Language contact in the Andes: Quechua and Spanish intonation and morphology

Date / Time

April 2, 2021

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


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Antje Muntendam (Florida State)

Previous research on language contact in the Andes has shown cross-linguistic influence in different domains in Quechua and Spanish. For instance, Spanish has influenced the Quechua lexicon, morphology and (lexical) phonology (matter in Matras & Sakel’s (2007) terminology), and Quechua has influenced the conceptual organization (semantics and pragmatics) of Spanish (pattern in Matras & Sakel’s (2007) terminology) (Muysken & Muntendam, in press). However, there has been relatively little research on the intonation of bilingual Quechua and Spanish (with some exceptions, e.g., O’Rourke, 2005), and the direction of cross-linguistic influence regarding intonation is less clear. In this talk, I will discuss several studies on the intonation of statements and questions in Quechua and Spanish varieties spoken in Peru and Bolivia. In Spanish, intonation is used to mark the information structure of an utterance and to distinguish statements from questions. In Quechua, however, information structure and questions are marked morphologically (and/or syntactically), but not intonationally. In this talk, I will report on several studies that show the effects of language contact and these cross-linguistic differences on Quechua and Spanish in the Andes. The findings of these studies reveal cross-linguistic influence from Quechua into Spanish and vice versa, depending on the specific structure. In addition, differences are found within a community and across communities, based on sociolinguistic factors. I will argue that a comparison of Quechua and Spanish in different communities using the same method may provide more insight in the effects of linguistic and social factors on the outcomes of language contact. Along these lines, in the final part of this talk I will present the initial stages of a multisite study that includes Quechua and Spanish varieties in Argentina.

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Part of the UIC Talks in Linguistics (TiL)

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