photograph Luis Andrade (Catholic University of Peru): Northern Andean Spanish: an Endangered and Misunderstood Linguistic Variety

Joint Seminar of the School of Modern Languages and CRiLLS

Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building
Time/Date: 10th May 2012, 14:00 - 15:00

The variety of Spanish spoken in the Northern Peruvian Andes has been overlooked by the Andean linguistics literature, because of the overwhelming interest of Southern Spanish varieties—shaped up through a deep history of contact with Quechua and Aimara. Albeit including Quechua, the indigenous substratum of Northern Andean varieties was mainly formed by a distinct indigenous language, named Culli and Culle in colonial and postcolonial sources. Thus, some of the main linguistic features of Northern Andean Spanish do not fit straightforwardly in the current description of “Andean Spanish”. Besides this academic misconception, some of the main linguistic features found through a three-year fieldwork in the former Culli-speaking area are seen as indexes of poverty and rurality. Ongoing standardization carried out by public schools and media is, therefore, likely to threaten the possibility of this particular variety to survive and develop. This situation poses challenges for any applied linguistics project aimed at reinforcing the recognition and appreciation of this variety by its own speakers.

Mr Luis Andrade (Catholic University of Peru) is the Santander Visiting Fellow 2012. He is working on the final stages of his PhD thesis, dealing with language contact phenomena in the Spanish of the Northern Peruvian Andes.

Published: 26th April 2012