Is Spanish expanding?

Guest   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:44 pm GMT
Are you having and erection? Well, in this case it may be perfectly normal.
Visitor   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:52 pm GMT
<< Last but not least, indigenous speakers speak pristine and lovely Spanish, unlike the French speakers in Africa that only know a kind of creole that hardly resembles standard French. >>

So that's why Spanish is fragmenting into numerous dialects.

Who told you that French spoken in Africa is Creole.? For your information it's Standard Written French. Unlike in Hispanic America that Amerindians speak Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, Quiche, Nahuatl, etc. As the Amerindians are asserting their culutre, so does their language.

In reality, Francophone Africans no longer considers the French language as exclusively owned by the French themselves and regard it as their own. In contrast, Amerindians in Hispanic America have no regard for the Spanish language and culture.

Here are some references that would serve as basis:

The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, speaks fluent Quechua.

Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia. It is also spoken to a much lesser extent in Chile and in Northwest Argentina.

The native language of the Aymara people; in addition, many Aymara speak Spanish, which is the dominant language of the countries in which they live, as a second language. The Aymara flag is known as the Wiphala; it consists of seven colors quilted together with diagonal stripes. Aymara have grown and chewed coca plants for centuries, and used its leaves in traditional medicine as well as in ritual offerings to the sun god Inti and the earth goddess Pachamama. Over the last century, this has brought them into conflict with state authorities who have carried out coca eradication plans in order to prevent the creation of the drug cocaine, which is created by extracting the chemical from coca leaves in a complex chemical process. Coca plays a profound role in the indigenous religions of both the Aymara and the Quechua, such as the ritual curing ceremonies of the yatiri, and in more recent times has become a symbol of cultural identity.

There are numerous movements for greater independence or political power for the Aymara and other indigenous groups. These include the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, led by Felipe Quispe, and the Movement Towards Socialism, a political party organized by the Cocalero Movement and Evo Morales. These and many other Aymara organizations have been involved in activism in Bolivia, including the 2003 Bolivian Gas War and the 2005 Bolivia protests. One of the goals of the movement, as put forth by Quispe, is the establishment of an independent indigenous state, Collasuyu, named for the eastern (and largely Aymara) region of the Inca empire which covered the southeastern corner of Peru and much of what is today Bolivia. Evo Morales is an Aymara coca grower from the Chaparé region whose Movement Toward Socialism party has forged alliances with both rural indigenous groups and urban working classes to form a broad leftist coalition in Bolivia. Morales has run for president in several recent elections with several close calls, and in 2005 he finally won a surprise victory, winning the largest majority vote since Bolivia returned to democracy and declaring himself to be the first indigenous president of Bolivia. He is also credited with the ousting of Bolivia's previous two presidents.

The K'iche' language (Quiché in Spanish) is a part of the Mayan language family. It is spoken by many K'iche' people in the central highlands of Guatemala. With close to a million speakers (some 7% of Guatemala's population), it is the second most widely spoken language in the country after Spanish. Most speakers of K'iche' also have at least a working knowledge of Spanish except in some isolated rural villages. One of the notable speakers of the Quiché language is Rigoberta Menchu.

Although it is just one of the national languages and not the official language of Guatemala, and the first-language literacy rate is low, K'iche' is increasingly taught in schools and used on radio.
malaria   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:08 pm GMT
I've never seen Evo Morales , the indigenous leader, speaking anything appart from Spanish. It's remarkable that indigenous speakers in America, despite having not attended to school, speak such good Spanish. Once they become civilized and send their children to schools and not to pick up trash, Spanish will finally impose over the indigenous tongues. That's what happened in Mexico too.
Dick B. Hard   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:11 pm GMT
Shri   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:12 pm GMT
So that's the reason why the Tupac Amaro and the Zapateros uprose to get rid of the Spanish language and culture.
Aldo   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:13 pm GMT
Those are poor "evidences" of those senseless perceptions. There have been in the last decades a conscientious concern to preserve amerindian cultures (or at least what left of them) and language and don't let them disappear so don't confuse facts.
Evo Cocalero   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:31 pm GMT
Really those poor indigenous Peruvians or Ecuadorians could give a lesson or two to Spanish speakers from Spain about their own language. It's incredible that their Spanish yet humble and lacking pompous words, is so elegant and well constructed. Maybe they have a natural and special instinct for languages. I've noticed this ability in Balkan people too.
Anti idiotas   Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:10 pm GMT
<<That's what happened in Mexico too>>

