EthnicityHuarpe people
Cuyo Province, Argentina
Linguistic classificationMacro-Warpean ?
Macro-Jibaro ?
  • Huarpean
Patagonian lang.png

Huarpe (Warpe) was a small language family of central Argentina (historic Cuyo Province) that consisted of two closely related languages. They are traditionally considered dialects, and include Allentiac (Alyentiyak, Huarpe) and Millcayac (Milykayak). A third, Puntano of San Luis, was not documented before the languages became extinct.

Kaufman (1994) tentatively linked Huarpe to the Mura-Matanawi languages in a family he called Macro-Warpean. However, he noted that "no systematic study" had been made, so that it is best to consider them independent families. Swadesh and Suárez both connected Huarpe to Macro-Jibaro, a possibility that has yet to be investigated.


Loukotka (1968)

Varieties classified by Loukotka (1968) as part of the Huarpe language cluster (all unattested unless noted otherwise, i.e. for Chiquiyama and Comechingon):[1]

Mason (1950)

Varieties of the Huarpe-Comechingon linguistic group cited from Canals Frau (1944) by Mason (1950):[2]


Pericot y Garcia (1936) lists Zoquillam, Tunuyam, Chiquillan, Morcoyam, Diamantino (Oyco), Mentuayn, Chom, Titiyam, Otoyam, Ultuyam, and Cucyam.[2]

Comechingón varieties:[2]


The two languages had apparently similar sound systems, and were not dissimilar from Spanish, at least from the records we have. Barros (2007) reconstructs the consonants as follows:

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p t k
Affricate ts
Fricative s ʃ h
Semivowel w j (ɰ)
Lateral l ʎ
Trill r

Allentiac had at least six vowels, written a, e, i, o, u, ù. The ù is thought to represent the central vowel [ɨ].


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for the Huarpean languages.[1]

gloss Allentiac Millcayac Henia
one lka negui
two yemen yemeni
three pultun pultuni
head yoto
tooth tuxe tex
water kaha aka
fire kʔtek ketek
sun tekta xumek
tree zaʔat eye
maize telag telam
bird zurú zuru lemin


  1. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  2. ^ a b c Mason, John Alden (1950). "The languages of South America". In Steward, Julian (ed.). Handbook of South American Indians. Vol. 6. Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 143. pp. 157–317.