Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
The aim of the proposed research is to write a grammar of Mawayana, a moribund language, probably belonging to the Arawakan language family, with at present five fluent speakers in Kwamalasamutu, a predominantly Trio (Cariban) village in the south of Suriname. Given the level of endangerment of this language, the fluency of the speakers is quite remarkable and is the result of the fact that the speakers form a close-knit active spech community, as preliminary investigations have shown. The language itself has been something of an anomaly to researchers in the area from which the Mawayana Frog people came, namely the south of Guyana in the border region with Brazil. The little that we know about the language points to an Arawakan language but almost a hundred years of living in close contact with first, the cariban language waiwai and subsequently the last half century surrounded by the Cariban Trio, has resulted in considerable influence from Cariban language.