Andean Spanish-Quechua contact phenomena


The Andean region of South America, particularly the northern highlands of Ecuador, is the scene of intense linguistic contact between Spanish and Quechua, beginning in the early 16th century and continuing to the present. My research is based in Imbabura province in northern Ecuador, where in many small communities cohorts of Quechua-dominant bilingual speakers can be found. Among the many language-contact phenomena that inform my research are under-differentiation of Spanish mid and high vowels (/i/~/e/ and /u/~/o/), use of the Spanish gerund in lieu of conjugated verbs, the use of Quechua-derived grammatical elements (e.g. the topic marker –ka), and the use of Media Lengua (chaupi shimi), a hybrid language consisting of Quechua morphosyntax and Spanish-derived nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. I have engaged Quechua-Spanish bilinguals in a variety of interactive experimental tasks, with the aim of achieving greater understanding of bilingual contact phenomena.



Andean Spanish examples

Media Lengua examples

Representative publications: