Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University
Tariana is an endangered North Arawak language now spoken by about a hundred people in the region of the river Vaupes, North-West Amazonia, Brazil. Though about 1.500 people of the region identify as 'ethnic' Tariana, the language was virtually lost one or two generations ago.
Tariana is the only Arawak language spoken in the multilingual context of the Vaupes linguistic area, and it has suffered a heavy areal impact from Tucanoan languages. Typologically, it is a predominantly head-marking language with a few elements of dependent marking. It has several types of classifiers, and two genders, extensive verb serialization; complicated systems of tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality; and it combines elements of morphological ergativity and accusativity depending on discourse structure. The present collection contains twenty texts in Tariana with translation and interlinear glosses, and a vocabulary. These texts, collected by the author during three fieldtrips to the North-West Amazonia, are particularly important for studying the origins of Tarianas, their migration from the Içana river to the multilingual region of the Vaupes, and their identity as a people.
ISBN 9783895860782. Languages of the World/ Text Collections 07. 150pp. 1999.