Guaraní language

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Guaraní, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guaraní (English pronunciation: /ɡwɑrəˈniː/; endonym avañe'ẽ [aʋãɲẽˈʔẽ] 'Ava language'), is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupí-Guaraní subfamily of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay (along with Spanish), where it is spoken by 88% of the population, with half of the rural population monolingual.[2] It is spoken by communities in neighbouring countries, including parts of northern Argentina and southwestern Brazil, and is a second official language of the Argentine province of Corrientes.[3]

Guaraní is the only indigenous language of the Americas whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people. This is an anomaly in the Americas where language shift towards European colonial languages (in this case, the other official language of Spanish) has otherwise been a nearly universal cultural and identity marker of mestizos (people of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry), and also of culturally assimilated, upwardly-mobile Amerindian people.

Jesuit priest Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, who wrote a book called Tesoro de la lengua guaraní ("The Treasure of the Guaraní Language"), described Guaraní as a language "so copious and elegant that it can compete with the most famous [of languages]."

The name "Guarani" is generally used for the official language of Paraguay. However, this is part of a dialect chain, most of whose components are also often called Guaraní. See Guaraní dialects.


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