Annotated Swadesh wordlists for the Chiquitano group (Macro-Jê family).

Languages included: Lomerío Chiquitano [chq-lom]; Porto Esperidião Chiquitano [chq-bra].


I. Lomerío Chiquitano (Bésɨro)

Galeote Tormo 1993 = Galeote Tormo, Jesús. Manitana auqui besüro. Gramática moderna de la lengua Chiquitana y vocabulario básico. Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Los Huérfanos. // A pedagogic grammar of Chiquitano accompanied with a vocabulary and sample texts. The fieldwork was carried out in Lomerío.

Krüsi & Krüsi 1975 [1978] = Krüsi, Martin and Dorothee Krüsi. Phonology of Chiquitano. Work papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Riberalta: Summer Institute of Linguistics. // A description of Chiquitano phonology. The fieldwork was carried out in Lomerío.

Sans 2010 = Sans, Pierric. Éléments de sociolinguistique et de phonologie du bés1ro (chiquitano). Langue en danger des basses terres de Bolivie. (MA thesis.) Lyon: Université Lumière Lyon 2. // A description of Chiquitano sociolinguistic situation and phonology, accompanied with an extensive wordlist.

Sans 2013 = Sans, Pierric. Elementos de la gramática del Bésɨro: Sociolingüística – Fonología – Morfología – Textos. Con la colaboración de: Lucas Chorez Quiviquivi. San Antonio de Lomerío, m.s. // A grammar of Chiquitano. Several glossed texts are provided. The fieldwork was carried out in Lomerío and Concepción.

MBI = Monkox Besɨro Inglés (diccionario hablado). Versión 1.0, 12.2012. Available online at <>. // A Chiquitano wordlist accompanied with audio files.

Additional sources: two translations of the New Testament, available online at <> and <>.

II. Porto Esperidião Chiquitano

Santana 2012 = Santana, Áurea Cavalcante. Línguas cruzadas, histórias que se mesclam: ações de documentação, valorização e fortalecimento da língua Chiquitano no Brasil. (PhD thesis.) Goiânia: Universidade Federal de Goiás. // A work that includes a phonological description and a wordlist of Chiquitano as spoken in the Porto Esperidião municipality in Mato Grosso, Brazil.


I. Lomerío Chiquitano (Bésɨro).

The obligatorily possessed nouns are quoted in the 3SG non-masculine form. The verbs that contain a verbal suffix are quoted inflected for 3SG non-masculine (in order to demonstrate the allomorph of the verbal suffix). Transitive verbs are cited with a 3SG non-masculine object suffix. The allomorph of 1SG subject is specified in the notes section for intransitive semantically active verbs.

The position of the stress is indicated in the transcription whenever this information is available or can be inferred from the morphology.

The nominal singular suffix -ʂ(ɨ) / -s(e) / -š(i), whose final vowel is more often than not elided or devoiced, is represented as -ʂ / -s / -š {-xü / -se / -xhi} in the UTS.

The allophonic palatalization of p, t, k, m after i is transcribed as pʸ, ȶ, kʸ, mʸ {pi, ty, ki, mi}.

UTS Orthography Jesuitic Ignacian Lomerian Galeote Tormo (phonemic) Krüsi & Krüsi IPA
p p p p p p p p
t t t t t ? t t
ȶ ty t ? c
č ch ch č ch č č
k k c, qu k c, qu k k k
ʔ ʼ h ? ʔ ʔ
s s z, c, ç s, z s s s s
š xh x š rr š š̯, š ʃ
ʂ x s rr š ṣ̌, š ʂ
h h h h h h
β b b b b b β, w β, w
ɾ r r r r r r ɾ
y y y y y j
m m m m m m m m
n n n n n n n n
ɲ ɲ
a a a a a a a a
ɨ, ɨ̯ ɨ ü ü ü ɨ
e e e e e e e, ɛ e
i, i̯ i i i i i i, ɪ i
o o o, u o, u o o ɔ, o o
u, u̯ u u, o u u, w u u, ʊ u
Vn, Vm Vn, Vm ?

II. Porto Esperidião Chiquitano.

The lemmatization was carried out according to the principles outlined in the Lomerío Chiquitano section. The orthography currently in use by the Brazilian Chiquitano community was slightly modified in the cited forms: the accent is left unmarked and the allophones ɪ, ʊ are always represented as {e, o}. Major allophones (pʸ, tʸ, kʸ, ɪ, ʊ) are marked in the UTS. Other allophones (ǝ, ɔ, ɛ, β) are represented with the characters (a, o, e, v), since they are in free variation with a, o, e, v respectively.

The consonant ts ~ s is represented as UTS c, since the affricate realization (which alternates freely with [s]) seems to be more archaic. Although Santana [2012: 140] states that [ts] and [s] are allophones of the phoneme /s/ that occur in free variation in syllable onsets, this variation is not attested in all the words where it could be expected. Crucially, [ts] and [s] consistently contrast in the Migueleño variety of Chiquitano (own fieldwork carried out in San Juan de Lomerío), as well as in the variety of San Javier attested in colonial sources; the variation ts ~ s is attested in Brazilian Chiquitano only the words that appear with an affricate in Chiquitano varieties where this segment is contrastive. This indicates that ts and s (UTS c and s) are distinct phonemes in Brazilian Chiquitano, even though the former can be optionally realized as [s].

Non-standard symbols and digraphs in the orthography are: š {ch}, ʂ {rch}, č {tch}, ɲ {nh}, ɨ {ü}.

Database compiled and annotated by: André Nikulin (June 2017).