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Children fishing in the El Toba Stream

The Mocoví language (moqoit la’qaatqa) belongs to the Guaycuruan linguistic family, which also includes the Toba, Pilaga, and Kadiweu languages. In addition, the now extinct languages Abipon, and possibly Mbaya-Payagua and Guachi have been attributed to this family (cf. Loukotka 1968, Tovar y Tovar 1984, Greenberg 1987).

The socio-linguistic situation among the Mocoví is far from homogenous. In general terms, we can determine two large areas: the southern part of the province of the Chaco, with a greater linguistic and cultural preservation; and the province of Santa Fe, where the Mocoví people have experienced a serious process of language loss since the 1950s. In Santa Fe, our research area, there was a rupture in language transmission to children and currently only some adults and the elderly, especially the women, still use their native language.

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