Spanish has always been and will always be the only language in Mexico, despites that 3% (everytime less) that don't speak it.
Anti-Cretin   Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:12 pm GMT
But in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, as well as Paraguay, it's the opposite. Spanish faces a tough competition with the Amerindian languages of these countries.
Hispanic sabotage   Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:20 pm GMT
Amerindian languages lack any prestige and they ir fate is to dissapear. No University in Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador teachs in Quechua or Aymara or whatever because the language of business and education is and will always be Spanish.
Hispanic sabotage   Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:30 pm GMT
I found this in Wikipedia:

80% of people in Peru are native Spanish speakers
15% are Quechua speakers (who also speak Spanish as a second language)

So I don't see any competition. Spanish is the most spoken language by far despite Peru has sizeable indigenous population. What I see is nice coexistence. You have to to learn a few thigs from Hispanic countries in France, where no language aside from French is official. Are you afraid perhaps?
Visitor   Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:37 pm GMT
<< I found this in Wikipedia:

80% of people in Peru are native Spanish speakers
15% are Quechua speakers (who also speak Spanish as a second language)

So I don't see any competition. Spanish is the most spoken language by far despite Peru has sizeable indigenous population. What I see is nice coexistence. You have to to learn a few thigs from Hispanic countries in France, where no language aside from French is official. Are you afraid perhaps? >>

Fuck you asshole, nice try. You changed again the content by removing in the index box Quechua and Aymara as the other official languages of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. In the original text more than 75% of the people of Bolivia and more than 50% of Peru are Quechua and Aymara speakers combined.

But no matter, in the books including National Geographic and Almanac it's stated there that Quechua and Aymara are co-official with Spanish in those 3 countries.

Informer   Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:50 pm GMT
About the Quechua Language

Quechua ("qheshwa") is an indigenous language of the Andean region, spoken today by approximately 13 million people in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina, and Southern Colombia. It was the official language of Tawantinsuyu, the Inca Empire.

Quechua is a perfectly regular language, which makes learning the basics quite easy. However, a large number of suffixes and infixes can be added to words to change both overall significance and subtle shades of meaning, which leads to a rare expressiveness. Above the beginning level, Quechua requires some vast changes of mind-set as learners try to master bipersonal conjugation, conjugation dependent on mental state and veracity of knowledge, spatial and temporal relationships, and numerous cultural factors.


Tell an old Aymara speaker to "face the past!" and you just might get a blank stare in return – because he or she already does.

New analysis of the language and gesture of South America's indigenous Aymara people indicates a reverse concept of time.

Contrary to what had been thought a cognitive universal among humans – a spatial metaphor for chronology, based partly on our bodies' orientation and locomotion, that places the future ahead of oneself and the past behind – the Amerindian group locates this imaginary abstraction the other way around: with the past ahead and the future behind.

Appearing in the current issue of the journal Cognitive Science, the study is coauthored, with Berkeley linguistics professor Eve Sweetser, by Rafael Nunez, associate professor of cognitive science and director of the Embodied Cognition Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego.

"Until now, all the studied cultures and languages of the world – from European and Polynesian to Chinese, Japanese, Bantu and so on – have not only characterized time with properties of space, but also have all mapped the future as if it were in front of ego and the past in back. The Aymara case is the first documented to depart from the standard model," said Nunez.

The language of the Aymara, who live in the Andes highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Chile, has been noticed by Westerners since the earliest days of the Spanish conquest. A Jesuit wrote in the early 1600s that Aymara was particularly useful for abstract ideas, and in the 19th century it was dubbed the "language of Adam." More recently, Umberto Eco has praised its capacity for neologisms, and there have even been contemporary attempts to harness the so-called "Andean logic" – which adds a third option to the usual binary system of true/false or yes/no – to computer applications.

Yet, Nunez said, no one had previously detailed the Aymara's "radically different metaphoric mapping of time" – a super-fundamental concept, which, unlike the idea of "democracy," say, does not rely on formal schooling and isn't an obvious product of culture.

Nunez had his first inkling of differences between "thinking in" Aymara and Spanish, when he went hitchhiking in the Andes as undergraduate in the early 1980s. More than a decade later, he returned to gather data.

For the study, Nunez collected about 20 hours of conversations with 30 ethnic Aymara adults from Northern Chile. The volunteer subjects ranged from a monolingual speaker of Aymara to monolingual speakers of Spanish, with a majority (like the population at large) being bilinguals whose skills covered a range of proficiencies and included the Spanish/Aymara creole called Castellano Andino.

The videotaped interviews were designed to include natural discussions of past and future events. These discussions, it was hoped, would elicit both the linguistic expressions for "past" and "future" and the subconscious gesturing that accompanies much of human speech and often acts out the metaphors being used.

