The geographic area covered by this entry (henceforth Latin America LA) is the Americas excluding the United States and Canada, even though the common practice in the field is to consider the indigenous languages north of central Mexico together with the languages of North America. The indigenous languages of LA are defined here as those descended from the languages spoken by the populations that lived in the region before the arrival of the Europeans. Not all of the languages in this category are currently spoken primarily by indigenous populations in a narrow sense (e.g., Guarani in Paraguay and Corrientes [Argentina], Quichua in Santiago del Estero [Argentina], Garifuna in the Caribbean coast of Central America). Many of these languages have been influenced by European languages since ...

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