Cariban languages

Large family of South American Indian languages.

It has an estimated 43 members; nearly half are now extinct, and most of the remainder have very few speakers. Most Cariban languages are spoken in southern Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil north of the Amazon, though several have strayed far from this area. Cariban incursions into the mainly Arawakan-speaking Antilles at the time of Columbus provided European languages with the words Carib (hence, Caribbean) and cannibal, both perhaps from a proto-Cariban form meaning "Indian, person."

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      a group of South American Indian languages that were spoken before the Spanish conquest from what is now the Greater Antilles to the central Mato Grosso in Brazil; most of the languages, however, were spoken north of the Amazon River in what is now northern Brazil, the inland areas of the Guianas and Venezuela, and lowland Colombia. West Indian Cariban is extinct, and the languages of the group have undergone a drastic decline in the other areas.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cariban languages — Infobox Language family name=Cariban region= Mostly within north central South America, with extensions in the southern Caribbean and in Central America. familycolor=American fam1=Je Tupi Carib? child1=Guiana Carib child2=North Amazonian Carib… …   Wikipedia

  • Cariban — [ karɪb(ə)n] noun a family of South American languages including Carib, mostly extinct or nearly so. adjective denoting the Cariban languages …   English new terms dictionary

  • Languages of Venezuela — There are at least 40 languages around Venezuela, [Ethnologue. [ country.asp?name=VE Languages of Venezuela] .] but Spanish is the language spoken by the majority of Venezuelans. The Constitution of Venezuela of the… …   Wikipedia

  • cariban — ˈkarəbən, ˌban; kəˈrēb noun ( s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: Spanish caribán, from caribe Carib 1. a. : a group of Amerindian peoples of northern So. America, the Lesser Antilles, and the Caribbean coast of Hondu …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cariban — noun Date: 1901 1. a member of a group of Indian peoples of South America and the Lesser Antilles 2. the language family comprising the languages of the Cariban peoples …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Cariban — Car·i·ban (kărʹə bən, kə rēʹbən) n. pl. Cariban or Cari·bans 1. Variant of Carib. 2. A language family comprising the Carib languages.   Carʹi·ban adj. * * * …   Universalium

  • Cariban — adjective a) Of, or pertaining to languages of the Cariban family. b) Relating to the Carib peoples. See Also: Carib, Caribbean …   Wiktionary

  • Languages of Guyana — Several languages are spoken in Guyana. The official language is English. Several other recognized regional languages include Guyanese Creole, Akawaio, Hindi, Macushi, Wai Wai, Arawakan, and Cariban …   Wikipedia

  • Cariban — Ca•ri•ban [[t]ˈkær ə bən, kəˈri [/t]] n. peo a family of American Indian languages, many now extinct or moribund, concentrated in the Guiana region of South America, with lesser representation in E Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil S of the Amazon …   From formal English to slang

  • South American Indian languages — Introduction       group of languages that once covered and today still partially cover all of South America, the Antilles, and Central America to the south of a line from the Gulf of Honduras to the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Estimates of… …   Universalium

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