Fidel Almirón Quispesivana became the first student of the Graduate School of the National University of San Agustín (UNSA) in Arequipa, Peru, to support his thesis, to obtain the degree of magister, in Quechua.

The research was titled ORCCOMAQ QHISHWASIMINPI RIMAKUN ISPAÑA SIMIPI RIMAYKUNA. In Spanish it means “Spanish in the Quechua of Orcoma”. Fidel thus obtained the degree of magister in Linguistics of the text and comprehension of texts.

For the debate of his research, Fidel conditioned an environment of his property. He placed his desk in the living room of his house with Andean ornaments which would represent part of his research.

Quechua: The surviving language of the Inca Empire

Quechua is a language family with more than 10 million speakers worldwide: it is spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. It is said to be a linguistic family because it is a group of languages (understood as a set of words and rules of use, shared by a community of people) that have a common origin.

In this sense, there are several Quechua languages and the speaker of one will not necessarily understand all of them. One way to illustrate this is to compare Spanish and Portuguese, languages that, although they are different, have grammatical similarities, which shows that they belong to the same family. In Peru there are two main branches within the Quechua family: Quechua I (or Central) and Quechua II (or Southern).

The research aimed to show that Spanish, as the dominant language, greatly influences Quechua. Several words of his vocabulary are used by Quechua speakers, he gave as an example the word friend that in Quechua would be amigu, amiguy, amiguykuna. “I look like a child shedding tears, this goes for the family,”he said.

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Arequipa: UNSA graduate supported his master's thesis in Quechua

Arequipa: graduated from the UNSA supported his master’s thesis in Quechua. Photo: Unsplash. Credits: Alexander Schimmeck @alschim

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