Infobox Language family
name = Quechua
region = Western
South America, mostly Andes mountains
familycolor = American
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
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.
macrolanguageis subdivided as follows, at least according to the traditional classification (though this is increasingly challenged):
Quechua Ior "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 IIor "Quechua A" or "Peripheral Quechua" or "Wanp'una", divided into
Yunkay Quechuaor "Quechua II A", spoken in the northern mountains of Peru; the most widely spoken dialect is Cajamarca.
Northern Quechuaor "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 Quechuaor "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:
* Halpern, et al. 2000. REVIEWS - Kar?Uk: Native Accounts of the Quechuan Mourning Ceremony. "International Journal of American Linguistics". 66, no. 2: 278.
* [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)]
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