The Creation of Quechua-Spanish Speech Communities: A Recipe for Success in Language Attitudes and Revitalization
Although the Quechua language remains the most-widely spoken indigenous language of the Americas today, most researchers agree that it is currently minoritized and on the road to extinction. In the interest of saving the Quechua language and culture from this fate, language planners and policy makers debate over the best ways in which to achieve Quechua language and culture revitalization (King’s terminology 2001). Luykx (2004) challenges and questions the potential success and benefits of western approaches to Quechua revitalization and suggests a new focus on finding ways to support the maintenance of Quechua within its traditional domains, the home and community. This paper presents two examples of non-profit, non-governmental agencies that support the maintenance and revitalization of Quechua within their respective home and small speech community contexts. These are the Asociación Civil ‘Gregorio Condori Mamani’ Proyecto Casa del Cargador, ‘Gregorio Condori Mamani Civil Association House of the Carrier Project’ and El Centro de Apoyo Integral a la Trabajadora del Hogar, ‘Center for the Integral Support of the Home Worker’, both in the city of Cuzco, Peru. The generally positive Quechua language attitudes and successful Quechua language and culture maintenance practices of these two small speech communities suggest that the creation of such speech communities within Spanish-dominated urban environments may contribute as much to the success of Quechua revitalization efforts as the implementation of other western approaches.
Keywords: Quechua, Spanish, Language Revitalization, Language Endangerment, Language Attitudes, Language Planning, Language Policy, Cuzco, Peru
Dr. Marilyn Manley
Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Rowan University