Garifuna language

Spoken in

  • Arawakische languages Maipurisch North Maipurisch caribbean Garifuna (language)




Garifuna ( Garifuna ) is the language of the ethnic group of the Garifuna and was referred to as " Caribe " or "Black Carib "; the name Igneri is also specified for that language, but is originally only the name of arawakischen language that was involved in the development of today's Garifuna.


The Garifuna is spoken in Central America, especially in Honduras (about 98,000 speakers), but also in Guatemala (about 17,000 speakers) and in Belize (about 12,000 speakers), besides also in Nicaragua and the USA (New York City ).


The Garifuna, which belongs to the indigenous American languages ​​, consists of a dominant arawakischen component ( Igneri ) and a Caribbean component ( Kallínagu ). In addition, French, English and regional Spanish words also entered into the vocabulary of this language over time ( for ethnogenesis → Garifuna ). In particular, the number of words are almost exclusively of French origin (see below).

The vocabulary is comprised as follows:

  • 45% Arawakisch ( Igneri )
  • 25 % Caribbean ( Kallínagu )
  • 15% of French
  • 10% English
  • 5 % Spanish or English technical terms

In addition, refer to the Garifuna some words from African languages ​​.


The Garifuna, there are six vowels, AEIO ü u, where u stands for [ ɨ ].

The consonant system shows no abnormalities: b, ch, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, ñ, p, r, s, t, w, y


Personal pronouns

The Garifuna distinguishes the independent personal pronouns the Genera " masculine " and " feminine " throughout:

The pronouns au and amürü are of Caribbean origin, the rest are arawakischer origin.


The formation of the plural of nouns is irregular, by suffixation, eg:

The plural of Garifuna ( " Garifuna " ) is Garinagu ( " Garifuna ").

Possession ( Possession ) is brought by pronominal prefixes on the noun expressed:


On verb affixes are (partly also by particles ) the categories of tense, aspect, mood, negation, and the person ( subject and object ) indicates that Konjugationsparadigmen are very numerous.

Aliha ( "read" ) The conjugation of the verb in the progressive form of the present tense

The conjugation of the verb in the simple present tense Aliha

There are also a number of irregular verbs.

Number words

The number of words of the Garifuna are up on the words for "one" and "two" exclusively of French origin and based throughout on the vigesimal system, the only "80" comes to light in today's standard French:

Other parts of speech

The language uses prepositions, and conjunctions.


The word order is verb-subject - object ( VSO).

Some words of basic vocabulary