Casiano speaking Quechua, Cusco

Published December 11, 2018

This video was recorded by David Ancalle in Atlanta, Georgia and features Quechua speaker Casiano Ancalle. Quechua is actually a collection of languages spoken by a total of approximately 8,912,820 people (though census data remains problematic) living around the Andes and highlands of South America, and constituting one of the world's primary language families and the largest speaker population of any indigenous language. With roots extending beyond the rise of the vast Inca Empire, Quechua was eventually suppressed by Spanish colonizers who attempted to quell indigenous autonomy, but were ultimately unsuccessful as Quechua flourishes today with over a quarter of Peruvians speaking one of the Quechuan languages. Although the Quechaun grouping varies widely between its two sub-classifications, Quechua I and Quechua II, within these groups languages are quite similar and form dialect continua. Mutual intelligibility does not occur across the boundary between Quechua I and Quechua II. Quechuan orthography has undergone changes since the Roman alphabet was first applied to it by the Spanish: until recently, Spanish-tailored orthography had been fitted perhaps incongruously to a different Quechuan phonology, causing the Peruvian government to implement a series of new orthographic changes in the 1970's and '80s. The Quechuan languages are among a number around the world that use evidentiality to mark a speaker's source of information.

Featured Languages

Quechua, Cusco [quz]


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