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Warao appears to be a language isolate, unrelated to any recorded language in the region or elsewhere. Terrence Kaufman (1994) included it in his hypothetical Macro-Paezan family, but the necessary supporting work was never done. Julian Granberry connected many of the grammatical forms, including nominal and verbal suffixes, of Warao to the Timucua language of North Florida, also a language isolate. However, he has also derived Timucua morphemes from Muskogean, Chibchan, Paezan, Arawakan, and other Amazonian languages, suggesting multi-language creolization as a possible explanation for these similarities. This notion has met with skepticism and been described by Lyle Campbell as "in no way convincing".
Granberry also finds "Waroid" vocabulary items in Guajiro (from toponymic evidence it seems that the Warao or a related people once occupied Goajiro country) and in Taino (nuçay/nozay [nosái] "gold" in Ciboney -- cf. Warao naséi símo "gold" (lit. "yellow pebble") -- and duho "ceremonial stool" in Classic Taino -- cf. Warao duhu "sit, stool"). Granberry & Vescelius (2004) note that toponymic evidence suggests that the pre-Taino Macorix language of Hispaniola and the Guanahatabey language of Cuba may have been Waroid languages as well.
^Campbell, Lyle (2012). "Classification of the indigenous languages of South America". In Grondona, Verónica; Campbell, Lyle (eds.). The Indigenous Languages of South America. The World of Linguistics. 2. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 59-166. ISBN9783110255133.
^Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN0-19-509427-1.
^Julian Granberry, A Grammar and Dictionary of the Timucua Language, pp. 15-32