Puelche language

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Gününa Küne
Native toArgentina
with the death of Trruúlmani
Chonan ?
  • Puelche–Het ?
    • Puelche
Language codes
ISO 639-3pue
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Puelche is an extinct language formerly spoken by the Puelche people in the Pampas region of Argentina. The language is also known as Gününa Küne, Gennaken (Guenaken), Northern Tehuelche, Gününa Yajich, Ranquelche, and Pampa.


Puelche has long been considered a language isolate. Based on very limited evidence, Viegas Barros (1992) suggests that Puelche might be closely related to the language of the Querandí, one of the Het peoples, and Viegas Barros (2005) that it is related to the Chon languages.[3] Further afield, inclusion in a putative Macro-Jibaro family has been posited.



Puelche has 7 vowels:[4]

Front Back
Unrounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i u
Close-mid e ɤ o
Open-mid ʌ
Open a


Puelche has 25 consonants:[4]

Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive Voiceless p t k q ʔ
Voiced b d ɡ
Affricate Voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ
Ejective t͡sʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative Central s ʃ x h
Lateral ɬ
Approximant l j w

Puelche has an additional phoneme /r/, but its phonetic properties are poorly described.[4]


Casamiquela, Rodolfo M. (1983). Nociones de gramática del gününa küne. Paris: French National Centre for Scientific Research.
Adelaar, Willem (2004). The Languages of the Andes. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-36275-7.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Puelche at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Puelche". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Campbell, Lyle. (in preparation) "The classification of South American languages. In Campbell & Grondona (eds.), South America. Mouton de Gruyter.
  4. ^ a b c Clairis, Christos (1997). "Lingüística Fueguina 1997". Onomázein. 2: 421–450.