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Quechua: the voice of the Andes

Quechua is spoken by about eight million speakers from southern Colombia to northern Argentina along the Andes. In all regions, Spanish is also spoken alongside Quechua. The linguistic region we studied is the town of Huari in the Conchucos Valley of the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash, Peru (https://www.munihuari.gob.pe/). More than 70% of people living in this province claim to have acquired Quechua as their first language (Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática 2018). The Quechua spoken here belongs to the Central Quechua (also Quechua I or Quechua B), to which the varieties spoken in Huánuco, Junín, Pasco and Lima are also counted (cf. in more detail Adelaar & Musken 2004). The variety spoken here has so far been studied by a single grammar (Parker 1976), as well as by Diane and Dan Hintz in a series of articles (https://sil.academia.edu/DianeHintz; https://sil.academia.edu/DanHintz).

We included a total of 63 participants, 29 men and 34 women, aged 15-76. Almost all informants acquired Spanish as a second language at different stages of their development, but we also documented one speaker who claims to speak only Quechua (Condir_DC49_170522_Q_TB). In this case, the recording method differs from the general one and was conducted in Quechua by our cooperation partner Gabriel Barreto.