Endangered languages with millions of speakers: Focus on Quechua in Peru

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Willem F.H. Adelaar

Abstract

Programs designed to address the documentation and preservation of endangered languages have mainly concentrated their efforts on languages spoken by small speech communities that are relatively easy to survey. Endangered languages with large numbers of speakers have only marginally benefited from such programs. This article addresses the reasons for this discrepancy, taking as an example the situation of Peruvian Quechua and its numerous varieties.

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