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

Languages included: Maxakalí [max-mxk]; Pataxó Hãhãhãe [max-hhh].


I. Maxakalí

Antunes 1999 = Antunes, Marisa Aparecida Domingos. Pequeno dicionário indígena Maxakali-Português/Português-Maxakali. Juiz de Fora, MG: s.ed. // A vocabulary of Maxakalí. The entries are not accompanied with any examples of usage.

Araújo 2000 = Araújo, Gabriel Antunes. Fonologia e Morfologia da Língua Maxakali. (MA thesis.) Campinas, SP: Universidade Estadual de Campinas. // A description of Maxakalí phonology and morphology.

Campos 2009 = Campos, Carlo Sandro de Oliveira. Morfofonêmica e morfossintaxe do Maxakalí. (PhD thesis.) Belo Horizonte, MG: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. // A description of Maxakalí alternations and morphosyntax.

Gudschinsky, Popovich & Popovich 1970 = Gudschinsky, Sarah C.; Harold Popovich; Frances Popovich. Native Reaction and Phonetic Similarity in Maxakali Phonology. Language 46(1): 77–88. // A pioneer work describing some peculiarities of Maxakalí phonology. All the lexical material is cited without any contexts, with a simple gloss.

Popovich & Popovich 2005 = Popovich, A. Harold; Frances B. Popovich. Maxakalí-English Dictionary. English-Maxakalí Glossary. Cuiabá, MT: Sociedade Internacional de Lingüística. // A dictionary of Maxakalí with a grammar sketch. The entries are accompanied with examples of usage.

Silva 2014 = Silva, Mário André Coelho da. A coda consonantal em Maxakalí. (MA thesis.) Campinas: Universidade Estadual de Campinas. // A work dedicated to the phonetic realization of Maxakalí syllable-final consonants. A small wordlist used in elicitation sessions is attached.

Silva f.n. = Comments based on Mário André Coelho da Silvaʼs field materials, kindly provided to the compiler by the author.

II. Pataxó Hãhãhãe

Pickering 1961 = Wordlist collected by Wilbur Pickering in 1961 and published in: Meader, Robert E. 1976. Índios do Nordeste: Levantamento sobre os remanescentes tribais do Nordeste Brasileiro. Cuiabá, MT: Sociedade Internacional de Lingüística.

Bahetá 1982 = Wordlist recorded by Maria Aracy de Padua Lopes da Silva and Greg Urban in 1982 and published in: Lições de Bahetá sobre a língua Pataxó Hãhãhãi. Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo.

Scheibe 1957 = Wordlist collected by Paulo Scheibe in 1957 and published in: Loukotka, Čestmír. 1963. Documents et vocabulaires inédits de langues et de dialectes sud-américains. Journal de la Société des Americanistes 52: 7–60.

Azevedo 1936 = Unpublished wordlist collected by Colonel Antônio Medeiros de Azevedo, a few words of which are quoted in: Urban, Greg. 1985. On Pataxó and Hãhãhãi. International Journal of American Linguistics 51(4): 605–608.


I. Maxakalí.

Maxakalí is spoken by approximately 2,000 people in four villages in northwestern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Data from consulted sources are generally in mutual agreement. In cases of conflicting data, [Silva f.n.] was given priority.

Correspondences between the orthographic representation and UTS for the consonants are as follows:

Orthography UTS (onset) UTS (coda)
p p p
t t 0
x ɕ 0
k k k
m m, b m, b
n n, d 0
y ɲ, ʓ 0
g g ŋ, g
h h -
ʼ, 0 ʔ ʔ, 0

If the underlying coda is homorganic with the following consonant, it is deleted, leaving compensatory lengthening on the previous vowel. After oral syllables {m}, {n} and {y} in nasal syllables surface as [hm], [hn], [hɲ] (e.g. pɛtɛhnãɨ̯̃ŋ {petenãg}}. Word-final open syllables are followed with an automatic ʔ (e.g. pataʔ {pata}).

Correspondences between orthographic representation and UTS for vowels are as follows:

Orthography UTS UTS (before /-p/)1 UTS (before /-t/) UTS (before /-c/) UTS (before /-k/)
a a2 aɤ̯ ɑǝ̯ ɑi̯ aɨ̯
ãɤ̯̃ ɑ̃ǝ̯̃ ɑ̃ĩ̯ ãɨ̯̃
e ɛ ɛɤ̯ äǝ̯ äi̯ äi̯
ɛ̃ ɛ̃ɤ̯̃ ä̃ǝ̯̃ ä̃ĩ̯ ä̃ĩ̯
i i iɤ̯ iǝ̯ ɪi̯ ɪi̯
ĩɤ̯̃ ĩǝ̯̃ ɪ̃ĩ̯ ɪ̃ĩ̯
o u uɤ̯ ʊǝ̯ ʊi̯ oɨ̯
ũɤ̯̃ ʊ̃ǝ̯̃ ʊ̃ĩ̯ õɨ̯̃
u ɨ ɨɤ̯ ɨǝ̯ ɨi̯ ɘɨ̯
ɨ̃ ɨ̃ɤ̯̃ ɨ̃ǝ̯̃ ɨ̃ĩ̯ ɘ̃ɨ̯̃

