Introduction: Archaeology, Linguistics, and the Andean Past: A Much-Needed Conversation


in Archaeology and Language in the Andes

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265031
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754142 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Introduction: Archaeology, Linguistics, and the Andean Past: A Much-Needed Conversation

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This volume is a collection which includes the text of papers presented at the September 2008 Cambridge Symposium on Archaeology and Linguistics in the Andes. The Cambridge symposium sought to bring together the disciplines of linguistics and archaeology, in order to dispel a number of popular myths about the language history of the Andes. This introductory chapter first sets out the structure of the book and introduces its component chapters. Thereafter it clarifies briefly a number of principles from historical linguistics that are indispensable to an understanding of how language data can inform us about prehistory at all, as a general methodological background to the chapters that follow. Next, it reviews the traditional model for associating the linguistic and archaeological records in the Andes, and the problems that attend it. Finally, it looks at one particular cross-disciplinary proposal that has commanded much attention worldwide, but precious little hitherto in the Andes: the ‘farming/language dispersal’ hypothesis.

Keywords: Andes; language history; historical linguistics; language data; prehistory

Chapter.  16272 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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