Language: Aymara is one of the major languages of South America, spoken by more than two million people in the Andean region of
Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
Actually, depending on the linguist doing the counting, there are somewhere between two and eight different Aymaran languages,
each of which is difficult for speakers of the others to understand. (The difference of opinion on the exact number is
because some of the varieties are considered to be dialects by some people and considered to be
distinct Aymaran languages by others.)
Some linguists think Aymara may be distantly related to Quechua, but
this has not been conclusively shown. There are many lexical similarities between the two languages, but that may be due to
vocabulary borrowing -- the structures of the languages are radically different from each other.
Aymara is an
with SOV word order.
Thanks for your interest in Native American languages!
Names: The origin of the name Aymara is unclear. It may have been a tribal name passed down from an earlier Andean language.
Other spellings used include Aimara, Aymará, Aimará, Aymararu, Aymaraes, Aimaraes, Aimaras, and Aymaran.
There are two main dialects of Aymara, known as Central Aymara and Southern Aymara.
the names of two closely related languages that are considered dialects of Aymara by some linguists.
Names of important Aymara subgroups include Colla
(also spelled Qolla, Kolla, or Qulla,) Lupaca
(also spelled Lupaka or Lupaqa,) Canchi
(also spelled Kanchi or Canches), Caranga
(also spelled Caranca or Karanka,) Charca
(also spelled Charka or Charcha,) Cana
(also spelled Kana), Pacasa
(also spelled Pacaxe,) Quillagua
(also spelled Quilaco, Quillaga, or Killaka,) Ubina,
Another term that was originally used for an Aymara group, Lari Lari,
is no longer preferred by Aymara people because it is considered derogatory.