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Inhabiting the Same Soil

Santiago del Estero Quechua and Spanish: between Migration, Bilingualism and Translation

Julieta Zarco    Università di Genova, Italia    



The essay focuses on the linguistic contact between Quechua from Santiago del Estero and Spanish, as well as sociolinguistic aspects about the current situation and the survival of this language, an aspect that for many authors continues to be a “linguistic enigma” (Courthès 2007). The theory of James Crawford (2000) is taken into consideration, who maintains that the phenomena of geographic dislocation, social dislocation and cultural dislocation would forcefully lead a language to disappear. This is the opposite of what happens in the so-called “linguistic island” of Santiago del Estero, where the language remains in force and is used daily by its inhabitants both inside and outside that area. In this sense, a field work has been carried out in which a sample of interviews with bilingual speakers from the “linguistic island” living in the urban areas of Buenos Aires is analyzed. In all cases, these are inhabitants who are in a situation of linguistic contact between the Quechua of Santiago del Estero and Spanish. Based on an intersemiotic and interlinguistic analysis of the novel Shunko (1949) by Jorge W. Ábalos and its homonymous film adaptation (1960) by Lautaro Murúa, the contact between Quechua and Spanish is addressed, since it is presented as a fundamental part of the linguistic and metalinguistic elements that account for the clash between the teacher’s voice and the children’s voices (Aguilar 2005). In this sense, attitudes and language use are also observed in order to trace the relationships between code-switching and code-mixing (Poplack 1980) as well as aspects proxemics that contribute to the sociolinguistic realism of the characters in both the novel and the film.

Bilingualism. Interlinguistic Translation. Intersemiotic Translation. Migration. Santiago del Estero Quechua and Spanish.

April 17, 2023
Feb. 27, 2023
Feb. 17, 2023
Copyright: © 2023 Julieta Zarco. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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