GramAdapt workshop "Language contact and change in the Central Andes"

GramAdapt will host a workshop "Language contact and change in the Central Andes" in June, 8, 2023 at 10.00am – 1.00pm, at Metsätalo room 25 (5th floor). The workshop features two talks by visiting guests of the project, Prof. Katja Hannß (University of Cologne) and Dr. Matthias Urban (University of Tübingen).

The talks concern deliberate language change in the context of the secret mixed language Kallawaya, and the sociolinguistics & socioeconomy of language contact in the Central Andes.

Programme and the abstracts of the talks:

10.15 – 10.20 Introduction and welcome, Kaius Sinnemäki

10.20 – 11.20 Katja Hannß

Strategies and Patterns of Intentional Language Change with a Focus on Kallawaya

Kallawaya is a secret, mixed language spoken by traditional herbalists at Lake Titicaca (Bolivia), whose native language is Quechua. Accordingly, the grammar-providing language of Kallawaya is a Southern Quechua variety (Quechua IIC), while the lexicon of Kallawaya is heterogenous and includes lexical items from Quechua, Aymara, Spanish and Pukina, among others. Pukina is extinct today and only poorly documented. It has been assumed that Kallawaya arose through language shift, in which Pukina speakers shifted to Quechua but maintained parts of the lexicon of their former language. However, I argue that Kallawaya was intentionally and deliberately created by native speakers of Quechua for reasons of secrecy. This raises the question for the role intentionality plays in language change. In my future research, I will address strategies and patterns observable in intentional language change and how to distinguish between intentional and naturally occurring language change and their respective outcomes.

11.20 – 11.40 Coffee

11.40 – 12.40 Matthias Urban

The sociolinguistics of vertical complementarity and the question of language contact and expansion in the ancient Central Andes

In the Central Andes of Peru and Bolivia, a virtually unique socioeconomic mode of production has emerged in prehistory. Andean societies were spread out along the slopes of the Andean mountain chains and consisted of two or more opposing poles that were distinguished by different economic specializations attuned to the affordances of the different altitudinal tiers of the Andes, different mythological places of origin, different types of body modification, and last but not least different languages. And yet, they were linked together by marriage ties, shared rituals, and a shared cosmovision into an organic larger whole. In this presentation, I show how this typically Andean "vertical complementarity" forms a highly plausible sociolinguistic background scenario to explain language contact effects as massive as those as that between the Quechuan and Aymaran families. I also show how the proliferation of societies organized according to principles of vertical complementarity could have propelled both language families jointly out of their homelands along the same vectors. In support of this scenario, I review ethnohistorical and ethnographic literature to support the embedding of Quechua-Aymara bilingualism in a vertical complementarity scenario, and present preliminary toponymic evidence that indeed suggests that the vertical distribution of the families shows a consistent difference, with Aymaran toponyms typically occurring at higher altitudes than the Quechua toponyms associated with farming communities in the lower intermontane valleys.

12.40 – 13.00 General discussion