The Mapuche language isolate unrelated to any other language . This language is also known as Mapudungun or Araucanian , (Araucano in Spanish), though the latter term is no longer used. The native name for the language, Mapudungun, comes from mapu (earth , land) and dungun (speak, speech) ,
the word ’che’ means ’people’. ’earth people’.
Some linguistics think that the Mapuche language is connected to the Penutian languages in North America . Others think it is connected to the group of the Andes languages .
Others according together it is connected to the Mayan languages in North America and Uru-Chipayan and the Mochica languages .
The Mapuche language It contains some loanwords from Quechua and Spanish .
Louisa Stark 1970 : Mapuche-Mayan
Hamp 1971 : Mapuche-Mayan
Croese 1983 : Mayan-Araucanian
According to some DNS researches Mapuche people came from Polynesia .
Research has found many similarities between Mapuche and Polynesian cultures , including pre-columbine chickens that have been determined to have come from Polynesia by analyzing their DNA . One of the earliest human occupation sites of the Americas , Monte Verde , lies within what was later to become Mapuche territory , although there is currently no proved relation between Monte Verde people and Mapuche .
The Mapuches according to the hypothesis originally they lived the Peruvian coast
and when they left their homes in the north they driven out of the peoples who lived there in Chile ..
The Mapuche people resisted the aggression of the Inca Empire .
They had been being fight against the conquistadors for 300 years and successfully fought against the Chilean state .
Spanish called them Araucanos. The meaning of the Arauco Kechua word is ’rebel’. In the 17th and the 18th centuries they migrated to the Andes and the Pampas. Smaller groups of them reached Buenos Aires . They were dangerous for the Spanish settlers because they were unbeatable warriors .
Today the Mapuche group lives in Central Chile and the southwest part of Argentina .They live in small groups . Their culture is hunting , collecting . Thye knew gardening as well They used burnt agriculture. (They grew beans, corns , potatoes and pumpkin . ) There was an Araucanian culture as well according to archaeological evidence .
It was from BC 500 at the place of Chile. The population of it in the 16th century was about 1 million people .
Mapuche is spoken by between about 700.000 people in parts of western Argentina and southern Chile . Total population 900.000 inhabitants .
The classifiaction of the Mapuche languages:
MAPUCHE (MAPUNDUNGUN) LANGUAGE
+1. Picunche Chile
2. Mapuche Chile-Argentina
a. Mapuche Chile
b. Pehuenche Argentina
B. SOUTHERN SUB-GROUP
4. Williche Chile
5. Manzanero ( Moluche , Ngoluche ) Argentina
6. Chilote ( Wiliche ) Chile
+7. Chiquiyami ( Cunco ) Argentina
8. Leuvuche ? Argentina
The Mapuche is a highly agglutinative language . It makes use of affixation , compounding and reduplication . Nouns in Mapudungun are grouped in two classes , animate and inanimate.
The personal pronouns distinguish three persons and three numbers .Possessive pronouns are related to the personal forms . As to syntax Mapuche is an SVO language , the word order of Mapudungun is flexible .
The first grammar of Mapuche, Arte y Gramatica General de la Lengva que Corre en Todo el Reyno de Chile, was published in 1606 by Luis de Valdivia, a Jesuit priest. A grammar and dictionary was published in 1765 by Andrés Febrés .
Online Mapuche dictionaries :