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'Why do they steal our phonemes?' Inventing the survival of the Cañari language (Ecuador)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rosaleen Howard


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The chapter explores the historical and contemporary ideological effects of language contact in the highlands of Ecuador, where the pre-Columbian language (Canari) was overlain by Quechua in the pre-Conquest period, and Quechua was overtaken by Spanish from the 16th century onwards. These layers of linguistic and cultural history are still in evidence in the way that both Quechua and Spanish are spoken in this part of the Andes, and the idea that Canari 'survives' in some form has become an important component of indigenous political discourse in the postcolonial period. The topic is highly relevant in the context of current concerns about language endangerment worldwide.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Howard R

Editor(s): Carlin, E.B., van de Kerke, S.

Series Editor(s): Beck, D., Crevels, M., van der Voort, H., Zavala, R.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Linguistics and Archaeology in the Americas: The Historization of Language and Society

Year: 2010

Volume: 2

Pages: 123-145

Series Title: Brill's Studies in the Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Publisher: Brill

Place Published: Leiden and Boston


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789004173620