Shipibo language

Not to be confused with Juruá Kapanawa language.
Native to Peru
Region Ucayali Region
Ethnicity Shipibo-Conibo people
Native speakers
26,000 (2003)[1]
  • Mainline Panoan

    • Nawa
      • Chama
        • Shipibo-Conibo
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
shp  Shipibo-Conibo
kaq  Tapiche Capanahua
Glottolog ship1253[2]

Shipibo (also Shipibo-Conibo, Shipibo-Konibo) is a Panoan language spoken in Peru and Brazil by approximately 26,000 speakers. Shipibo is an official language of Peru.


A Shipibo jar

Shipibo has three attested dialects:

Extinct Xipináwa (Shipinawa) is thought to have been a dialect as well, but there is no linguistic data (Fleck 2013).



Monophthong phonemes[3]
Front Central Back
Close i ĩ ɯ ɯ̃
Mid o õ
Open a ã




Consonant phonemes[5]
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t k
Affricate voiceless ts
Fricative voiceless s ʂ ʃ h
voiced β
Approximant w ɻ j


  1. Shipibo-Conibo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Tapiche Capanahua at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Shipibo-Konibo–Kapanawa". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001), p. 282.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001), p. 283.
  5. 1 2 3 Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001), p. 281.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shipibo-Conibo.


  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Elias-Ulloa, Jose (2000). El Acento en Shipibo (Stress in Shipibo). Thesis. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima - Peru.
  • Elias-Ulloa, Jose (2005). Theoretical Aspects of Panoan Metrical Phonology: Disyllabic Footing and Contextual Syllable Weight. Ph. D. Dissertation. Rutgers University. ROA 804 .
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1990). Language history in South America: What we know and how to know more. In D. L. Payne (Ed.), Amazonian linguistics: Studies in lowland South American languages (pp. 13–67). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70414-3.
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1994). The native languages of South America. In C. Mosley & R. E. Asher (Eds.), Atlas of the world's languages (pp. 46–76). London: Routledge.
  • Loriot, James and Barbara E. Hollenbach. 1970. "Shipibo paragraph structure." Foundations of Language 6: 43-66. (This was the seminal Discourse Analysis paper taught at SIL in 1956-7.)
  • Loriot, James, Erwin Lauriault, and Dwight Day, compilers. 1993. Diccionario shipibo - castellano. Serie Lingüística Peruana, 31. Lima: Ministerio de Educación and Instituto Lingüístico de Verano. 554 p. (Spanish zip-file available online This has a complete grammar published in English by SIL only available through SIL.
  • Valenzuela, Pilar M.; Márquez Pinedo, Luis; Maddieson, Ian (2001), "Shipibo", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 31 (2): 281–285, doi:10.1017/S0025100301002109 
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