Annotated Swadesh wordlists for the Guaicuruan group (Mataco-Guaicuruan family).

Languages included:
Abipon [gua-abp].

Quevedo 1896 = Samuel A. Lafone Quevedo. Idioma Abipón. In: Boletin de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias en Cordoba (República Argentina), Tomo XV, pp. 5-200; 253-425. // A large collection of data available on the already extinct Abipon language, combining the late XVIIIth century dictionary by Joseph Brigniel with later data collected by Martin Dobrizhoffer and other small pieces of evidence. This source is used mainly for Brigniel's data, which remain the largest single source of knowledge on Abipon.
Dobrizhoffer 1822 = Martin Dobrizhoffer. An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. // An English translation of Martin Dobrizhoffer's Latin treatise "Historia de Abiponibus" (1784). Linguistic evidence, although in a very chaotic manner, is located in chapters 16 and 17 of Vol. 2.

Najlis 1966 = Elena Lidia Najlis. Lengua Abipona. Centro de Estudios Linguisticos: Universidad de Buenos Aires. // A description of the phonology and grammar of Abipón, based on data from Brigniel and Martin Dobrizhoffer, including a recently discovered additional manuscript that contains about 600 phrases and words (anonymous, but tentatively ascribed to Dobrizhoffer as well).

Notes on transcription.

Neither the main source (Brigniel's vocabulary in Quevedo 1896) nor the auxiliary one (Dobrizhoffer 1784-1822) display perfect consistency in their use of transliteration (Spanish orthography-based in the case of Brigniel); therefore, in most cases we provide the original orthography next to the tentative UTS transliteration. No attempts are made at discovering additional phonemes "hidden" behind some of the particularities / fluctuations of the transcription (see the analysis in [Najlis 1966] for such attempts). The main changes from Brigniel / Lafon Quevedo's notation are:

(1) double vowels are transcribed as long ones (i. e. aa, ee, etc.);
(2) yy between vowels and in those cases where it represents the 1st p. possessive prefix; otherwise, yi;
(3) ck; chč; ɲ;
(4) qu, gu before front vowels → k, g (i. e. queke, guege, etc.);
(5) g before front vowels and j before back vowels → x. It is unclear whether Abipon distinguished between velar x and laryngeal h; although Brigniel does a few times transcribe h before front vowels (e. g. in {heét} 'fly'), these instances are way too rare to justify a full opposition. Nevertheless, we formally distinguish between them, and trnasliterate g, j as velar x rather than laryngeal h, as Najlis does in her monograph.
(6) Dobrizhoffer writes about the existence of a special sound in Abipon that is intermediate between g and r, marking it as ; we agree with Najlis' interpretation of this sound as, most likely, the voiced uvular fricative ʁ and transliterate it accordingly. However, the sound in question is only noted by Dobrizhoffer, but not by Brigniel, who substitutes it rather chaotically with g, h, or even zero (see 'water'). Unfortunately, it is impossible to ascertain the presence of ʁ in cases where only Brigniel's data are available (which is most of the time).

We retain the accent marks of Brigniel and Dobrizhoffer in the original transcription, but omit them in the transliteration, since it is unclear to what sort of prosodic reality they correspond (tones? dynamic stress?).

Other notes:

Abipon was a morphologically rich language with a particularly complex verbal system, which has never been described sufficiently well. Both in the verbal and nominal system, there is heavy prefixation, including, for many nouns, obligatory marking of possession (including "zero" possession, usually marked with n=). In most cases, we follow the segmentation suggested by Lafon Quevedo, but it may not necessarily be correct (for instance, some of the segmented nominal prefixes may actually be part of the root).

Compiled and annotated by: G. Starostin (January 2011).