Podcast | Human and social sciences

[PODCAST] Confluence of Research Worlds: Luca Ciucci and the Quest for Ancient Zamuco Across Bolivia and Paraguay

Justus Menke (Unsplash)
Justus Menke (Unsplash)

The Collegium - Lyon Institute for Advanced Studies is launching Confluence of Research Worlds, a podcast series to explore the ongoing research of the 2023-24 fellows


Listen to the talk (in French) with Luca Ciucci

Music: The Return composed by Alexander Nakarada (CC BY 4.0)
A podcast series created and produced by
Bérénice Gagne


Linguist Luca Ciucci, a researcher at James Cook University in Australia, is a fellow at the Collegium - Lyon Institute for Advanced Studies for the year 2023-24. He is conducting research on the Zamuco language family as well as other indigenous languages spoken in the northern Chaco region, situated between Bolivia and Paraguay.

These so-called "indigenous" languages, along with the communities that speak them, have been decimated by Spanish colonization and are now facing the threat of extinction, largely due to deforestation associated with the cultivation of soybeans used to feed European livestock.

I have identified a correlation between the languages spoken by these populations and their respect for the environment: in these languages, one cannot express ownership over plants and animals. In the traditional "cosmovisión", plants and animals are not considered the individual's property.


In conducting this research, Luca Ciucci collaborates with the Dynamique Du Langage (DDL) research unit.

Sources (in order of appearance):

Person speaking Chamacoco: excerpt from a story narrated by Andres Ozuna, "Ich hna wa eyohlo orraz uje Andres Ozuna tata."

Person speaking Bésɨro (or Chiquitano): the late Inacio Tomichá Chuvé, Chiquitano/Bésɨro teacher, linguistic activist, and co-organizer of the Bobikíxh conference, who passed away in September 2023 under undisclosed circumstances, like many indigenous activists.

Person speaking Guarani: Maria for Wikitongues.

Person speaking Ayoreo: a man lamenting the destruction of the forest and his living environment, advocating against the forced contact with the Ayoreo Totobiegosode group (Survival International).