Waorani language

Not to be confused with Guaraní language, Aushiri language, or Warao language.
Huaorani / Waorani
Wao Terero
Native to Ecuador, Peru
Region Oriente or Ecuadorian Amazon
Ethnicity 1,800 Huaorani people (2012)[1]
Native speakers
1,700 (2004)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Ecuador: indigenous languages official in own territories
Language codes
ISO 639-3 auc
Glottolog waor1240[2]

The Waorani (Huaorani) language, commonly known as Sabela (also Wao, Huao, Auishiri, Aushiri, Ssabela ; autonym: Wao Terero; pejorative: Auka, Auca) is a language isolate spoken by the Huaorani people, an indigenous group living in the Amazon Rainforest between the Napo and Curaray Rivers in Ecuador. A small number of speakers with so-called uncontacted groups may live in Peru.


Huaorani distinguishes nasal vowels from oral ones. Syllable structure is (C)V, with frequent vowel clusters.

pt k
Front Non-front
Plain Nasal Plain Nasal
Close i ĩ
Mid e ɵ~o~ɤ ɵ̃~õ~ɤ̃
Open æ æ̃ a ã


Huaorani has three dialects: Tiguacuna (Tiwakuna), Tuei (Tiwi Tuei, Tiwi), and Shiripuno.

Genetic relations

Sabela is not known to be related to any other language. However, it forms part of Terrence Kaufman's Yawan proposal.


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


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/9/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.