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Puelche language

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Title: Puelche language  
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Subject: Macro-Andean languages, Puelche people, Teushen language, Desert Campaign (1833–34), Indigenous languages of the Americas
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Puelche language

Gününa Küne (Gennaken)
Native to Argentina
Extinct 1934[1]
Chonan ?
  • Puelche–Het ?
    • Puelche
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pue
Glottolog puel1244[2]

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 badly described.[4]



External links

  • Gününa Küne language dictionary online from IDS (select simple or advanced browsing)
  • PuelcheWALS:


  1. ^ Puelche at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Puelche". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Campbell, Lyle. (in preparation) "The classification of South American languages. In Campbell & Grondona (eds.), South America. Mouton de Gruyter.
  4. ^ a b c  
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