Talk:Aymara language

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Some of the praise given to Aymara should be removed. Aymara is just a linguistic anomaly, just as Spanish and English are. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 18:57, Sep 26, 2004 (UTC)

In my opinion, leaving those quotes of Umberto Eco should be put back in. The article clearly stated that it was his opinion, and did not suggest that his opinion was right. Perhaps if his quotes were put in, along with some sort of rebuttal? I'm not aware of the issue enough to refute Eco's claims. --Bletch 18:25, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I put the stuff about umberto Eco and the like back in - they are interestign and should be mentioned. I reworked them so as to make them less POV. No more "Aymara is a perfect language and kicks all the other's asses, w00t !" :) Maybe some rebutal would be nice, I don't know what claims are contested. Anyway, it's after reading the lecture by Eco that I came over here, so I expect to see some mention of its "three valued logic" feature, even if it's a rebuttal. I've also moved in some stuff from the Aymara article. Flammifer 04:53, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Could anyone provide some examples of the three-value logic system of Aymara? As it is, the section on "Unique Features" is somewhat vague and ambiguous. Concrete examples would make it more objective and a lot more useful. Stephanos1ko 04:11, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

"Reverse" concept of timeEdit

Even though this statement appears in the research article, it is simply wrong:

"Until now, all the studied cultures and languages of the world – from European and Polynesian to Chinese, Japanese, Bantu and so on – have not only characterized time with properties of space, but also have all mapped the future as if it were in front of ego and the past in back. The Aymara case is the first documented to depart from the standard model," said Nunez.

I don't know about the other languages listed, but Chinese definitely also uses this "reverse" model. It also uses the word for back to refer to the future and the word for front to refer to the past. For instance:

  • (back) (face) = behind
  • (front) (face) = in front
  • (three) (year) ([SUBORD]) (back) = three years later
  • (three) (year) ([SUBORD]) (front) = three years ago

