As can be seen on Map 2, quite a few languages have some form of incorporation, and languages without incorporation occur at the fringes in the south-west and south-east, and in the northeast (mostly Tupian languages).
Although object incorporation is a feature of some of the Tupian branches like Tupi-Guarani languages (Jensen 1999: 159), but also sister branches Mawe, Aweti and the more distantly related Munduruku, it is not found in the other branches, in particular in none of the 'western' branches (Rodrigues & Cabrai 2012: 539), suggesting an innovation or loss at some point in history after the initial splits of the Tupian family worth investigating in more detail (unfortunately this falls outside the scope of this paper).
The languages with lower morphological values include 3 of the 4 Tupian languages.
Whiffen (Whiffen, 1915) and since the first ethnohistoric sources which go up to the seventeenth century, there existed only "Miranas." This term is built in lingua geral--a Tupian
based lingua franca--in a similar mode to that of "piranha," which means "toothed-fish," but with mira, "people", in place of pira "fish".
of Hawaii) and Grondona (Eastern Michigan U.) have brought together 11 contributions pertaining to the history, classification, and endangerment of the indigenous languages of South America as well as typological characteristics, phonetics and phonology, and some specifics of Chibchan languages, the Cariban family, Tupian
, Quechuan and Aymaran, and languages of the Chaco and southern cone.
nasua to be referred to as coati mundi, or solitary coati in the Brazilian vernacular (Gompper, 1995; Gompper and Decker, 1998), the common name "coati" is the Tupian
Indian origin (cua = belt, tim = nose), referring to the coati's sleeping position with the nose tucked on the belly (Lias, 1987; Kauffmann, 1962 apud Gompper and Decker, 1998).
98-9, also quoted in Yu Qizhao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], Sun Zhongshan wenshi tupian
kaoshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (Guangzhou: Guangdongsheng Ditu Chubanshe, 1999), p.
The full story is of course complicated by the mediation of some words through Spanish, Portuguese, and French; a subject which is touched on here in the chapter 'First Words from the New World', which deals with the earliest borrowings from the West Indies (such as 'canoe' and 'cannibal') and South America, with sections detailing loanwords from the Arawakan, Cariban, Nahuatl, Tupian
, and Quechuan languages.
Person markers indicating SwAt are also found further east (Tupian).
A second type of SwAt marking which is common in South America, especially in Tupian and Jivaroan languages, marks continue/shift attention by means of special forms of pronominal affixes.
Dooley (1992), discussing the switch-reference system of Mbya Guarani (Tupian, Tupi-Guarani) spoken in southern Brazil, mentions that a subject pivot explains about 98% of the occurrences of the same subject or different subject marker.