Amazonian Kichwa Language and Culture
140 contact hours
Dates: June 5-July 21, 2023 (6 weeks)
Dr. Tod D Swanson, Arizona State University
Dr. Janis B. Nucholls
Dr. Armando Muyulema
Lic. Nely Shiguango
About the Course
This course introduces graduate students to the Kichwa language and moves them toward fluency as quickly as possible. Exercises are geared to teach the performative language skills needed to carry out research or other kinds of work with Kichwa communities. Throughout the course, Kichwa language is used as a window into Kichwa culture and worldview. Because the graduate students taking the course tend to be highly motivated but at varying levels of competence an effort is made to individualize instruction often tailoring language instruction to the research topic or needs of the student. The study of Kichwa songs and videotaped oral literature will help to keep things lively.
In compliance with FLAS eligible Kichwa requirements this course offers
•140 hours of in-class instruction over a period of 6 weeks
•Pre and post-course testing assess progress toward the performance goals set forth in USDE IRIS testing instruments.
Amazonian Kichwa Songs (with learning aids for study and memorization)
Students are given a letter grade
Attendance and participation 40%
6 weekly tests: 10% each= 60%
Objectives: On completing this class the student should be able to
1. Make social introductions, use greeting and leave-taking expressions.
2. Talk about spatial movement so as to be able to ask or give directions on how to get from one place to another.
3. Ask and answer simple questions about date and place of birth, nationality, marital status, occupation,
4. Make basic living arrangements such as renting a room or calling a taxi.
5. Be able to make social introductions and use greeting and leave-taking expressions.
6. Buy needed items in a store.
7. Be able to understand simple sentences on these topics performed at normal speed by native speakers.
8. Be able to construct basic sentences in the present and past tenses with the correct use of the direct object marker and word order.
9. Be able to ask and answer questions of how something is done
10. Be able to ask and answer questions of why something occurs.
11. Be able to carry out a simple interview on the demographics of a community
Course Schedule Monday- Thursday (No class on Fridays)
9:00-9:30 Read the assigned chapters
9:30-10:30- Kichwa grammar and vocabulary, Swanson
10:45-12:00 Linguistic anthropology, culture and oral literature, Swanson
12:45-1:00 Private review and study time
2:15-3:10 Conversational Kichwa, Muyulema y Shiguango
3:30-4:30 Kichwa music or cultural activity, Muyulema y Shiguango
Module 1: Overview
Module 1: Learning Materials
Module 1: Test
Module 2: Overview
Module 2: Learning Materials
Module 2: Test
Module 3: Overview
Module 3: Learning Materials
Module 3: Test
Module 5: Overview
Module 5: Learning Materials
Module 5: Test
Module 6: Overview
Module 6: Learning Materials
Module 6: Test
Materials for Beginning Kichwa Grammar
Present tense (Quizlet)
Lack of abstraction in indigenous languages
Shared Body: The Amazonian Kichwa Relational Self and its Implications for Language.
In class practice active listening to Kichwa with short videos related to shared body: Eulodia Dagua, "Our Babies Cry Like the Animals We Eat," "Newborn Child Dies Like the Snake His Father Killed.”
Chapter 3: Talking about family Direct object marker -ta; -yuk, charina, consanguineal kinship terms
Family and kinship terms for consanguineal (blood) relations.
Asking questions about family. Telling about one’s family with charina ‘to have’ and direct object marker –ta, and possessive marker -yuk
Use of the Present Tense with Object Markers (PowerPoint)
Lesson 4: Types of questions: Ima, pi, Information questions with question marker -ta/-ra; Open-ended questions with -ga, The causative suffix –chi; polite/non-immediate imperative.
PowerPoint: The Imperative
4.1 Practice information questions with "ima" + question marker -ta;
4.2 Practice answering the following information questions which ask pi ‘who?’
4.3 Practice asking and answering the following information questions for third person plural subjects, which you will insert in your answers.
4.4 Practice turning the following commands into polite, non-immediate imperatives.
4.5 Practice the open-ended question by having someone read each of the following statements and then ask you about what you are doing.
