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The Spanish of the Northern Peruvian Andes

A Sociohistorical and Dialectological Account


Luis Andrade Ciudad

This book analyses a set of rarely described regional Spanish varieties spoken throughout much of the northern Peruvian Andes (Cajamarca, La Libertad and Ancash) from a sociohistorical and dialectological perspective. What are the main dialectological features of these varieties? Are these features the same ones that shape southern Andean Spanish, a variety formed mainly through contact with Quechua and Aymara? Which of these features are distinctly outcomes of contact with Culle, the main substrate language of the region, which was mentioned in colonial and postcolonial documents but is now extinct? How are these features linked to the postcolonial history of the region, marked by the Catholic evangelization enterprise and an «economy of plundering» based on agriculture, weaving and mining? Thorough consideration of these matters allows the author to critically assess the standard notion in Hispanic linguistics that considers Andean Spanish as a single, homogeneous code. The study sheds new light on how the regional varieties of Spanish in America were shaped over time and proposes ways of delving into language history in postcolonial contexts, where a written European language has been superimposed on a set of native codes previously lacking written traditions.
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Chapter 4: North Peruvian Andean Spanish as a particular language subvariety


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North Peruvian Andean Spanish as a particular language subvariety

4.1  Introduction

In this chapter I will present the most salient dialectal facts found through the fieldwork, with the purpose of showing that northern Andean Spanish of Culle substrate constitutes a particular language subvariety within the group called castellano andino ‘Andean Spanish’. This will allow me to assess a more general question that was posed initially – namely, if the presented case adequately dialogues with the historical zonification model of American Spanish proposed by De Granda (1994a, 1994b). I start from the conception of Andean Spanish as a language variety that brings together a continuum of systems that approximate standard Spanish. These systems are characterized by widespread use, not only in rural and urban communities in the highlands of Peru, but also on the coast. They exhibit a series of grammatical influences from the “major” Andean languages, Quechua and Aymara (Cerrón-Palomino 2003 [1981]: 74–75), and regional subvarieties also show influences from other Andean languages, like Culle in this case.

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