The linguistic evidence seems, on the surface, clear: The Aymara language recruits "nayra," the basic word for "eye," "front" or "sight," to mean "past" and recruits "qhipa," the basic word for "back" or "behind," to mean "future." So, for example, the expression "nayra mara" – which translates in meaning to "last year" – can be literally glossed as "front year."

But, according to the researchers, linguistic analysis cannot reliably tell the whole story.

Take an "exotic" language like English: You can use the word "ahead" to signify an earlier point in time, saying "We are at 20 minutes ahead of 1 p.m." to mean "It's now 12:40 p.m." Based on this evidence alone, a Martian linguist could then justifiably decide that English speakers, much like the Aymara, put the past in front.

There are also in English ambiguous expressions like "Wednesday's meeting was moved forward two days." Does that mean the new meeting time falls on Friday or Monday? Roughly half of polled English speakers will pick the former and the other half the latter. And that depends, it turns out, on whether they're picturing themselves as being in motion relative to time or time itself as moving. Both of these ideas are perfectly acceptable in English and grammatical too, as illustrated by "We're coming to the end of the year" vs. "The end of the year is approaching."

Analysis of the gestural data proved telling: The Aymara, especially the elderly who didn't command a grammatically correct Spanish, indicated space behind themselves when speaking of the future – by thumbing or waving over their shoulders – and indicated space in front of themselves when speaking of the past – by sweeping forward with their hands and arms, close to their bodies for now or the near past and farther out, to the full extent of the arm, for ancient times. In other words, they used gestures identical to the familiar ones – only exactly in reverse.

"These findings suggest that cognition of such everyday abstractions as time is at least partly a cultural phenomenon," Nunez said. "That we construe time on a front-back axis, treating future and past as though they were locations ahead and behind, is strongly influenced by the way we move, by our dorsoventral morphology, by our frontal binocular vision, etc. Ultimately, had we been blob-ish amoeba-like creatures, we wouldn't have had the means to create and bring forth these concepts.

"But the Aymara counter-example makes plain that there is room for cultural variation. With the same bodies – the same neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters and all – here we have a basic concept that is utterly different," he said.

Why, however, is not entirely certain. One possibility, Nunez and Sweetser argue, is that the Aymara place a great deal of significance on whether an event or action has been seen or not seen by the speaker.

A "simple" unqualified statement like "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" is not possible in Aymara – the sentence would necessarily also have to specify whether the speaker had personally witnessed this or was reporting hearsay.

In a culture that privileges a distinction between seen/unseen – and known/unknown – to such an extent as to weave "evidential" requirements inextricably into its language, it makes sense to metaphorically place the known past in front of you, in your field of view, and the unknown and unknowable future behind your back.

Though that may be an initial explanation – and in line with the observation, the researchers write, that "often elderly Aymara speakers simply refused to talk about the future on the grounds that little or nothing sensible could be said about it" – it is not sufficient, because other cultures also make use of similar evidential systems and yet still have a future ahead.

The consequences, on the other hand, may have been profound. This cultural, cognitive-linguistic difference could have contributed, Nunez said, to the conquistadors' disdain of the Aymara as shiftless – uninterested in progress or going "forward."

Now, while the future of the Aymara language itself is not in jeopardy – it numbers some two to three million contemporary speakers – its particular way of thinking about time seems, at least in Northern Chile, to be on the way out.

The study's younger subjects, Aymara fluent in Spanish, tended to gesture in the common fashion. It appears they have reoriented their thinking. Now along with the rest of the globe, their backs are to the past, and they are facing the future.

Source: University of California, San Diego
Guest   Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:31 pm GMT
You efforts are futile. Only in Paraguay indigenous population is a majority. In other Hispanic countries they are minority so they will never represent a threat to the dominant mestizo and white groups. Also , indigenous people are the poorest class in their respective countries and thus their language lacks any prestige. They have to learn Spanish to gain respect and find a job in the cities . Their communities are essentially rural and backward whereas Spanish is the only spoken language in Hispanic big cities: Lima, Santiago, Quito, Caracas, etc.
Visitor   Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:43 pm GMT
They are now asserting their culture and language which is the original heritage of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Paraguay.

Majority of Paraguayans are mestizos and 90% of them have Guarani as their native language. In Peru, a little half of the population and 75 % of Bolivians speak Quechua and Aymara as their native language and in Guatemala, close to 40% speak Quiche as their native language.

Haven't you noticed that Rigoberta Menchu speak Quiche as her native language and The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa speaks fluent Quechua. Not to mention the Tupac Amaru uprising in which the main cause is greater recogniton of their Amerindian language and culture.