An ancestral language to speak with the "Other": Closing down ideological spaces of a language policy in the Peruvian Andes

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Resumen

Using a multilayered, ethnographic and critical approach to language policy and planning, this article examines a language policy favoring Quechua in Apurímac in the Southern Peruvian Andes, which is being imagined as an integrated community unified by the local language. This study presents a case in which top-down policies open up ideological spaces, while other layers of the policy process obstruct them due to particular interpretations of official declarations. In fact, although official documents indicate a repertoire of Quechua as "our" language for regional integration, Quechua-speaking civil servants and teachers present another, very extended repertoire that portrays Quechua as an ancestral language, important to use only when interacting with the "Other" or with the "pure" Quechua speaker from high-altitude communities. The data analyzed here not only confirms, once more, that various layers of the language policy process can contradict each other, but also that dilemmas exist within the individuals themselves due to the ambivalent colonial structure of Apurimenian society. Thus, while Quechua is associated with subordinated and disdained peasants, officials and teachers also value it as part of "our culture," and in that sense they identify with it.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1-20
Número de páginas20
PublicaciónLanguage Policy
Volumen13
N.º1
DOI
EstadoPublicada - feb. 2014

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