Mapudungun phonology and morphology

Two of my Mapudungun native speaker consultants in the Chol-Chol area of Chile, 2012: Matilde Linco and Sergio Catricura.

In my doctoral research I investigated the synchronic perception and diachronic development of stress in Mapudungun ([ma.pu.θu.ˈŋun] – formerly ‘Araucanian’), a presumed language isolate spoken by the Mapuche ethnic people of south-central Chile and Argentina. The language’s stress-system is under-explored and, as an agglutinating, weight-sensitive language, provides an interesting view into the prosody-morphology relationship. I also believe that scholarly attention can lead to greater social acceptance of this marginalised language, promoting it as a valid means of education and participation in Chilean and Argentinian society.

I was also granted a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to work on a corpus-based historical phonology and morphology of the language. The first version of the Corpus of Historical Mapudungun (CHM) was the result of this project.

Below: Principal Mapudungun-speaking areas today (based on Adelar and Muysken, 2004: 503):

Mapudungun Map

Benjamín Molineaux
Benjamín Molineaux
Lecturer in Linguistics

I am a historical linguist, working on sounds, spellings, word structure and stress in Mapudungun and Older Scots.