On the Etymology of the Ethnonym Katukina

Fernando Carvalho


The present paper proposes an etymology for the troublesome ethnonym <katukina>, used, for over a century, to designate a series of western Amazonian indigenous groups. I propose that the term originates in a Purus Arawakan denominal monovalent predicate (“adjective”) *ka-tukanɨ, meaning “speaker of an indigenous language”. This etymology is explicitly argued to be superior to existing alternatives on formal, semantic and distributional grounds. The typical and distinguishing properties of different kinds of ethnonyms (exonyms and autonyms) are also discussed, as these are of critical importance in establishing the implausible nature of other, competing etymologies for this term.


Línguas Aruaques, Etimologia, Etnônimos

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18468/rbli.2019v2n1.p05-16

Direitos autorais 2020 Revista Brasileira de Línguas Indígenas

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