The map shows the great diversity of individual languages in the Amazon and Orinoco Basins. Major language families, grouped by colors, include Arawakan (green), Carib (purple), and Tupi-Guarani (blue). Arawakan was the largest single family, including the Taino in the Greater Antilles, representing Neo-Indian migrations after AD 200. Arawakan (green) includes 74 languages, divided into Aruan, Guahiban, Harakmbet, and Maipuran branches. Later migrants to the Antilles were the Caribs, whose languages (purple) are divided into two branches, 21 Northern and 8 Southern.
[Fig.1: Language map of Amazonia (Athena Review, after Mason 1950, and SIL Ethnologue 1996).].
Some 70 Tupi-Guaraní languages (blue) are grouped into nine branches centered in southern Amazonia, one dialect serving as a trading lingua franca during the Colonial and recent periods in Amazonia. A total of 34 language families and over a dozen isolated stocks combining about 1000 individual languages have been identified in South America.
[For more details on South American language families, press here.]
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