Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2215-1354
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1362
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Like many marginalized languages, Chanka Quechua (Peru) lacks community-wide prestige norms associated with standard-language ideology. Formal situations require Spanish, and few speakers are literate in Quechua, so normative speech styles are absent. Speakers’ evaluative judgments do not reference notions of correctness; rather, they value ‘pure’ speech and authenticity.

This paper explores alternative approaches to accessing sociolinguistic judgments with a study of the variably present uvular phoneme in the past tense /–rqa/ morpheme, as exemplified in the following alternation:

  • (1) 
    go--1   go--1
    ‘I went’   ‘I went’

To contrast speech from sociolinguistic interviews, careful, self-monitored speech is elicited through oral retelling of material presented aurally, rather than in writing. Of 38 participants, rural speakers tend to have higher rates of q than urbanites and reflect idealized Quechua. We argue that authenticity guides variation, in place of standard language ideology.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Quechua; sociolinguistic authenticity; Spanish; variation
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