Mapudungun is not a map to a dungeon

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/31 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

I am wracking my brains over here in SIAO Plaza.

It was easy enough to come up with interesting titles talking about LIPs for اردو, Inuktitut, മലയാളം, Qhichwa Simi, فارسی, isiZulu, ಕನ್ನಡ, नेपाली, Afrikaans, कोंकणी, Setswana, বাংলা, తెలుగుਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Lëtzebuergisch, татарча, and Nynorsk.

But then Soren had to go and send mail out talking about the Mapudungun Language Interface Pack for Windows XP and how it was now available.

I can't think of either anything that rhymes or upon which I can build a clever pun. I guess I'll have to go with "Mapudungun is not a map to a dungeon" and call it a day. I have had worse, as my regular readers will likely attest.

A bit about Mapudungun:

Number of speakers:  ~350,000

Name in the language itself:  Mapudungun

Mapudungun is an Amerind language spoken by about 250,000 people in the central valley of Chile and another 100,000 in the Argentinean region of Patagonia. It has no official status and lacks protection and promotion from official side so far - but the support of the Chilean government for a Mapudungun LIP can be considered a first substantial step.

Mapudungun features an interesting grammar in which animate nouns are distinguished from inanimate ones, there is not only singular and plural but also a dual (so there is, for example, I, the two of us and we) and an extremely rich scheme of verb conjugation. The last allows to express very dense information with only a few words, like in piñmalkan (from pin = to say) which means to criticize someone who is, along with others, present, but without confronting him/her directly.

Mapudungun is also know as Mapudungu, Mapuche, Araucano, Araukano or Araucanian. Despite the fact that the ISO-639-2 code for the language is "arn", the name Araucanian and its related forms are nowadays avoided by most linguists and native speakers.

Interesting facts:

  • The name Mapudungun is derived from mapu (earth) and dungun (to speak), so literally meaning language of the earth.
  • The study of Mapudungun was the domain of Jesuits for a long time, from Luis de Valdivia's grammar (1606) to Bernard Havestadt's 3-volume study (1776).
  • Via Spanish the Mapudungun word cauchu (nomad, traveller) has come to English - as gaucho.
  • Mapudungun is the second Windows XP LIP for South America and the fifth one based on Spanish as a base language (the others being Basque, Catalan, Galician and Quechua)

Classification: Despite attempts by scholars to establish relationships with other Amerind languages, Mapudungun has to be considered an isolate, meaning that it has no known relatives.

Script: The Latin alphabet is used, extended by ñ and ü..



This post brought to you by M (U+004d, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER M)

# Michael Entin on 23 Nov 2006 7:03 PM:

No good deed goes unpunished

referenced by

2015/04/27 On not offending or culturally appropriating

2007/06/15 The last XP LIP? We'll head it off at the Pas[hto]

2007/06/02 Azeri zeriouz LIP releaze

2007/03/03 And it won't cost you an arm[enia] or a leg, either!

2006/12/01 Curious Georg[ian] gets a LIP

2006/11/24 No comment, other than

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