Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Kawésqar language

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Native to  Chile
Language family  Alacalufan Kawésqar
Native speakers  12 (2006)
ISO 639-3  alc
Region  Channel Region, western Patagonia, Wellington Island off south Chilean coast, 49° south, with centre in Puerto Edén.
Ethnicity  2,600 Alacaluf people (2002 census)

Kawésqar (Qawasqar), also known as Alacaluf, is a critically endangered language isolate spoken in southern Chile by the Kawésqar people. Originally part of a small family, only the northern language remains. Only 7 speakers of the language remain, most of them on Wellington Island off the southwestern coast of Chile.


Writing system

The alphabet in use is as follows [1]: a, æ, c, c', e, f, h, i, j, k, k', l, m, n, o, p, p', q, r, rr, s, t, t', u, w, x. However, there are reported to be differences between dialects, and some sounds that are not represented here.

Morphology and syntax

Kawésqar has a complex system of grammatical tense, which includes a basic morphological contrast between future, present, immediate past, recent past, distant past, and mythological past events.


Kawésqar language Wikipedia

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