Wanano language

Native to Brazil, Colombia
Ethnicity Wanano, Piratapuyo
Native speakers
2,600 (1998–2007)[1]
  • Eastern

    • North
      • Guanano
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
gvc  Wanano (Kótirya)
pir  Piratapuyo
Glottolog wana1272[2]

Guanano (Wanano), or Piratapuyo, is a Tucanoan language spoken in the northwest part of Amazonas in Brazil and in Vaupés in Colombia. It is spoken by two peoples, the Wanano and the Piratapuyo. They do not intermarry, but their speech is 75% lexically similar.[3]


Wanano/Piratapuyo belongs to the Northern branch of the Eastern Tucanoan languages, along with Tucano.

Geographic distribution

Speakers of Wanano live in Brazil and Colombia. According to Stenzel (2004), a census taken in October, 2003 establishes the Wanano population as 1,560, approximately one-third of whom currently live in Brazil . The Wanano live in 21 traditional communities along the Vaupés River.



Wanano consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Alveolar Palato
Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d     k ɡ ʔ  
Fricative     s           h  
Flap     r            
Approximant w     j        

Nasalization is carried on vowels. Voiced plosives and /j/ may surface as the nasal consonants /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, and /ɲ/ in the environment of nasal vowels.


Wanano vowel phonemes
  Front Central Back
High i h u
Low e ɡ o

Suprasegmental Elements

Syllables may be marked with either a high or low stress accent. Nasalization is suprasegmental and moves from left to right through a word.


Wanano/Piratapuyo is an SOV language.


Personal Pronouns

Wanano personal pronouns
  Singular Plural
1st Person Exclusive /yɨɨ́/ [yɨˈʔɨ] "I" /sã́/ [ˈsã] "we (and not you)"
1st Person Inclusive /bãrĩ́/ [mãˈňĩ] "we (and you)"
2nd Person /bɨ̃ɨ̃́/ [mɨ̃ˈʔɨ̃] "you" /bɨ̃sã́/ [mɨ̃ɨ̥̃ˈsã] "you"
3rd Person Masculine /tíro/ [ˈtiro] "he" /tídã/ [ˈtinã] "they"
3rd Person Feminine /tí-koro/ [ˈtikoro] "she"


  1. Wanano (Kótirya) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Piratapuyo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wanano–Piratapuyo". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. http://www.ethnologue.com/language/pir

Further reading

External links

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