Estudios Indiana 12: Lost Languages of the Peruvian North Coast
Matthias Urban (ed.)
Berlin: Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut / Gebr. Mann Verlag, 2019, 312 pp.
This book is about the original indigenous languages of the Peruvian North Coast, likely associated with the important pre-Columbian societies of the coastal deserts, but poorly documented and now irrevocably lost Sechura and Tallán in Piura, Mochica in Lambayeque and La Libertad, and further south Quingnam, perhaps spoken as far south as the Central Coast. The book presents the original distribution of these languages in early colonial times, discusses available and lost sources, and traces their demise as speakers switched to Spanish at different points of time after conquest. To the extent possible, the book also explores what can be learned about the sound system, grammar, and lexicon of the North Coast languages from the available materials. It explores what can be said on past language contacts and the linguistic areality of the North Coast and Northern Peru as a whole, and asks to what extent linguistic boundaries on the North Coast can be projected into the pre-Columbian past.