represent some phonemes not existing in Spanish.[4]

PhonologyEdit

VowelsEdit

Pemon has the following vowels:

  Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Open-mid e ɵ o
Open   a  

There are still texts only using Spanish characters, without distinctive characters for /o/ or /ɵ/. Diphthong sounds are [aɪ, au, ɔɪ, eɪ].

ConsonantsEdit

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Stop p t k
Fricative s
Nasal m n
Tap/Flap ɾ
Approximant j w

Allophones of /s n k j/ are [tʃ ŋ ʔ ʎ].[5]

GrammarEdit

Pronouns in Pemon are:

Pemon English
yuré I, me
amäre you (singular)
muere, mesere he, she
urekon we
ina we (exclusive)
amärenokon you (plural)
ichamonan they, them

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pemon at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pemon". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ La Transitividad en Japrería Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Guide for Pemon (Spanish)
  5. ^ Edwards, Walter F. (1978). A Preliminary Sketch of Arekuna (Carib) Phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics.

External linksEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • Gutiérrez Salazar, Msr Mariano: Gramática Didáctica de la Lengua Pemón. Caracas 2001. ISBN 980-244-282-8.
  • De Armellada, Fray Cesáreo y Olza, Jesús,s.j.: Gramática de la lengua pemón (morfosintaxis) (1999) Caracas, Publicaciones Ucab, Vicariato Apostólico del Caroní y Universidad Católica del Táchira. 289 pages.