Chapter

Modelling the Quechua‐Aymara Relationship: Structural Features, Sociolinguistic Scenarios, and Possible Archaeological Evidence

PIETER MUYSKEN

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265031.003.0004

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Modelling the Quechua‐Aymara Relationship: Structural Features, Sociolinguistic Scenarios, and Possible Archaeological Evidence

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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This chapter explores various sociolinguistic scenarios of language contact which may be potentially invoked to account for the complex relationship between Quechua and Aymara. The evidence for the Quechuan and Aymaran language families having separate origins, but engaging in intensive borrowing, is stronger than that supporting common origin. One language may be assumed to have been ‘modelled’ on the other. It is argued here on linguistic grounds that it was most likely Aymara that provided the model for Quechua. The precise nature of their contact remains to be established, however. The chapter describes and evaluates eight scenarios, not necessarily mutually exclusive, that might be invoked to account for it. All are drawn from the literature on language contact studies, illustrating how results from such work can bear on deep-time historical linguistics. Finally, the chapter speculates on what might constitute archaeological evidence for these scenarios.

Keywords: language contact; Quechua; Aymara; archaeological evidence; language families; historical linguistics

Chapter.  8891 words. 

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

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