University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
She is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and obtained her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University at Buffalo, under the direction of Wolfgang Wölck. Her publications focus on the study of linguistic change in contact contexts between unrelated languages, particularly in varieties of Spanish in contact with Andean languages. The purpose is to reveal trajectories of semantic and grammatical changes that help explain the emergence of contact dialects in ex-colonial regions. Forthcoming is a study on the counter-hierarchical diffusion of Andean Spanish features in a volume edited by Matthias Urban on the Central Andes.
Retrospective, reflections, challenges: The varieties of Spanish in the Andean region
A sociohistorical and sociolinguistic analysis of languages and peoples in the Andean region reveals that the greatest challenges for their study and revitalization come from prevailing ideologies in the region since the colonial period. This presentation argues that several elements of Quijano’s ‘colonial racism’ (cf. 2021), and expressed in various concepts in colonial documents (cf. “La Humanidad es una” by Hanke 1974), persist beyond the colonial era in discussions about American Spanish (cf. del Valle 2007), including the reference about the ‘indigenous factor’ highlighted by Menéndez Pidal (1918). More recently, we find such expressions in covert reinterpretations about sociolinguistic diversity in Latin America (cf. Alberto Escobar 1972), in the Andes (Howard 2007), and in discussions about ‘different types of education’ (cf. Vich & Zavala 2019) in the region. This presentation focuses on how these covert reinterpretations of ‘colonial racism’ negatively impact the study of languages and their populations in the Andean region, giving rise to persistent myths, both within and outside academia, about ‘Andean Spanish,’ its linguistic features, its speakers, and the study of Spanish in contact with Amerindian languages. An analysis contrasting (socio)linguistic analysis and social evaluations (Escobar, unpublished) is presented to unveil some of these myths.