Puelche was a language formerly spoken by the Puelche people in the Pampas region of Argentina. The language is also known as Gününa Küne, Gennaken (Guenaken), Northern Tehuelche, Gününa Yajich, Ranquelche, and Pampa.

Gününa Küne
Native toArgentina
RegionRío Negro
with the death of Trruúlmani
Possibly Mosetén-Chonan

Chonan † ?

  • Puelche–Het † ?
    • Puelche
Language codes
ISO 639-3pue
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Classification Edit

Puelche has long been considered a language isolate. Based on very limited evidence, Viegas Barros (1992) suggests that Puelche might be closely related to the language of the Querandí, one of the Het peoples, and Viegas Barros (2005) that it is related to the Chon languages.[2] Further afield, inclusion in a putative Macro-Jibaro family has been posited.

The Puelche River, named after the group, the river flows into the Maule River

Documentation Edit

In 1829, D'Orbigny toured the area of southern Buenos Aires and the mouth of the Río Negro. There he collected words of the “puelches”, “aucas” and “tehuelches” —that is, in günün a iajüch, mapuzungun and teushen, respectively—in the vicinity of Carmen de Patagones, in a permanent settlement of linguistically heterogeneous groups.

The French traveler, intrigued by the indigenous languages of the area, arrived at the tolderías and contacted some interpreters:

"In a tent of friendly Patagonians I found a woman named Lunareja who spoke enough Spanish as if to serve as an interpreter; belonged to the Puelche nation and was married to a Patagonian, so that I knew both languages equally, which was of the greatest use to me. I also knew Araucanian, but the notions of this language could be better transmitted to me by the Indians."

In L'Homme américain (de l'Amérique méridionale) he includes some comments on which highlights pronunciation features, the use of the morpheme ya- prefixed to the parts of the body, the numbering system or the absence of gender markings on adjectives, as well as a list of words that compares with those of

other languages of South America. [3][4]

Phonology Edit

Vowels Edit

Puelche has 7 vowels:[5]

Front Back
Unrounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i ɯ u
Close-mid e ɤ o
Open-mid ʌ
Open a

A short sounding /e/ is realized as [ɛ].

Consonants Edit

Puelche has 25 consonants:[5][6]

Bilabial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t k q ʔ
ejective ()
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ʂ t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ʂʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative s ʂ ʃ x h
Lateral voiceless ɬ
voiced l ʎ
Rhotic trill r
tap ɾ
Semivowel j w

It is not clear if there is a uvular ejective stop [].

Vocabulary Edit

Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for Gennaken.[7]

gloss Gennaken
one chéye
two päch
ear chütsk
tooth xaye
hand yapal
foot yapgit
sun apiúkük
moon apioxok
dog dáshü

Comparative Vocabulary Edit

Below there is a list of comparative vocabulary between Chonan languages; Puelche, Teushen, Selk'nam, Tehuelche, and Haush, as well as Moseten languages; Chimane and Mosetén.[7][8][4]
Chon Mosetén
English Puelche Teushen Ona Tehuelche Haush Chimane Mosetén
one chéye cheuquen sôs chochieg setaul irit irit
two päch xeukay sôki h'áuke aim pana pára
three gütʳsh keash sauke ká'ash shaucn chibin chibin
four málǖ, mālǖ kekaguy koni-sôki kague tsis
five tān’kǖ, tan’kü keytzum kismarei k'tsáen cánam
six thrüman, tshüman wenecash kari-koni-soki uaenecash ebeuñ
seven katʳshpetsh; katrshpitsh kuka kari-kísmarei aiéké yevetige
eight pūúsha wenekekague karikei-konisoki venik'cage quencañ
nine tsheyiba, tshiība kekaxetzum kauken-kísmarei yamakeitzen arajatec
ten ts’amátskǚ xaken karai-kísmarei kaken tac

Bibliography Edit

Casamiquela, Rodolfo M. (1983). Nociones de gramática del gününa küne. Paris: French National Centre for Scientific Research.
Adelaar, Willem (2004). The Languages of the Andes. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-36275-7.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Puelche at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Campbell, Lyle (2012). "Classification of the indigenous languages of South America". In Grondona, Verónica; Campbell, Lyle (eds.). The Indigenous Languages of South America. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 2. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 59–166. ISBN 9783110255133.
  3. ^ d'Orbigny., Alcide Dessalines (1923). L'Homme américain (de l'Amérique méridionale) (in French).
  4. ^ a b Lehmann-Nitsche, Roberto. "Vocabulario Puelche" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b Casamiquela, Rodolfo M. (1983). Nociones de gramática del gününa küne. Paris: French National Centre for Scientific Research. pp. 34–40.
  6. ^ Barros, J. Viegas. Un nuevo análisis fonológico del gününa yajüch. CONICET-Universidad de Buenos Aires
  7. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  8. ^ "South Amerindian Languages". zompist.com. Retrieved 2023-05-09.

External links Edit