Quechua for Catherine the Great: José Avalos Chauca's Quechua Vocabulary (1788)


Dedenbach-Salazar S (2006) Quechua for Catherine the Great: José Avalos Chauca's Quechua Vocabulary (1788). International Journal of American Linguistics, 72 (2), pp. 193-135.

The eighteenth century has become known for its decreasing interest in and even its intentions to restrict the use of the Amerindian languages by the authorities in the Americas. However, overseas there was interest in indigenous languages, directed toward the multiplicity of human languages and their comparison more than toward the description of individual languages. Thus, in Russia, Catherine II founded an initiative to find universals in the world's languages. The Quechua vocabulary presented here was composed because of this and is one of only a few eighteenth‐century manuscripts on Southern Peruvian Quechua which can be dated (1788); it is kept in the Archivo General de Indias, Seville. This paper presents a transcription of and a short analytic comment on this Quechua vocabulary, which is an important document because it gives us information about how an eighteenth‐century Peruvian Quechuist saw the linguistic situation in the Andes and because through the lexical entries it offers phonological material which can help us gain more knowledge of a linguistically rather scarcely documented period.

International Journal of American Linguistics: Volume 72, Issue 2

Publication date30/04/2006
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
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