Languages

Mapudungun

Fact corner

Introduction

Mapudungun is a language isolate spoken in central Chile and west central Argentina by the Mapuche people.

The Mapuche are partly bilingual in Spanish.

The verb

Verbs can be finite or non-finite (non-finite endings: -n, -el, -etew, -lu, -am, etc.), are intransitive or transitive,

Verbs are conjugated according to

  • person (first, second and third),
  • number (singular, dual and plural),
  • voice (active, agentless passive and reflexive-reciprocal, plus two applicatives) and
  • mood (indicative, imperative and subjunctive).

In the indicative, the present (zero) and future (-(y)a) tenses are distinguished. There are a number of aspects: the progressive, resultative and habitual are well established; some forms that seem to mark some subtype of perfect are also found. Other verb morphology includes an evidential marker (reportative-mirative), directionals (cislocative, translocative, andative and ambulative, plus an interruptive and continuous action marker) and modal markers (sudden action, faked action, immediate action, etc.). There is productive noun incorporation, and the case can be made for root compounding morphology.

Sample verb: pe

pe, 'to see'

Present

Singular inche  pen 
eymi  peimi 
fey  pei 
Dual inchiw  peiyu 
eymu  peimu 
feyengu  peengu 
Plural iñchiñ  peiiñ 
eymün  peimün 
feyengün  peengün 

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