Hey, guys! So, day five of the A to Z Challenge and we’re moving onto the letter E – with the language Ese ejja.
Ese ejja (alternatively: Huarayo, Guarayo, Ese’ejja, Tiatinagua, among others) is an endangered Tacanan language spoken in Bolivia and Peru. The number of people who speak it does seem to vary; ranging anywhere from 1,090 (Lewis, 2016), 782 (Moseley, 2010), 725 (PROEL, 2013), to 1,867 (Wikipedia, 2016). However, what does seem to be agreed is that there are far more speakers, of all ages, in Bolivia.
There seems to be a fair amount of information available online about the grammar of Ese ejja (including a PhD thesis linked in the further reading section below); but there is little on the state of the language written in English. However, it would appear that, like with most other Amazonian languages, the encroachment of Spanish is the main danger to Ese ejja’s survival. On the other hand, the sheer amount of work that appears to being put into documenting the language could trigger some kind of revitalisation effort, though this is perhaps too early to tell.
Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2016. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Nineteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com.
Moseley, C., ed., 2007. Encyclopedia of the World’s Endangered Languages. Oxon: Routledge.
Moseley, C., ed., 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas.
PROEL, 2013. Promotora Española de Lingüística – Lengua Ese’eha. Madrid. Available from: http://www.proel.org/index.php?pagina=mundo/amerindia/ge_pano/takanan/eseeha. [Accessed 06 April 2016].
Wikipedia, 2016. Idioma ese eja. Available from: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idioma_ese_eja. [Accessed 06 April 2016].
A Grammar of Ese Ejja, a Takanan language of the Bolivian Amazon, PhD thesis, Marine Vuillermet (2012). (the first chapter, about the state of the language, is in French – but the grammar information is mostly in English.)
The distribution of verbal accent in Ese Ejja (Takana): Assignment, clash and resolution, Nicholas Rolle and Marine Vuillermet, (2014). (notes from a workshop/conference; mostly about Ese Ejja grammar.)
native-languages.org: Huarayo Language and the Huarayo Indian Tribe (Ese’ejja, Ese Eja, Ese Exa, Chama, Tiatinagua, Guarayo) (some word lists, some articles on the language.)
encyclopedia.com: Huarayo (1996)