Intro to indigenous languages

This course provides an overview of some indigenous language families in Latin America. The first part of the course is devoted to illustrating some salient morphosyntactic aspects in these languages. Among them we will include grammatical relations, spatial relations, evidentiality, and informational structure, among other phenomena. Special attention will be placed in how those grammatical characteristics have influenced regional varieties of Spanish. The second part will discuss the general sociolinguistic situation of indigenous languages in Latin America and how language policies and activists have worked towards revitalization efforts. Some of the language families we will focus are Mayan (e.g. K'iche), Quechuan (e.g. Southern Quechua), Aymaran (e.g. Collao Aymara), Arawakan (e.g. Ashaninka), Panoan (e.g. Shipibo), and Tupí (e.g. Guaraní).



Carlos Molina-Vital is a Peruvian linguist, language teacher, and CLACS's Quechua instructor.
He has experience teaching Spanish, General Linguistics, Syntax, and Semantics and has worked with Quechua languages since. His fieldwork has taken him to Ancash (Callejon de Huaylas and Conchucos), Cuzco (Maras, Urubamba, Calca), and Ayacucho (Huamanga, Huanta) in the Peruvian Andes. His Interests are:

  • Grammar description under a functional-cognitive framework
  • Applied linguistics (pedagogical grammar and standardization)
  • Language and cognition (in particular, the interaction between culture, categorization, and grammar)

Carlos is happy to answer any questions you might have!  You can email him at: