Wichí

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Wichí is the name given to at least three language varieties (or dialects) which are part of the Matacoan language family.  The autonym for the language used by speakers of the language is Wichí, however the variety presented below has been called many different things , however the most descriptively accurate label is Misión La Paz, Argentina Pilcomayo, Wichí (or just MLP Wichí).  

The iso code for this variety of the languages is: mzh   

Other varieties of the language are spoken inf Bolivia and communities throughout the Argentinan Chaco.  More information on the relationships between these varieties is available on wikipedia .  The number of speakers varies with the particular variety being discussed.  For MLP Wichí it is estimated that there are between 400 and 1000 speakers of the language.  

The following link leads to a map of the MLP area: View Larger Map

Work on MLP Wichí started in 2005 at the Univesity of Utah and involved documentation projects, materials development, and analysis.  However, no outcomes of this work was ever produced.  I am currently involved in creating a dictionary and a typological sketch of the language.  Future work will be involved in investigagting the linguistic relationships between the various Wichí varieties.   

 

This is me in 2010 with my main Wichí consultant: Valeria Yaqui

 

Wichi's is an underdocumented Matacoan language exhibiting some interesting linguistic features: including genitive classifiers, nominal tense, and the remnants of active-inactive morphological alignment.  

This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Mision La Paz community in Northern Argentina.  The objectives are to provide a comprehensive description of the language and language use (including the form of linguistic exogamy practiced in this community) and to conduct a preliminary survey of the similarities and differences between the various Wichi's communities.  This last goal is important because there is mixed information on whether Wichi' is a series of differentiated dialects or closely related languages.  This confusion mainly comes from the absence of information.  

Another important goal of this project is revitalization of the language in the social sphere.  Specifically, we are working with local community members to create a book of stories, children's primary readers in the language, and educational curriculum that will be used in the local elementary schools.  

A Preliminary Wichi' Dictionary/word list of the language as understood to date is available for the use of interested researchers, community members and scholars.

If you would like more information about this project please contact me

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