Umofomia 23:55, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Hmm... much of the recently added content about this, including the quote above, looks to be pulled right out of news articles about this (see the numerous word-for-word similarities to this article for instance). I'm gonna pull this due to copyvio for now. —Umofomia 00:05, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I added a note to the article indicating how this might not be as unique as they thought. —Umofomia 00:45, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Something is wrong somewhere. Your note says that the Chinese word for front means future, and back means past - this is the conventional way of thinking, and does not contradict the researchers' assertions. The stuff above on the talk page does, but the example in the article actually supports the uniqueness of the Aymara concept of time. -Elmer Clark 09:00, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
No, I said the opposite. The Chinese word for front means past, and back means future. Look at the example above more closely (e.g. three year [SUBORD] back = three years later). —Umofomia 09:04, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean. I screwed up on the note I made in the article itself. The above examples are correct though. I'll fix the article note. —Umofomia 09:08, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The Chinese data is actually not a counter-example to the claims made about Aymara. There are two widely-used metaphors for time, one ego-centered and one event-centered. In the latter, events can be ahead of and behind other events in a queue, and this queue moves wrt the speaker, though not necessarily from front to back. E.g., it may be from the speaker's left to right. We get "Christmas follows Thanksgiving" and all of the above-mentioned Chinese words from this metaphor. On the other hand, the ego-centered one explicitly involves the speaker, e.g., "all that is behind us; we must look ahead of us for better ideas." The Chinese words do not (necessarily) involve spacial relations between events and speakers, just between events and events. The Aymara system is ego-centered but has the past in front of the speaker. This is related to the gestural data. The claim, as far as I know, is that very very few languages have an ego-centered future-in-back system of time. (Also, it is possible to have "conflicting" metaphors for time, so one language may have both; especially for Aymara speakers, many of whom are bilingual with Spanish, which has the familiar future-in-front system. Some discussion of this on language log. --rikdzin 02:27, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, it should be removed regardless, as per WP:NOR. A source making this assertation would be nice, but an editor simply coming to this conclusion himself is clearly a violation of NOR. -Elmer Clark 07:15, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I have read the link you rikdzin gave above and there may indeed be some misunderstanding. However, the text in the article currently fails to convey this sublety and as it stands, is extremely misleading. As for the NOR issue, the single sentence I have added:
However, contrary to this assertion, there are other languages like Chinese that appear to have the same feature, with the word for "front" () that refers to the past, and the word for "back" () that refers to the future.
...is mostly a statement of fact and can be verified using any Chinese dictionary (the links to Wiktionary for both words are present as well). The part that can be construed as original research would be the part where it says "contrary to this assertion." So essentially, the question is, whether the original assertion is properly stated. If it currently is not being stated properly, then it needs to be fixed. However, if it is indeed the case that the sentence as it is currently written is what the research actually claims, then I do not see why stating verifiable facts about Chinese words that serve as counterexamples to the claim would be original research. —Umofomia 10:46, 18 June 2006 (UTC) [correction in bold, 10:49, 18 June 2006 (UTC)]
I believe that the article by Nunez and Sweetser is quite clear about what conception of time they are talking about. The claim is that the Aymara have a future in back of ego and past in front of ego conceptualization, both of which are part of the MOVING EGO metaphor of time. English before/after (and Chinese 前/後), the claim goes, are not part of the MOVING EGO metaphor, but part of the MOVING TIME metaphor. In fact, historically/archaically "before" means 'in front of', and "after" means 'in back of' just like 前 and 後. In this respect Chinese is parallel to English. I think that the phrase "fearful of what may lie before us" and the word 未來 'future' indicate that both Chinese and English have a future in front of ego conceptualization. A word like 後來 'after' is about things that "come behind" other events, not behind the speaker him/herself. Pages 4 and 6 through 12 of the linked article explicitly entertain the idea that English also has a future in back of ego metaphor, and eventually conclude that it (and thus Chinese, I think) does not work like Aymara. Page 13 deals with previous research that attempts to show Aymara-like systems for other languages. Of course this does not mean that no other system comparable to Aymara could exist, and such claims should be called to task. In any case the situation is rather complicated and evidently not easily communicated, so I think some mention of this would be worthwhile. --rikdzin 21:58, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily claiming that Aymara is not unique. You obviously know more about this subject than I do. I'm just saying that the wording of the claim as it stands in the article is very misleading because it appears to make a bigger claim than what you have explained. The solution is to fix the text in the article such that bringing up Chinese would be irrelevant (or perhaps explain how its claim of uniqueness is different from other languages like Chinese as you have explained above). Do you think you can clean up the current text? I noticed you are a pretty new user here with no article edits so far, but I encourage you to be bold and make the text better. —Umofomia 00:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if I seemed to get uptight about it; it's mostly because I recently saw a talk on the topic. I updated the article, though I had to add a fair amount of background info that might be better located in a separate article that I probably can't do justice to.--rikdzin 22:37, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, your new additions explain the situation very well. I did a bit of minor copy editing for style and readability. —Umofomia 04:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

The statement is very definitely false. Akkadian warki "behind, in the future," and probably also in other Semitic languages though I can't think of examples off the top of my head. Note also the etymology of English "before" and "after" (cf. the nautical terms forecastle and aftercastle) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.34.182.39 (talk) 07:31, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

regional differencesEdit

This was a lot of uninformative and parochial blather:

