Language name and location: Kwazá, Rondônia state, Brazil [Refer to Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区夸扎语, 巴西西北部朗多尼亚州亚马逊森林区


1. tei'hɨ̃

2. akɨˈhɨ̃

3. eˈmã    (litː ' one more / again')

4. eleˈle   (litː ' one more after ')

5. βwakoˈje (litː ' end of hand')

6. βwakoˈje eˈmã  (litː ' fell outside') *

7. βwakoˈje eˈmã eleˈle

8. akɨˈhɨ̃ eleˈle  (litː ' two times four') ?

9. eleleˈtse

10. βwakoˈje βwakoˈje 

11. βwakoˈje βwakoˈje ˈteihɨ̃ daijeki

13. βwakoˈjetja emãko'jetse *

15. aˈkikoje eˈmã

20. aˈkikoje eˈmã eleˈle(βwaki)


Linguist providing data and dateː Dr. Hein van der Voort, University of Amsterdam / University of Leiden, Netherlands, December 3, 1996, August 3, 2008.

供资料的语言学 家: Dr. Hein van der Voort, 1996 年 12 月 3 日, 2008 年 8 月 3 日


Other comments: Kwazá or Koaia ́is an unclassified, undocumented, endangered indigenous language of Rondônia state in northwest Brazil. Kwazá is a moribund language with about 25 speakers left in 40 ethnic population. The Kwazá numeral system is quinary and partially based on finger counting. The only true numeral roots are 1 and 2. The numerals 3 and 4 are adverbs, whereas 5 is a verb-noun compound meaning 'end of hand'. For numerals above 10 often Portuguese forms are used now. Some people say that in Kwazá you only count until seven. There seem to be only two original lexemes involved in the cardinal numeral system; the word relating to numbers one and two. There are no names for the fingers of the hand, and no-one could confirm any relation between the numerals and the possible obsolete finger names. Counting itself is more complicated and is accompanied by specified symbolic gesture of the fingers. When counting 'one', one holds the little finger of one hand in the other hand (either right of left), holding the counted hand in a vertical position with it's back turned away from the speaker. And 'two' is counted keeping the little and the ring fingers between the fingers of the other hand, and so on until the index finger is included at 'four'. At 'five' one grab the pulse or the hand itself. Counting 'six' the system changes and one of the hands is spread vertically, with the back turned towards the speaker, while the other hand is fist in the same position with only the thumb turned up into the air. One of the alternatives for 'six' ' akɨˈhɨ̃ akɨˈhɨ̃ akɨˈhɨ̃ 'means something like 'two, two, two', and the gesture accompanying this is the thumbs of the hands ( which are in vertical position with their backs turned towards the speaker). Higher numbers can be expressed through a coordinating construction using the morpheme -tja. It seems as if there are different possibilities to express these numbers. Note on phonetic symbolsː [j] is palatal approximant, [ β] an implosive labial stop.

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