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Shiwilu (a.k.a. Jebero) is a critically endangered language from Peruvian Amazonia and one of the two members of the Kawapanan linguistic family. Most of its nearly 30 remaining fluent speakers live in and around the village of Jeberos (District of Jeberos, Province of Alto Amazonas, Loreto Region), at approximately 5° S, 75° W. The documentation of Shiwilu is scarce and no survey grammar is available. Until very recently, the only trained linguist who had worked on Shiwilu was John Bendor- Samuel, who carried out fieldwork in 1955–1956 and completed a doctoral thesis in 1958 (see Bendor-Samuel 1981 [1958]). An abridged version of the thesis, which includes an outline of the phonology, was published as Bendor-Samuel (1961). Whereas recent publications have focused on the social position of the Shiwilu language (Valenzuela 2010), morpho-syntactic aspects (Valenzuela 2011), and a formal demonstration of its family affiliation with the Shawi language (a.k.a. Chayahuita) (Valenzuela Bismarck 2011), the present article is the first account of its sound system since the work by Bendor-Samuel.


This article was originally published in Journal of the International Phonetic Association, volume 43, issue 1, in 2013. DOI: 10.1017/S0025100312000370

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Cambridge University Press



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