While the Aymara language is basically the same wherever it is spoken, there are regional differences. The Aymara spoken in La Paz, Bolivia is sometimes claimed to be the 'purest' form of the language, though this seems a rather arbitrary favouritism. Of the regional variations, the 200,000 Aymara speakers from the border of Peru to Puno use the form most similar to the Aymara spoken in La Paz. There are also about 90,000 Aymara speakers in the provinces of Huancané and Moho in the department of Puno in Peru. While understood by Aymaristas from other regions, the Aymara spoken in Huancané and Moho seems to contain the most regional differences.
  1. I'm not sure whether the first sentence was edited into incoherence at some point or if it was trying to express that the language has mutually intelligible varieties. From the last sentence I guessed it was the latter; if I was mistaken please correct me.
  2. The second sentence is obviously an argument between editors in the narrative voice of the article, which sucks. I couldn't tell if the La Paz form is a standard language of some kind, and if so, how it's standardized.
  3. The third and fourth sentences take a long time to get to the simple point: "Two varieties of the language are similar to each other. A third is similar to neither of the others. All are mutually comprehensible."
  4. It would be helpful (but beyond my abilities) to describe exactly what these regional differences are. Are the regional forms as distinct as varieties of Arabic? Or are they as distinct as U.S. regional variations? Are they somewhere in between? Are the differences in accent? Grammar? Vocabulary? All of the above? —Charles P._(Mirv) 06:19, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Official language of Peru?Edit

I was under the impression that the '93 Constitution did away with that. Does anyone have a source? --Descendall 03:55, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I actually just dug up a source. "Achievements of Excluded Goups in the Andes" by Donna Lee Van Cott in State and Society in Conflict: Perspectives on Andeans Crises edited by Paul W. Drake and Eric Herberg. Page 167 has a chart that says that "Indigineous languages" are not official in Bolivia according to the 1994 Constitution and are official "in Indigenous territories" in Peru according to the 1993 Constitution. --Descendall 04:03, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Age of Aymara LanguageEdit

Does anyone know what the earliest record of this language is? How long has it been spoken?--Funhistory 15:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I certainly don't know much about Aymara, but it appears from the article that the "earliest record" is that of the Spanish missionaries, which I suppose dates to the 1500s. Before that, it was an unwritten language.
As for how long it has been spoken, that's kind of a nebulous question. All languages descend from earlier languages and (apart from pidgins and creoles) by way of more or less gradual changes. The English spoken today is descended by way of gradual changes from the English spoken in Shakespeare's time, which in turn descended from that spoken in Chaucher's time, which in turn came from that spoken in the era of Beowulf (with large admixtures from the Normans and Vikings, among other sources), which in turn came by way of gradual changes from Germanic languages spoken on the Continent, which came from proto-Germanic, which came from proto-Indoeuropean, which came from...no one knows what. The point is that (apart from Pidgins, Creoles, and many sign languages), languages change gradually, and there's no way to assign a date to a particular language's origin. Mcswell (talk) 21:28, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Peru, Bolivia, Chile, ArgentinaEdit

To the best of my knowledge, Aymara was declared an official language of Bolivia recently. Anyway, most speakers live in Bolivia, so the claim that "it is spoken to a much lesser extent in Bolivia" was incorrect. There are some speakers left in Chile, though the potential sources are very vague here. On Aymara in Argentina, Ethnologue has: "Quite a few have come from Bolivia looking for work. Sugar mill workers". We can thus safely assume that there are no more native Aymara communities in Argentina than there are in New York or Paris.

Three value logic systemEdit

In the article it is said that Aymara is based on a three value logic system. Can anyone add some example and details to show how Aymara based on this system? And how is it different from the binary logic in language? Without examples, it is very difficult to understand this unique feature. Salt 17:37, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I doubt it is unique. I suspect it's a simple evidential system, as in Quechua, but without examples, I can't look into the grammar of it. I'll flag the statement. kwami (talk) 21:50, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Since this has been asking for a site for over two years and hasn't received one, I've removed it. Also, moved the stuff from Eco et al. to a new section, "References in literature." Suomichris (talk) 07:19, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

NumbersEdit

The citation given for number of speakers is a dead link, and I couldn't track down the data myself. The Ethnologue counts for ayr and ayc add up to about 2,400,000. Unless anyone has another citation, I suggest changing the number and dropping the "more than 3 million speakers" bit (that's the main thing that prompted me to check). -- Shimmin Beg (talk) 20:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

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