|Native to||Paraguay, Bolivia|
|Region||Chaco, Alto Paraguay departments (Paraguay); Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia)|
Ayoreo is a Zamucoan language spoken in both Paraguay and Bolivia. It is also known as Morotoco, Moro, Ayoweo, Ayoré, and Pyeta Yovai. However, the name "Ayoreo" is more common in Bolivia, and "Morotoco" in Paraguay. It is spoken by Ayoreo, an indigenous ethnic group traditionally living on a combined hunter-gatherer and farming lifestyle.
Ayoreo is spoken in both Paraguay and Bolivia, with 3,100 speakers total, 1700 of those in Paraguay and 1,400 in Bolivia. Within Paraguay, Ayoreo is spoken in the Chaco Department and the northern parts of the Alto Paraguay Department. In Bolivia, it is spoken in the Gran Chaco Province, in the Santa Cruz Department.
Bertinetto (2009) reports that Ayoreo has the 5 vowels /a, e, i, o, u/, which appear both as oral and nasal.
The prototypical constituent order is subject-verb-object, as seen in the following examples (Bertinetto 2009:45-46):
|‘Sérgio showed the jaguar’s skin to Ramon’.|
|‘And they carried Víctor to Señora Emília’s house’.|
Ayoreo is a fusional language.
Verbs agree with their subjects, but there is no tense-inflection. Consider the following paradigm, which has prefixes marking person and suffixes marking number (Bertinetto 2009:29):
|ch-aca||he, she, they plant|
|uac-aca-y||you (pl) plant|
When the verb root contains a nasal, there are nasalized variants of the agreement affixes:
|ch-ojne||he, she, they spread|
|uac-ojne-ño||you (pl) spread|
Ayoreo is a mood-prominent language. Nouns can be divided into possessable and non-possessable; possessor agreement is expressed through a prefixation. The syntax of Ayoreo is characterized by the presence of para-hypotactical structures.