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Arawakan languages
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Arawakan languages

The Arawakan languages are an indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean.

The Arawakan languages are spoken over a large swath of territory, from the eastern slopes of the central Andes Mountains in Peru and Bolivia, across the Amazon basin of Brazil, to Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, and Colombia on the northern coast of South America.

Taíno, commonly called Arawak, was spoken on the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. All Taíno speakers are now thought to be bilingual in English or Spanish.

The Carib, after whom the Caribbean was named, formerly lived throughout the Lesser Antilles. The Carib language is now extinct, although Caribs still live on Dominica. Garífuna, which is thought to have about 190,000 speakers, is spoken on the north coast of Honduras, by the descendants of Caribs brought from Saint Vincent in 1796.