Yao (Jaoi, Yaoi, Yaio, Anacaioury) is an extinct Cariban language of Trinidad and French Guiana, attested in a single 1640 word list recorded by Joannes de Laet. It is thought that the Yao people migrated from the Orinoco to the islands perhaps a century earlier, after the Kaliña.[2] The name 'Anacaioury' is that of a number of chiefs encountered over a century or so.

Yao is too poorly attested to classify within Cariban with any confidence, though Terrence Kaufman links it to the extinct Tiverikoto.[3] A few of the attested words are:

nonna or noene 'moon', weyo 'sun', capou 'céu', chirika 'star', pepeïte 'wind', kenape 'rain', soye 'earth', parona 'sea', ouapoto 'fire', aroua 'jaguar', pero 'dog' (from Spanish)[citation needed]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yebarana". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Tassinari (2003) No Bom da Festa, p 122–125
  3. ^ Kaufman, Terrence (1994). Moseley, Christopher; Asher, R.E., eds. Atlas of the World's Languages. New York: Routledge. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0-415-01925-7.