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Pemon language


Pemon language

Ingarikó, Kapon
Native to Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana
Ethnicity Pemon
Native speakers
unknown (6,200 cited 1990–2006)[1]
  • Venezuelan Carib
    • Pemóng–Panare
      • Pemóng
        • Pemon
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aoc
Glottolog pemo1248[2]

The Pemon language, or Arekuna, is a Native American language of the Cariban family spoken by some 30,000 Pemon people, in Venezuela's Southeast, particularly in the Canaima National Park, in the Roraima State of Brazil and in Guyana.

It is one of several closely related languages called Ingarikó and Kapong.

Camaracoto may be a distinct language.


  • Typology 1
  • Writing 2
  • Phonology 3
    • Vowels 3.1
    • Consonants 3.2
  • Grammar 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • Literature 7


The Pemon language's syntax type is SOV with alternation to OVS.[3]


Pemon was an oral language until the 20th century. Then efforts were made to produce dictionaries and grammars, primarily by Catholic missionaries, specially Armellada and Gutiérrez Salazar. The Latin alphabet has been used, adding diacritic signs to represent some phonemes not existing in Spanish.[4]



Pemon has the following vowels:

  Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Open-mid e ɵ o
Open   a  

There are still texts only using Spanish characters, without distinctive characters for /o/ or /ɵ/.


b, ch, d, k, m, n, ñ, p, r, s, t, v, w, y


Pronouns in Pemon are:

Pemon English
yuré I, me
amäre you (singular)
muere, mesere he, she
urekon we
ina we (exclusive)
amärenokon you (plural)
ichamonan they, them


  1. ^ Pemon at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pemon". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ La Transitividad en Japrería.
  4. ^ Guide for Pemon (Spanish)

External links

  • Introducción al pemón (Spanish)
  • Pemon for travellers
  • General information about the Pemon language


  • Gutiérrez Salazar, Msr Mariano: Gramática Didáctica de la Lengua Pemón. Caracas 2001. ISBN 980-244-282-8.
  • De Armellada, Fray Cesáreo y Olza, Jesús,s.j.: Gramática de la lengua pemón (morfosintaxis) (1999) Caracas, Publicaciones Ucab, Vicariato Apostólico del Caroní y Universidad Católica del Táchira. 289 pages.
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