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Sanumá language

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Title: Sanumá language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Yanomaman languages, Sanumá people
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sanumá language

Pronunciation [ˈsɑnɨmɑ]
Native to Venezuela, Brazil
Ethnicity Sanumá
Native speakers
5,100  (2000–2006)[1]
  • Sanumá
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xsu
Glottolog sanu1240[2]

Sanumá [3] is a Yanomam language spoken in Venezuela and Brazil. It is also known as Sanema, Sanima, Tsanuma, Guaika, Samatari, Samatali, Xamatari and Chirichano. Most of its speakers in Venezuela also speak Ye'kuana, also known as Maquiritare, a tribal group the Sanumá live alongside in the Caura River basin. Some linguists identify dialects such as Yanoma, Cobari, Caura, and Ervato-Ventuari in Venezuela and Auaris in Brazil. All the dialects are mutually intelligible. In Venezuela, Sanumá is spoken in the vicinity of the Caura and Ervato-Ventuari Rivers in Venezuela, and the Auari River and Roraima region in Brazil.

Sanumá is an isolating language.


  1. ^ Sanumá at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Sanuma". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh

Further reading

  • Alcida Ramos, Sanuma Memories: Yanomami Ethnography in Times of Crisis (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995)
  • Bruce Parry,Tribe: Adventures in a Changing World (Michael Joseph Ltd, 2007)

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