LINGUIST List 15.1401

Tue May 4 2004

Books: Language Description: Mochica: Hovdhaugen

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  1. lincom.europa, Mochica: Hovdhaugen

Message 1: Mochica: Hovdhaugen

Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 10:25:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: lincom.europa <>
Subject: Mochica: Hovdhaugen

Title: Mochica
Series Title: Languages of the World

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Lincom GmbH

Author: Even Hovdhaugen, University of Oslo

Paperback: ISBN: 3895868620, Pages: 80, Price: Europe EURO 42.00


The Mochica language was spoken on the North-West coast of Peru and in
some inland villages. The first attested documentation of the language
is from 1607. The language was widely used in the area in the 17th and
early 18th century, but records of the language at the end of the 19th
century show a dying language only spoken by a few persons in some
villages around Chiclayo. The language died out as a spoken language
about 1920, but certain words and phrases were in use in some families
up to the 1960s.

Mochica was the language of the Chim� culture and it may have been the
language of the Moche culture. Mochica was the language of one of the
main pre-Inca cultures of Per�, a culture that created the great town
Chanchan and the impressive pyramids, temples and tombs from Trujillo
in the south to T�cume in the north.

Our main source for the knowledge of this ancient South American
language is Fernando de la Carrera: ARTE DE LA LENGVA YVNGA DE LOS
VALLES del Obispado de Truxillo del Peru, con vn Confessonario, y
todas las Oraciones Christianas, traducidas en la lengua, y otras
cosas. (Lima 1644). The book contains a grammar, all the basic
religious texts, confessional formulas, extensive explanatory
questions and answers to most texts, psalms, as well as some brief
non-religious dialogues and a number of sentences in Mochica. The
author had a native command of the lanuage.

Mochica is typologically different from the other main languages on
the West coast of South America (Quechua, Aymara, and Mapudungun) and
contains features that are rare both within South American languages
and in the languages of the world: case system where cases are build
on each other in a linear sequence, e.g. the ablative suffix has to be
added to the locative which again must be added to an oblique case
form - all nouns have two stems: a possessed stem and a non-possessed
stem - an agentive case suffix mainly used for the agent in passive
clauses - a verbal system where all finite forms are formed with the
copula. Mochica appears to be a linguistic isolate with no clear
cognates among attested American Indian languages.

Lingfield(s): Language Description
Subject Language(s): Mochica (Language code: OMC)
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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