Manoki, Mỹky
Native toBrazil
RegionMato Grosso
Ethnicity280 Irántxe and 80 Münkü (2012)[1]
Native speakers
90, including 10 Irántxe proper (2012)[1]
  • Mỹky, Iránxte
Language codes
ISO 639-3irn

Irántxe (Irántxe, Iranxe, Iranshe) /iˈɻɑːntʃeɪ/, also known as Mỹky (Münkü) or still as Irántxe-Münkü, is an indigenous language spoken by the Irántxe (Iránxe, Iranche, Manoki, Munku) and Mỹky (Mynky, Münkü, Munku, Menku, Kenku, Myy) peoples in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. Recent descriptions of the language analyze it as a language isolate, in that it "bears no similarity with other language families" (Arruda 2003). Monserrat (2010) is a well-reviewed grammar of the language.

Vitality and dialects

According to the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, Irántxe-Mỹky is currently not thriving. While the Mỹky dialect is considered "vulnerable", the Irántxe variety is deemed "considerably endangered", with only 10 fluent speakers out of the 356 ethnic Irántxe-Mỹky in the 2006 report. As of 2011, the 280 Irántxe have largely assimilated to Brazilian culture. Most are monolingual in Portuguese, and the remaining Irántxe speakers are over 50 years old. A splinter group, the Mỹky, however, moved to escape assimilation, and were isolated until 1971. As of 2011, there were 80 ethnic Mỹky, all of whom spoke the language.

Dialects and location:[2]

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with languages from the Arawak, Tupi, Chapakura-Wañam, Nambikwara, and Yanomami families, likely due to contact.[3]

An automated computational analysis (ASJP 4) by Müller et al. (2013)[4] also found lexical similarities between Irántxe-Mỹky and Nambikwaran.


No instrumental phonetic data pertaining to the Irántxe-Mỹky language is available. The phonological description of Inrátxe-Mỹky is based on auditory analyses by the authors cited.


Irántxe-Mỹky has a small consonant inventory. Voicing is not contrastive for any consonant. In the Monserrat analysis shown in the table, there is a series of palatalized stops /pʲ tʲ kʲ/ and nasals /mʲ nʲ/, which reviewer D’Angelis (2011) analyzes as /Cj/ sequences. In Monserrat's analysis, /ʃ/ is a separate phoneme from /sʲ/.

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p pʲ t tʲ k kʲ ʔ
Nasal m mʲ n nʲ
Fricative s ʃ h
Trill r
Approximant w j

Allophonic variation



The vowel inventory of Irántxe-Mỹky is large, with 21 phonemic vowels. Vowel length and nasalization are contrastive in the language. The role of tone is not clear.

Irántxe Vowels
Front Mid Back
Close i ĩ iː ɨ ɨ̃ ɨː u ũ uː
Mid ɛ ɛ̃ ɛː ə ə̃ əː ɔ ɔ̃ ɔː
Open a ã aː

In many words, /ə/ alternates with /ɛ/.

The maximal syllable shape may be CVC or CjVC word-medially, depending on the analysis. Word-finally, only CV ~ CʲV syllables occur.


The linguist Ruth Monserrat, along with native speaker Beth Jurusi, developed a system for spelling the Mỹky dialect.[2]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p pj t tj k kj
Nasal m mj n nj
Fricative s x h
Trill r
Approximant w (l) j


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for the Irántxe dialect,[6] later expanded in Holanda's (1960) larger vocabulary list.[7] The Mỹky words derive from the dictionary compiled by Monserrat.[2]

gloss Irántxe[6][7] Mỹky[2]
one yamachí kỹtapy
two numá numã
head pemã rem
tongue akirente jakirẽti
eye kutakecí kutakahy
nose kamínxí kjamĩhĩ
hand mimãchxi mimã
woman ekipu namy’i
man miʔá mía
old person naripú miptosohu
water manaː manã
maize kuratu kuratu
cassava mãinʔin mỹ’ĩ
fish miaxtapá miatapa
sun ileheː irehy
rain muhú muhu
day máʔá ma’a
white nakatá nakata


  1. ^ a b Irántxe at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ a b c d Monserrat, Ruth Maria Fonini and Elizabeth R. Amarante. 1995. Dicionário Mỹky-Português. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Sepeei/SR-5/UFRJ. 48 f.
  3. ^ Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.
  4. ^ Müller, André, Viveka Velupillai, Søren Wichmann, Cecil H. Brown, Eric W. Holman, Sebastian Sauppe, Pamela Brown, Harald Hammarström, Oleg Belyaev, Johann-Mattis List, Dik Bakker, Dmitri Egorov, Matthias Urban, Robert Mailhammer, Matthew S. Dryer, Evgenia Korovina, David Beck, Helen Geyer, Pattie Epps, Anthony Grant, and Pilar Valenzuela. 2013. ASJP World Language Trees of Lexical Similarity: Version 4 (October 2013).
  5. ^ Monserrat, Ruth Maria (2000). A língua do povo Mỹky. Campinas: Curt Nimendajú. pp. 186–196.
  6. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  7. ^ a b Holanda Pereira, Adalberto. 1960. Vocabulário da língua dos índios irántxe. Revista de Antropologia 12:105-115.

Further reading