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Guanche is an extinct language that was spoken by the Guanches of the Canary Islands until the 16th or 17th century. It is only known today through a few sentences and individual words recorded by early travellers, supplemented by several placenames, as well as some words assimilated into the Canary Islanders' Spanish. Relationships with other languages have therefore been difficult to determine with certainty; however, it is almost certainly Afro-Asiatic, and many linguists consider Guanche to likely be one of, or to be related to, the Berber languages. The name Guanche originally meant man from Tenerife, and only later did it come to refer to all native inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Although different dialects were spoken across the archipelago, they are all thought to have been varieties of the same language. Archaeological finds on the Canaries include both Libyco-Berber and Punic inscriptions in rock carvings, although early accounts stated the Guanches themselves did not possess a system of writing. The first reliable account of Guanche language was provided by Genovese explorer Nicoloso da Recco in 1341, with a list of the numbers 1–16, possibly from Fuerteventura. Recco's account reveals a base-10 counting system with strong similarities to Berber numbers. Silbo, originally a whistled form of Guanche speech used for communicating over long distances, was used on La Gomera, El Hierro, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria. As the Guanche language became extinct, a Spanish version of Silbo was adopted by some inhabitants of the Canary Islands.
Source : DBpedia

Names (more)

[an] Idioma guanche
[br] Gwantcheg
[ca] Guanxe
[de] Guanche
[en] Guanche language
[eu] Guantxera
[sh] Guanči
[hr] Guanči
[ja] グアンチェ語
[ko] 관체어
[nl] Guanche
[oc] Guanche
[pl] Język Guanczów
[ru] Гуанчские языки
[es] Lenguas guanches
[uk] Давньоканарські мови

Language type : Extinct

Language resources for Guanche

Open Languages Archives

Technical notes

This page is providing structured data for the language Guanche.
Following BCP 47 the recommended tag for this language is gnc.

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ISO 639 Codes

ISO 639-3 : gnc

Linked Data URIs

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Authority documentation for ISO 639 identifier: gnc

Freebase ISO 639-3 : gnc Country Information

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