5455 - Puzzling Traces of Language Contacts along the Eastern Slopes of the Peruvian Andes

The languages spoken along the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peru belong to at least four language families. At the same time, they exhibit many puzzling points of similarity--possible traces of prolonged contact among speakers of these different languages. Evidence of contact with speakers of neighboring highland varieties of Quechua is also abundant. Some of the puzzling facts are: (1) shared lexical items not of Quechua origin; (2) phonological patterns shared by Yanesha' with languages of three other families in the area and/or Quechua; and (3) some Arawakan grammatical morphemes shared by non-Arawakan languages. Since many of the puzzling traces of language contact involve Yanesha' (also called Amuesha), this paper could be sub-titled "A Case Study of Yanesha' and Its Role in the Arawakan Expansion."

Keywords: phonology, lexicon, language contact

Author: Wise, Mary Ruth (SIL International, Ud States of Am / USA)


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