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Documenting multilingualism in interaction: the Yukuna and Tanimuka of the Miriti-Parana (Colombia)

Landing page image for the collection "Documenting multilingualism in interaction: the Yukuna and Tanimuka of the Miriti-Parana (Colombia)"

Main community maloca (traditional house) in the village of Quebrada Negra, a diverse Yukuna-Tanimuka village in the Miriti-Parana indigenous reservation. Photo by Elouan Joly, 2015. Click on image to access collection.

Language Yukuna; Tanimuka
Depositor Magdalena Lemus Serrano
Affiliation SeDyL-INALCO (France)
Location Colombia
Collection ID 0687
Grant ID IPF0404
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing page handle


Summary of the collection

This project aims at documenting the dynamics of language contact between Yukuna and Tanimuka in the traditional and urban contexts, to contrast language use and degrees of multilingualism in these two radically different contexts. This documentation project will include both a linguistic component, seeking to analyze the patterns of code-switching in a multilingual corpus, but also a sociolinguistic component, aiming to provide a holistic account of the different contact settings in which these languages are spoken.


Group represented

This project focuses on Yukuna (Arawakan) and Tanimuka (Tukanoan), two languages of the Mirití-Paraná region in South-Eastern Colombia. Within their traditional territory in the Miriti-Parana reservation, both Yukuna and Tanimuka co-exist in communities where egalitarian multilingualism is the norm. Outside of their traditional territory, the vitality of these two languages and of the cultural practices that sustain them are immediately threatened. Combining methods from corpus-driven linguistics and sociolinguistics, this project aims to shed light on present-day multilingualism in Amazonia.


Collection contents

The main aim of this project is to document language use in interaction by ethnic Yukuna, Tanimuka, Matapi and Letuama, within and outside their traditional territory, to establish a comparison in rates of multilingualism and multilingual language use in these two settings. The documentation will focus mostly on naturally occurring speech contexts, such as everyday conversations, and joint activities.
The project will collect at least 100h of audio recording including: naturalistic conversations (40h, all with video), sociolinguistic interviews (15h, all with video), oral annotations and work sessions with consultants (60h at least, optionally including video). 10 hours of naturalistic conversations will be orally annotated, and out of these, 5 hours will have interlinear glosses, and annotations for contact-related phenomena (lexical borrowings, code-switching, metalinguistic comments from participants).


Acknowledgement and citation

Uses of any part of this collection should acknowledge Magdalena Lemus Serrano, and the speakers of yukuna and tanimuka who took part in this project.

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

Lemus Serrano,  Magdalena. 2022. Documenting multilingualism in interaction: the Yukuna and Tanimuka of the Miriti-Parana (Colombia). Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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