|Linguistic classification||One of the world's primary language families|
Pre-contact distribution of the Jirajaran languages
The Jirajaran languages are group of extinct languages once spoken in western Venezuela in the regions of Falcón and Lara. All of the Jirajaran languages appear to have become extinct in the early 20th century.
Based on adequate documentation, three languages are definitively classified as belonging to the Jirajaran family:
Loukotka includes four additional languages, for which no linguistic documentation exists:
Mason (1950) lists:
The Jirajaran languages are generally regarded as isolates. Adelaar and Muysken note certain lexical similarities with the Timotean languages and typological similarity to the Chibchan languages, but state that the data is too limited to make a definitive classification. Jahn, among others, has suggested a relation between the Jirajaran language and the Betoi languages, mostly on the basis of similar ethnonyms. Greenberg and Ruhlen classify Jirajaran as belonging to the Paezan language family, along with the Betoi languages, the Páez language, the Barbacoan languages and others.
Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Sape, Timote-Kuika, and Puinave-Kak language families due to contact.
Based on the little documentation that exists, a number of typological characteristics are reconstructable:
Jahn (1927) lists the following basic vocabulary items.
Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items.
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