Traditionally, Mapudungun, the Mapuche language, has been considered an isolated language, not directly related to any other language in the southern cone (Lenz 1886:XXII).

For Englers (1936:80), there is a relation, although distant, between the Mapuche, the Quechua and the Aymara world.

According to standard classification, The Mapuche belong to the Araucano sub-family (Araucano family Chon), of the Andean group, Andean-equatorial branch.

Other authors, as Stark and Hams, have genetically linked the Mapuches with the Mayans.

Mary Kay sustains that the Mapuche people are kin to the tacano-panoas of Peru and Bolivia. Payne has said that there is a link to the Arawak families of the equatorial group, Andean equatorial branch.

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