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Largest family of American Indian languages. The family comprises an estimated 65 known languages, of which at least 30 are now extinct. They stretch from the Caribbean coast of Central America to the Gran Chaco and southern Brazil, and from western Peru to the Guianas and central Brazil. Taino, a now-extinct Arawakan language of the Antilles, was the first American Indian language encountered by Europeans. Arawakan languages that are still viable include Goajiro in Colombia and Venezuela; Amuesha, Machiguenga, and the Campa languages in Peru; and Terena in Brazil.
Variants of ARAWAKAN LANGUAGES
Arawakan languages or Maipuran languages
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Arawakan languages, visit Britannica.com.
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