Kichwa is a Quechuan language, and includes all Quechua varieties spoken in Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

Inga Kichwa
Inga Kichwa is a Quechua language spoken in the Colombian Putumayo region by the Inga people. There are two dialects: Highland Inga, spoken in the Sibundoy valley; and Jungle Inga, spoken on the Putumayo and Japurá Rivers. Inga Kichwa belongs to Quechua II subgroup Kichwa .-External links:*...

by approximately 2,500,000 people. Kichwa belongs to the Northern Quechua group of Quechua II (according to Alfredo Torero
Alfredo Torero
Alfredo Augusto Torero Fernández de Córdova was a Peruvian anthropologist and linguist....


Kichwa syntax has undergone some essential changes and therefore holds a special position within Quechua.

A unified orthography (Kichwa Unificado, Shukyachiska Kichwa) has been developed.


In contrast to other regional varieties of Quechua, Kichwa does not distinguish between original ("Proto Quechua") /k/ and /q/, which are both pronounced [k]. Therefore, [e] and [o], the allophone
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...

s of the vowels /i/ and /u/ near /q/, do not exist, and kiru can mean both "tooth" (kiru in Southern Quechua
Southern Quechua
Southern Quechua , or only Quechua, is the most widely spoken of the major regional groupings of mutually intelligible dialects within the Quechua language family, with about 5 million speakers...

) and "wood" (qiru [qero] in Southern Quechua), and killa can mean both "moon" (killa) and "lazy" (qilla [qeʎa]).

Additionally, Kichwa in both Ecuador and Colombia has lost possessive and bidirectional suffixes (i.e. verbal suffixes indicating both subject and object), as well as the distinction between the exclusive and inclusive first person plural.

  • Instead of yayayku / taytayku ("Our Father", the Lord's Prayer) Kichwa people say ñukanchik yaya / ñukanchik tayta.
  • In Kichwa, you do not say suyayki ("I wait for you"), but kanta shuyani.

On the other hand, other particularities of Quechua have been preserved. As in all varieties of Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

, the words for 'brother' and 'sister' differ depending on who is using them. A woman must say ñaña for her sister and turi for her brother. On the other hand, a man must say pani for his sister and wawki for his brother. A woman reading "Ñuka wawki Pedromi kan" would therefore read aloud "Ñuka turi Pedromi kan".

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.