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Multidialectal lexical documentation of Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua

Landing page image for the collection "Multidialectal lexical documentation of Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua"

Yaminahua community members celebrate the final day of an alphabet workshop in 2016. Photo by Kelsey Neely. Click on image to access collection.

Language Yaminahua (ISO639-3:yaa), Nahua (ISO639-3:mts), Sharanahua (ISO639-3:mcd)
Depositor Kelsey Caitlyn Neely
Affiliation University of Texas at Austin
Location Peru
Collection ID 0605
Grant ID IPF0308
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua are three closely-related Panoan languages spoken in the Peruvian Amazon. This collection investigates phonetic, phonological, morphological, and lexical variation among speakers in different communities in Peru. This collection also documents the oral histories, cultural practices, and linguistic attitudes of Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua speakers in Peru.


Group represented

This collection focuses on speakers of Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua in Peru. There are also Yaminahua (alternatively Yaminawa or Jaminawa) speakers in Bolivia and Brazil, but these varieties are not included in this collection. Specifically, this collection documents the varieties of Yaminahua spoken on the Yurúa and Sepahua rivers, Nahua spoken on the Mishahua river and in the town of Sepahua, and Sharanahua as spoken on the upper Purús river in Peru and in the city of Pucallpa.


Language information

Yaminahua (ISO: yaa), Nahua (ISO: mts), and Sharanahua (ISO: mcd) are Panoan languages of Peruvian Amazonia. These closely-related languages form part of a dialect complex that extends across eastern Ucayali region in Peru northward to Acre state in Brazil.

In Peru, Yaminahua is spoken primarily by speakers on the Yurúa, Sepahua, and Inuya rivers, as well as by some speakers living along highway 18C outside the city of Pucallpa. Yaminahua, sometimes spelled Yaminawa or Jaminawá, is also spoken in communities in Bolivia and Brazil. This collection recognizes the Sepahua river variety and the Yuruá river variety as distinct linguistic communities, identified as Sepahua Yaminahua and Yuruá Yaminahua respectively.

Nahua, also known as Yora, is spoken primarily in a single community on the Mishahua (also spelled Mishagua) river near the border of the Cusco and Ucayali regions of Peru. There is also a significant population of Nahua speakers in the town of Sepahua on the Sepahua river in Ucayali region. Sharanahua is spoken primarily by speakers living in communities on the upper Purús river and its affluents in Ucayali region, but there are also many speakers living in the regional capital of Pucallpa.


Special characteristics

This deposit is a multi-lingual/multi-dialectal deposit.


Collection contents

This collection consists primarily of audio and video recordings and accompanying annotations.


Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Kelsey Neely as the data collector and researcher. Users should acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. Individual speakers or other contributors whose words, images, transcriptions, translations, and/or other contributions are used should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors and their roles is available in the metadata.

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Neely, Kelsey. 2019. Multidialectal lexical documentation of Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].


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