Unravelling the Enigma of the 'Particular Language' of the Incas

Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino

Producción científica: Capítulo del libro/informe/acta de congresoCapítulorevisión exhaustiva


Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century chroniclers call attention to the Incas having had a 'particular language', used exclusively by members of the court. The sparse linguistic material attributed to it consists of barely a dozen proper names which 'El Inca' Garcilaso de la Vega, unable to explain through his Quechua mother tongue, assumed must belong to the purported secret language. On closer inspection most of these words do turn out to be explicable in terms of either a Quechua or an Aymara origin. Nevertheless, a small amount of extant onomastic material - mostly Inca institutional names - cannot be traced back to either, and points to a third language instead. This chapter makes the case that this could have been Puquina, once a major language of the Titicaca Basin, whence the mythical Incas set out on their journey to Cuzco. Linguistic, mythohistorical, and archaeological evidence are offered support of this hypothesis.

Idioma originalInglés
Título de la publicación alojadaArchaeology and Language in the Andes
EditorialOxford University Press
ISBN (versión digital)9780191754142
ISBN (versión impresa)9780197265031
EstadoPublicada - 31 ene. 2013
Publicado de forma externa


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