The Kaingang (Brazil) Seem Linguistically Related to Oceanic Populations

Vladimir Pericliev 1
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1Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


The Southern-Ge Kaingang people, comprising the Xokleng and the Kaingang, presently reside in the states of Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Paraná, and Rio Grande do Sul in south-eastern Brazil, and speak two closely related languages, forming the Kaingang language family. No external relationship of the Kaingang people, or their language, with peoples or languages outside of Ge, or Amerind(ian) more generally, has so far been suggested. In a previous paper in this journal (Pericliev 2006), I showed that statistically significant lexical similarities exist between Xokleng and several Oceanic languages, and based on further linguistic and population genetic data, tentatively put forward the hypothesis concerning the existence of a historical relationship between the Brazilian language and Austronesian. In this paper, I will show significant kinship similarities between Xokleng and Austronesian, as well as sketch some grammatical similarities. Then, including also the Kaingang language into the comparison, more than thirty putative cognate words will be given alongside with sound correspondences between the Kaingang and the Polynesian language families seeming to corroborate the idea of a link between the Brazilian languages on the Atlantic and the Oceanic languages to a considerable extent.

Keywords: Austronesian-Kaingang relationship; Oceanic and South American contacts; language prehistory and classification; languages and migrations



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