In SoConDi today, Nick Emlen, a fifth year graduate student in theLinguistic Anthropology program here at the University of Michigan will present on his research about the language contact situation in Southern Peru. A title and abstract is given below.
The restructuring of the Matsigenka noun classes in a trilingual Matsigenka-Quechua-Spanish frontier community
On the Andean-Amazonian borderland of Southern Peru, Matsigenkas and Quechua-speaking agricultural colonists have been in contact for generations, in some cases intermarrying and forming communities. One particularly heterogeneous trilingual community comprises colonists and Matsigenkas who came from a variety of places along the agricultural frontier, and who are now working together to establish a place in the nascent coffee economy. This chapter offers a preliminary analysis of animacy and gender marking in Matsigenka and demonstrates how noun classification is changing as a result of these social, economic, cultural, and ecological transformations. The data suggest that noun classification is connected to experience with the natural environment and exposure to traditional Matsigenka oral narrative, both of which are unevenly distributed in the community.