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Proto-Tupian language

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Proto-Tupian (PT) is the reconstructed common ancestor of all the Tupian languages. It consists, therefore, of a hypothetical language, reconstructed by the comparative method from data of the descendant languages.
In Brazil, Tupian historical-comparative studies are being developed mainly by two scientific teams: one from the Laboratório de Línguas Indígenas (LALI) of the University of Brasília, under the coordination of Aryon Rodrigues; and the other one from the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, located in Belém, under the orientation of Denny Moore. These studies provide evidence about the Proto-Tupian economy and culture, suggesting, for example, that they had agriculture.Rodrigues, Aryon dall'Agna & Ana Suelly Arruda Câmara Cabral. Investigando a origem e o desenvolvimento de orações dependentes nas famílias do tronco lingüístico Tupi . Revista da Abralin, volume 5, numbers 1 and 2 (ten/2006)
The most accepted theory is that the Tupian language family originated between the Guaporé and Aripuanã rivers, in the Madeira River basin. There are currently 70 Tupian languages, including Tupi, Paraguayan Guarani, Awetï, Ayvu, etc.

Homeland and Urheimat

Rodrigues (2007) considers the Proto-Tupian Urheimat to be somewhere between the Guaporé and Aripuanã rivers, in the Madeira River basin. Much of this area corresponds to the modern-day state of Rondônia, Brazil. 5 of the 10 Tupian branches are found in this area, as well as some Tupi–Guarani languages (especially Kawahíb), making it the probable urheimat of these languages and maybe of its speaking peoples. Rodrigues believes that Proto-Tupian dates back to around 5,000 B.P.
O'Hagan (2014)O'Hagan, Zachary (with Keith Bartolomei, Natalia Chousou-Polydouri, Emily Clem, Erin Donnelly and Lev Michael). 2014. A Computational-phylogenetic Classification of Tupí-Guaraní and its Geographical Spread. Language Variation and Change, October 20, Chicago. proposes that Proto-Tupi-Guarani was spoken in the region of the lower Tocantins and Xingu Rivers. Proto-Omagua-Kokama then expanded up the Amazon River, Proto-Tupinamba expanded south along the Atlantic coast, and the Southern branch expanded up along the Tocantins/Araguaia River towards the Paraná River basin.


This section lists Proto-Tupían reconstructions from Rodrigues and Cabral (2012). Since the reconstructions are highly tentative, the Proto-Tupían forms are all marked by two asterisks.
For a list of Proto-Tupian reconstructions by Nikulin (2020),Nikulin, Andrey. 2020. Proto-Macro-Jê: um estudo reconstrutivo. Doctoral dissertation, University of Brasília. see the corresponding :pt:Prototupi#ReconstruçãoPortuguese article.

Independent nouns

Proto-Tupian independent nouns:
;Human beings:
  • **apÊ·Å© ‘person’/‘who’
  • **aɨče ‘man’
  • **pet ‘woman’
  • **orʲe ‘we, I; he/they’
  • **ru ‘fellow’
  • **ɨčɨ ‘deer’
  • **ameko ‘jaguar’
  • **aʔɨ ‘sloth’
  • **awuru/aworo ‘parrot’
  • **arat ‘macaw’
  • **moj ‘snake’
  • **ɨp ‘fish’
  • **enem ‘beetle’
  • **Å‹ap ‘wasp’

  • **mani ‘manioc’
  • **awa/awai ‘yams’
  • **ɨčɨpo ‘vine’
  • **kʔɨp ‘tree, wood’
  • **kɨče ‘bamboo’
  • **ɨʔa ‘calabash’
  • **wetʲɨk ‘sweet potato’
  • **Å‹Ê·at ‘sun’
  • **watɨ ‘moon’
  • **ɨpʷɨ ‘earth’
  • **aman ‘rain’
  • **ičʔɨ ‘river’
  • **wita ‘stone’
  • **Ê”at ‘day’

