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The purpose of this grammar is to help any interested person learn to speak and understand Paya Kuna,
which is spoken by the people of Paya, Pucuru, and Capetí in the Darién province of the Republic of Panama
and in the Kuna settlements of Arquía and Kudi on the Colombian side of the border. This volume deals with
some of the most basic characteristics of Kuna pronunciation and grammar, and it provides appendices on
various topics and a fairly extensive Paya Kuna vocabulary. Many important characteristics are not discussed
in this volume, but hopefully, after mastering these first twenty lessons the student will be equipped to
continue self-directed language learning. The grammar was designed primarily for use in a classroom where
the teacher is a native speaker of Kuna, but it also lends itself to learning Kuna in the informal situation of a
Paya Kuna village. Each section is not meant to be covered in a single class period, but normally consists of a
dialogue, pronunciation notes, notes on cultural etiquette, grammar aspects and exercises, and vocabulary
items for memorization. Emphasis is put on learning by mimicking in chorus and alone until the speech
patterns become automatic, thus, using a conversational approach to learning a language. An attempt is made
throughout to not only explain and drill the forms discussed, but also to enable language students to know in
which situational contexts their use is appropriate. An effort was also made to show the inseparability of the
Kuna language from its socio-cultural context.