Quechuan languages

Infobox Language family
name = Quechua
region = Western South America, mostly Andes mountains
familycolor = American
fam1 = Quechumaran?
child1 = Quechua I
child2 = Quechua II
iso2 = que

The Quechuan languages are a family of related languages in South America.

It has approximately 46 dialects, group in at least seven languages. [citation
contribution = La familia lingûística quechua
title=América Latina en sus lenguas indígenas
place = Caracas
publisher=Monte Ávila
id=ISBN 9233019268
] [citation
title=El quechua y la historia social andina
place = Lima
publisher=Universidad Ricardo Palma, Dirección Universitaria de Investigación
id=ISBN 9786034502109
] All of them can be called varieties of Quechua; the best-known variety is the dialect of Cusco, an early variety of which was the official language of the Inca Empire.

Quechuan languages, especially that of the south, share a large amount of vocabulary with Aymara, and the languages have often been grouped together as Quechumaran. This proposal is controversial, however; the shared vocabulary may be better explained as intensive borrowing due to long-term contact.


This macrolanguage is subdivided as follows, at least according to the traditional classification (though this is increasingly challenged):

* Quechua I or "Quechua B" or "Central Quechua" or "Waywash", spoken in Peru's central highlands and coast.
** The most widely spoken varieties are Huaylas Ancash, Huaylla Wanca, Northern Conchucos Ancash, and Southern Conchucos Ancash.
* Quechua II or "Quechua A" or "Peripheral Quechua" or "Wanp'una", divided into
** Yunkay Quechua or "Quechua II A", spoken in the northern mountains of Peru; the most widely spoken dialect is Cajamarca.
** Northern Quechua or "Quechua II B", spoken in Ecuador (Kichwa), northern Peru, and Colombia
*** The most widely spoken varieties are Chimborazo Highland Quichua and Imbabura Highland Quichua.
** Southern Quechua or "Quechua II C", spoken in Bolivia, southern Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
*** The most widely spoken varieties are South Bolivian, Cuzco, Ayacucho, and Puno.

For a number of reasons, the homeland of the language family is believed to have been somewhere in Central Peru, and not, as has often been popularly assumed, the Cuzco area. The Incas only contributed to part of the expansion of Quechua (notably to Bolivia); most areas to the north of Cuzco already spoke their own forms of Quechua long before the Incas.


A sampling of words in several Quechuan dialects:


Further reading

* Halpern, et al. 2000. REVIEWS - Kar?Uk: Native Accounts of the Quechuan Mourning Ceremony. "International Journal of American Linguistics". 66, no. 2: 278.

External links

* [http://www.quechua.org.uk/Eng/Sounds/Home/HomeQuechuaAbout.htm The Origins and Diversity of Quechua]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90769 Ethnologue report for Quechuan (SIL)]

Template group
list =

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quechuan languages — Family of closely related South American Indian languages still spoken by some 12 million people in southern Colombia and Ecuador, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. Southern Peruvian Quechua, one language of the family, was a koine and… …   Universalium

  • Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift — In recent years, the spelling of place names in Peru and Bolivia has been revised among Quechua and Aymara speakers. A standardized alphabet for Quechua was adopted by the Peruvian government in 1975; a revision in 1985 moved to a three vowel… …   Wikipedia

  • American Indian languages — Languages spoken by the original inhabitants of the Americas and the West Indies and by their modern descendants. They display an extraordinary structural range, and no attempt to unite them into a small number of genetic groupings has won… …   Universalium

  • South American Indian languages — Introduction       group of languages that once covered and today still partially cover all of South America, the Antilles, and Central America to the south of a line from the Gulf of Honduras to the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Estimates of… …   Universalium

  • Quechua languages — Quechua Qhichwa Simi, Runa Simi Spoken in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina Region Central Andes Ethnicity …   Wikipedia

  • Gender-neutrality in genderless languages — is typically achieved by using gender inclusive words ( human being , person , businessperson , and so on) instead of gender specific ones ( man , he , businessman , etc.) when one speaks of people whose gender is unknown, ambiguous, or… …   Wikipedia

  • Aymaran languages — Infobox Language family name=Aymaran altname=Jaqi, Aru region=Central South America, Andes Mountains familycolor=American fam1=Quechumaran ? child1=Aymara child2=Jaqaru Kawki iso2=queAymaran (also Jaqi, Aru, Jaqui, Aimara, Haki) is one of the two …   Wikipedia

  • List of numbers in various languages — The following tables list the names and symbols for the numbers 0 through 10 in various languages and scripts of the world. Where possible, each language s native writing system is used, along with transliterations in Latin script and other… …   Wikipedia

  • Aymaran languages —       a group of South American Indian languages spoken over a fairly large region in the southern Peruvian highlands and adjacent areas of Bolivia. Some scholars classify the Aymaran group and the Quechuan group together in the Quechumaran stock …   Universalium

  • Mesoamerican Indian languages — Introduction also called  Middle American Indian languages        group of languages spoken in an area of the aboriginal New World that includes central and southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, parts of Honduras and Nicaragua, and… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.