Dependent nouns

Proto-Tupian dependent nouns:
  • **amõj ‘grandfather’
  • **up ‘father’
  • **čɨ ‘mother’
  • **aʔɨt ‘son of a man’
  • **ɨket ‘older sister of a woman’
  • **kɨpʷɨt ‘brother of a woman’
;Parts of the body of animals:
  • **po ‘hand’
  • **Ê”a ‘head’
  • **ap ‘hair’
  • **apɨ ‘ear’
  • **pepÊ”o ‘wing’
  • **uwaj ‘tail’
  • **kaÅ‹ ‘bone’
;Parts of plants:
  • **epÊ· ‘leaf’
  • **akã ‘branch’
  • **potʔɨt ‘flower’
  • **wu ‘thorn’

  • **ekʷʔɨp ‘arrow’
  • **wɨ ‘ax’
  • **ɨrʲu ‘basket’
  • **waʔẽ ‘pot’
  • **čʔam ‘rope’
  • **atʲa ‘fire’
  • **ekÊ· ‘house’
  • **moʔɨt ‘necklace’
;Sensations, feelings, and attributes
  • **ačɨ ‘ache’
  • **akʲup ‘warm’
  • **ečaraj ‘forgetful’
  • **pocɨj ‘heavy’
  • **acÊ”aÅ‹ ‘thick’

Verbs, affixes, and others

Proto-Tupian verbs, affixes, and other parts of speech:
;Positional verbs
  • **Ê”am ‘to stand’
  • **up ~ wup ‘to lie’
  • **in ‘to sit’
  • **eko ‘to be moving’
  • **kup ‘to be.plural’
;Motion / directional verbs
  • **ka ‘to go’
  • **co ‘to go’
  • **ut ~ **wut ‘to come’
;Dicendi / faciendi verb
  • **kÊ”e ‘to say/to do’

  • ;Postpositions
    • **pe ‘punctual locative/dative’
    • **ka ‘allative’
    • **wo ~ mo ‘diffuse locative’
    • **ece ‘relative’/‘associative’
    • **eɾi, **wi ‘ablative’
    • **eɾʲo ~ **eɾʲe ‘associative’
    • **coče ‘superessive’
    • **na ‘translative’
    ;Derivational valence changing prefixes
    • **mo- ‘causative prefix’
    • **eɾʲo- ~ **eɾʲe- ‘causative-comitative prefix’
    • **we- ‘reflexive prefix’
    • **wo- ‘reciprocal prefix’

    Cultural vocabulary

    Proto-Tupían cultural vocabulary (Rodrigues and Cabral 2012):
    { class="wikitable sortable"
    ! gloss !! Proto-Tupian
    **up 'father'
    **čɨ 'mother'
    **čɨʔɨt 'mother's sister'
    **amõj 'grandfather'
    **aʔɨt 'man's son'
    **memɨt 'woman's child'
    **men 'husband'
    **atʔɨ 'wife'
    **ike 'man's older brother'
    **kɨpʔɨʔɨt 'man's younger brother'
    **kɨpwɨt 'woman's brother'
    **wamu(ã) 'shaman'
    **ekw 'house'
    **ekwen 'door'
    **tʔap 'thatch'
    **upap 'lying place'
    **eɾĩ 'hammock'
    **acoʔi 'to cover'
    **ekwat 'village patio'
    **Å‹o ~ Å‹e 'cultivated field'
    **čɨt 'digging stick'
    **mani 'manioc'
    **awa(i) 'yams (Dioscorea sp.)'
    **wetjɨk 'sweet potato'
    **kuɾua 'pumpkin'
    **pe 'tobacco'
    **ɾjuku 'achiote (Bixa orellana)'
    **ɨʔa 'calabash'
    **ekwʔɨp 'arrow'
    **wekeʔa 'fish trap'
    **wɨ 'ax'
    **ɨɾju 'basket'
    **čʔam 'rope'
    **waʔẽ 'ceramic pot'
    **čɨt 'to bake'
    **wɨp 'to bake, to cook'
    **mõj 'to cook'
    **eʔe 'to grate'
    **čekw 'to pound'

    See also

    • Apapocuva
    • Indigenous languages of the Americas
    • Languages of Brazil
    • Lingua Geral
    • List of Spanish words of Indigenous American Indian origin

    Further reading

    • Rodrigues, Aryon Dall'Igna (2007). "As consoantes do Proto-Tupí". In Ana Suelly Arruda Câmara Cabral, Aryon Dall'Igna Rodrigues (eds). Linguas e culturas Tupi, p. 167-203. Campinas: Curt Nimuendaju; Brasília: LALI.


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