Southern Quechua

Southern Quechua (Spanish: quechua sureƱo), or simply Quechua, is the most widely spoken of the major regional groupings of mutually intelligible dialects within the Quechua language family, with about 6.9 million speakers. It is also the most widely spoken indigenous language in the entire New World. The term 'Southern Quechua' refers to the forms of Quechua spoken in regions of the Andes south of a line roughly east-west between the cities of Huancayo and Huancavelica in central Peru. It includes the Quechua varieties spoken in the regions of Ayacucho, Cuzco and Puno in Peru, in much of Bolivia and parts of north-west Argentina. The most widely spoken varieties are South Bolivian, Cuzco, Ayacucho, and Puno (Collao).

In the traditional classification of the Quechua language family by Alfredo Torero, Southern Quechua is equivalent to Torero's 'Quechua IIc' (or just 'QIIc'). It thus stands in contrast to its many sister varieties within the wider Quechua family that are spoken in areas north of the Huancayo-Huancavelica line: Central Quechua (Torero's QI) spoken from Huancayo northwards to Ancash; North Peruvian Quechua around Cajamarca and Inkawasi (Torero's IIa, but whose classification is problematic); and Ecuador Quechua (locally known as 'Quichua', part of Torero's Quechua IIb).

Read more about Southern Quechua:  Dialects, Standard Quechua, Bibliography

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