Proto-Quechua and Proto-Aymara agropastoral terms: Reconstruction and contact patterns

Nicholas Q. Emlen, Willem F. H. Adelaar

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This chapter presents reconstructed Proto-Quechua and Proto-Aymara lexical items related to cultivation and herding, and draws conclusions about language and subsistence in the ancient Andes. The patterns of lexical borrowing between the two lineages offer a novel empirical perspective on how early Quechuan and Aymaran speakers lived. When the many layers of borrowing are stripped away, it is clear that both were engaged in agropastoral economies before the languages first came into contact. Furthermore, the presence of terms from a wide range of ecological zones, from the high grasslands to (in the case of Quechua) the tropical lowlands, suggests that both languages cross-cut elevations in a manner consistent with the typically Andean system of ecological complementarity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Dispersal Beyond Farming
EditorsMartine Robbeets, Alexander Savelyev
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishers
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9789027212559
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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