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2019 | 8 | 205-213

Article title

Language Contact and the Linguistic Prehistory of the Central Ande



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The Central Andes of Peru and Bolivia belong to those areas of the world whose linguistic landscape has been shaped decisively by language contact. Scholars have long recognized the intricate similarities between the Quechuan and Aymaran languages, and the consensus view is to attribute these to convergence arising from long periods of stable bilingualism in prehistory. As more recent research shows, also the languages of Northern Peru were shaped by language contact before their extinction. As a result, contact effects need to be taken into account as a general factor in studies of the linguistic history and prehistory of the Central Andes since without them crucial aspects of the lexical and grammatical structure of Central Andean languages cannot be properly understood. Thus, language contact constitutes a privileged and overarching point of access to understanding the linguistic prehistory of the region as a whole.


  • Center for Advanced Studies “Words, Bones, Genes, Tools” University of Tübingen, Germany


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Publication order reference


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