Coconucan language

Native to Colombia
Region Cauca Department
Ethnicity Guambiano (Misak)
Native speakers
21,000 (2008)[1]
  • Coconuco
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
gum  Guambiano
ttk  Totoró
Glottolog coco1262[2]

Coconuco AKA Guambiano is a dialect cluster of Colombia spoken by the Guambiano indigenous people. Though the three varieties, Guambiano, moribund Totoró, and the extinct Coconuco, are traditionally called languages, Adelaar & Muysken (2004) believe that they are best treated as a single language.

Totoro may be extinct; it had 4 speakers in 1998 out of an ethnic population of 4,000. Guambiano, on the other hand, is vibrant and growing.

Coconucan was for a time mistakenly included in a spurious Paezan language family, due to a purported "Moguex" (Guambiano) vocabulary that turned out to be a mix of Páez and Guambiano (Curnow 1998).


The Guambiano inventory is as follows (Curnow & Liddicoat 1998:386).

front central back
close i u
mid e ə
back a
  Bilabial Dental Retroflex Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ  
Occlusive p t k
Fricative s ʂ ʃ
Liquid r l ʎ
Semi-vowel w j


  1. Guambiano at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Totoró at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Coconucan". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Further reading

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