A language of Ecuador

Alternate Names
A’i, Kofane, Kofán

640 in Ecuador (Crevels 2012), increasing. Many monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,080 (2012 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 1,020.


Napo province: near Santa Rosa de Sucumbíos, and down Aguarico river 130 km; Sucumbíos province; 5 main centers in Colombia and Ecuador border areas.

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Language Status

5 (Developing).



Language Use

Vigorous. Some Siona and Secoya have learned Cofán due to intermarriage, and their children learn Cofán. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Napo Quichua [qvo], Secoya [sey], Siona [snn]. Also use Spanish [spa], which is the language of instruction in school, except for early grades which provide bilingual education.

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 60%. Literacy rate in L2: 60%. Schools are in Spanish [spa], except for early grades which provide bilingual education. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. NT: 1980–2007.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Variously classified as Chibchan with Western Tucanoan features (Ferndon, Borman), Barbacoan (J. Mason), or - erroneously - as Jivaroan (Ruhlen 1987). Some Witotoan influences. Traditional religion, Christian.

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