Maku is a family of languages spoken by Indians in the Amazon rainforest. Dutch-funded researcher Valteir Martins has reconstructed the sound structure of an ancestral Maku language and has demonstrated that the Maku languages are genetically related to the Arawak languages.
Martins compared the results of existing studies into the Maku languages and for many years he also worked with speakers of these various languages. The Brazilian researcher established that the modern Maku languages can be divided into two groups, an eastern Brazilian branch and a western Colombian branch. Furthermore he reconstructed the sound structure as well as part of the lexicon of the ancestor of the Brazilian Maku languages, Proto-East-Maku.
The Brazilian branch of the language family contains the Indian languages Nadëb (300 speakers), Kuyawi (130), Hupda (1900), Yuhup (400, on the Colombian/Brazilian border), and Dâw (65). The Colombian branch contains the languages Nukak (700), Kakua (125), and the more widely distributed Puinave (2000).
Prof. Leo Wetzels | alfa
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