1 The actual pronunciation of ɤ̯ is closer to [β̞].
2 {a} is realized as ɒ in the syllable pɒʔ {pa}.
Additionally, ɘ̃ is found in the word nɘ̃hɘ̃ {nũhũ}.

In long noun forms containing VhVC or VʔVC sequences both vowels are targeted by the lowering/backing caused by the coda. This makes vowel allophony marginally contrastive, cf. [kaʔɑi̯] 'end' and [pɨtɑhɑǝ̯] 'road'.

II. Pataxó Hãhãhãe

Available data on Pataxó Hahahãe are very scarce. Our main sources are [Pickering 1961] and [Bahetá 1982].

Wilbur Pickering [1961] was able to elicit some isolated words from Txitxiʼa, a resident of the Caramuru outpost (3 km from Itaju do Colônia, Bahia state) aged around 45. Pickering provides a wordlist in narrow phonetic transcription with no attempt at a phonological analysis. In UTS, his transcription is rendered with minimal changes, such as Pickering = UTS č, Pickering tš̯ = UTS , Pickering N = UTS , Pickering M = UTS . Nasality is indicated with a tilde (instead of ogonek), and superscript vowels in Pickeringʼs transcription are substituted with asyllabic vowels () after vowels or with ultrashort vowels () after consonants.

Bahetá was the last speaker of Pataxó Hãhãhãe resident in the Paraguaçu outpost (Itaju do Colônia, Bahia state), aged over 80 at the time of fieldwork carried out by Maria Aracy de Padua Lopes da Silva and Greg Urban in 1982. The transcription of the data provided by her was designed by Eni P. Orlandi and requires the following substitutions for the UTS:

Bahetá UTS
e ɛ
o ɔ
tx č
ng ŋ
g(u) g
x š
j ž

While no consistent phonological analysis is possible due to the fragmentary data of the available data, it is still possible to reconcile the transcriptions used by different authors. The following comments are necessary:

(1) Tones, stress, aspiration and ejective articulation in Pickeringʼs transcription are probably non-distinctive, except in the reflexes of Proto-Maxakalí *Ck-like consonant clusters that are expected to yield -like clusters in Pataxó Hãhãhãe, sometimes transcribed as ejective stops by Pickering, cf. ɛmp-ʼoi̯ 'ear' < Proto-Maxakalí *yĩp-kuc.

(2) čʰ, čʼ, č, c̢, tʰ, t sometimes oscillate in Pickeringʼs data. These allophones correspond to Maxakalí ɕ morpheme-initially (word-medially in the word for 'heart', which probably contained a rare phoneme or consonant cluster in Proto-Maxakalí). In [Bahetá 1982], t and č are attested. I assume they represent one and the same phoneme, which I transcribe as (except before i, where our sources consistently point to č).

(3) Obligatorily possessed nouns are usually attested with a 3SG prefix (ʌ̃= in Pickeringʼs data, ã= ~ a= in [Bahetá 1982]). I omit this prefix from the citation in the main field.

(4) The counterpart of Maxakalí n and ɲ is transcribed as ŋg by Pickering, ŋ {ng} in [Bahetá 1982] and {ɲ} by Scheibe. I transcribe ŋ.

(5) In a handful of words (e.g. 'fire', 'hand'), Pickering transcribes an ultra-short vowel after a final -b, not attested in [Bahetá 1982], whereas Scheibe transcribes {-bm} with postnasalization. I simplify this to -b.

(6) Pickering sometimes attests b where other sources transcribe w ~ v ~ gw ('dog', 'eye'). w will be preferred in the GLD.

(7) Pickering sometimes transcribes ɣ, ʍ, n̥, m̥ (depending on the environment) where other authors transcribe h. h will be preferred in the GLD.

(8) The vowel that breaks Proto-Maxakalí *Ct-like clusters is usually transcribed as ʌ by Pickering; other authors have less uniform transcriptions. ʌ will be preferred in the GLD.

(9) Following Pickering, I will use ʌ̃ rather than .

(10) Whenever the sources disagree on vowel nasality, external data will be used to choose the form to be cited.

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