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The Arawakan Matrix

  • Love Eriksen
  • Swintha Danielsen
  • Loretta O'Connor
  • Pieter Muysken
Publiceringsår: 2014
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 152-176
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: The Native Languages of South America: Origins, Development, Typology
Dokumenttyp: Del av eller Kapitel i bok
Förlag: Cambridge University Press


This chapter investigates the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the ethno-linguistic groups of the Arawakan language family, particularly relating to situations of contact and exchange. At 1492, Arawakan languages were distributed from the Greater Antilles in the north to the Gran Chaco area in the south, and from the Amazon River mouth in the east, to the eastern Andean slopes in the west. The Arawakan languages expanded successfully across and beyond the South American continent during pre-Columbian times through a powerful cultural complex emphasizing contact and exchange with neighboring groups;, the Arawakan matrix, which this chapter aims to investigate and map.

The investigators uses GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to explore the geographical distribution of cultural and linguistic features of Arawak-speaking people in space and time in order to gain a more complete picture of the timing and extension of their expansion. The chapter also adds to our current theoretical knowledge about the socio-cultural mechanisms of the Arawakan diaspora and the spatial distribution of particular linguistic features characteristic of the Arawakan language family.


  • Specific Languages


  • ISBN: 978-1-107-04428-9

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