Caribbean languages

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Current places where the Caribbean languages ​​are still spoken (approx. 2000).

The Caribbean languages are an indigenous language family in South America , by the Carib is spoken and is named after this. They are particularly widespread in the northern part of South America, from the mouth of the Amazon to the Colombian Andes . The 29 living Caribbean languages ​​are divided into a northern branch (21 languages) and a southern branch (8 languages). The family of Caribbean languages ​​is best known for Hixkaryána , a language with the basic word order object-verb-subject (OVS), which was previously assumed not to exist in any language.

Several hundred years ago, Caribbean-speaking people occupied the Lesser Antilles . They killed, displaced, or assimilated the Arawak who inhabited the islands . The Aravak language was preserved by the inferior people and taken over by the invaded Caribs. This language is called "Island Caribbean" although it does not belong to the Caribbean language family. The language has since become extinct, but was spoken in the Lesser Antilles until the 1920s . A linguistic descendant of the island Caribbean is the Garífuna (Igñeri), which is mainly spoken in Honduras and Belize and is also known under the names "Caribe" and "Black Carib".

The Caribbean language family can possibly be expanded with the Je languages and the Pano languages to form a “Je Pano Caribbean tribe”. The Caribbean languages ​​themselves are tentatively divided into two to four branches:

North Caribbean languages

South Caribbean languages