chapter  10
Language Isolates in South America
ByFrank Seifart, Harald Hammarström
Pages 27

South America is the continent with the highest proportion of language isolates: as much as 60" of the lineages are isolates and more than 10" of South American languages are isolates, compared to an average of less than 2.5" on other continents. If isolates are the result of purely historical processes of language expansions and language extinction, there is little reason to suspect that language isolates should be structurally different from non-isolates. In the vicinity of Arutani, Sapé has even fewer, if any speakers left. Puinave is spoken by a relatively large community on the Colombian side of the Orinoco River. Pumé, also called Yaruro or Yuapín, is a relatively vital language spoken in Western Venezuela. Warao is one of the largest languages of Venezuela with about 28,000 speakers along the Caribbean coast. Yuwana is more commonly known as Hodï, sometimes also as Waruwaru, or Chikano.