Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Doctor in Linguistics from the University of Amsterdam. Professor of Anthropology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He has been working on the documentation and revitalization of indigenous languages since 2005. His research areas include linguistic documentation, historical linguistics, interculturality, and ethnography through artistic languages. He has published over forty articles in national and international journals. His two most recent books are “Dictionary of the Andwa Language” (2022) and “Oral Tradition of the Indigenous Festivals of San Pablo del Lago” (2020).
Language and territory: a network of relationships
In this introductory talk, which serves as a framework for the panel discussion, I will discuss the complex relationship between language and territory. I propose as a starting point for understanding this relationship to consider language as an integral element of cultural practices. These always take place in a territory and are nourished by it in their materiality and significance. This complex relationship, in turn, sustains the identity of the communities and constitutes to that extent a tool for the organizational strengthening of indigenous groups from the perspective of the collective rights that have been officially added to the constitution. For the Ecuadorian case, from a political point of view, the relationship between languages and territories becomes relevant for the project of building a plurinational State. The territoriality of languages contrasts with the mobility of speakers due to the effects of migration. This raises the question of how to build intercultural and multilingual territories in socio-communicative, deterritorialized, monocultural and monolingual spaces such as cities, while maintaining traditional territories that allow the cultural and linguistic reproduction of speech communities and the autonomy of their political-organizational structures.