Lesson 5: Affirming, negating and evading More on yes/no questions. Replying to a yes/no question with a negative statement; Evasion and echo questions. Plural suffixes
Sharing Food in Kichwa Language and Culture
Performative skill for IRIS testing: Ordering a meal in Kichwa
Work on verbs: munana, gustana, ministina, charina, ushana, mikuna and upina.
Lesson 6: Articulating the perspectives of self and other, Articulating the perspectives of self and other
The speaking self –mi; -mi + ana = mana; the voice of the ‘other’ –shi; affinal kinship terms.
Perspectival Speech and the Kichwa Perception of Honesty or "Why Anthropologists are Liars.”
Reading: Janis B. Nuckolls and Swanson, Tod D. (2014). "Earthy Concreteness and Anti- Hypotheticalism in Amazonian Quichua Discourse. Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America: Vol. 12: Iss. 1, Article 4, 48-60.
First person object suffix -wa
Ideophones for bodily movements and configurations
Reflexive suffix –ri
The cognitive suffix –ri
The bodily configurational suffix –ri
The low animacy suffix –ri
Exercises with numbers:
8. 4 Answer the following questions using Kichwa numbers.
8 exercise 5. Translate the following numbers into Kichwa
Materials for Beginning Kichwa Grammar. Direct Imperative, -was (also, too, and), -wa/n (with)
The despitative –was
The immediate imperative forms
PowerPoint: The Imperative
Negating the immediate imperative forms
The first person plural imperative –shun
9. 1 Practice making sentences with the instrumental -wa by suffixing it to the appropriate noun in each of the following sets of words. Vary your person/number usage and be sure to add the direct object marker -ta wherever necessary.
Exercise with negative imperative in 2nd person singular
Create a power point in Kichwa describing your childhood. Describe the places using the participle + locative construction. Present your power points.
Work with translation of Kichwa poem, "Only and Owl Will Call.”
Nuckolls and Swanson, Chapter 10 Suffixes of togetherness and separateness.
Kichwa language for talking about the weather. Performance goal: Be able to make small talk about the weather.
Only an Owl Will Call
3:00-4:00 Kichwa Songs and Music. Nazario Alvarado
Part 2: Space and Time
11 Practice 3. Asking "why" questions with ima raygura and answering purposive -ngak. The durative suffix –u
Purposive suffix -ngak (Quizlet)
-ngak PowerPoint exercise with pictures
Kichwa descriptions of color
Task: Write the 10 best "why" questions you can in your chosen "islands of language competence" using imamandara or imaraygura. Write the answers to these questions. Perfect the questions and answers with a native speaker. Put them into Quizlet. Memorize them then work in groups practicing the why questions of your classmates.
Place in Kichwa Language and Culture
Reading: Joseph Bastien, Mountain of the Condor
Work with Quichua oral literature text, “Santu Urku.”
Directional suffixes –ma and –manda
-ma and -manda with personal pronouns and names (example "Juanbakma")
Reading: Swanson, “Relatives of the Living Forest.”
Further work on the language of place.
Asking and Giving Directions (PowerPoint)
Asking Directions in Kichwa
12.1 Attributive constructions. Practice making attributive constructions using verb roots along with mana 'to be' (-mi + ana):
12.2 Attributive + immediate imperative (Pastaza). Practice constructions which use one attributive and one immediate singular imperative verb, using the following sets. Be sure to add any case suffixes necessary for words other than verbs.
Immediate imperative (Quizlet)
Work with Quichua oral literature text, “Trees Call Rain.”
Lesson 12.b PowerPoint
locative suffix -pi
12.3 Exercise: Complete the sentence using either -y/-bi, -ma, or -manda, depending on which makes best sense.
Habitual aspect with attributive –k
The translocative suffix –gri
The –gama, -kta, and –ta adverbial suffixes
Exercise with past tense (Pastaza)
More practice with past tense using questions + -chu or -ra (Quizlet)
Attributive -k (Quizlet)
Attributive -k as adjective with nouns (Quizlet)
Attributive k with m-ana (Quizlet)
Attributive -k with past tense as habitual action (Quizlet)
Attributive with n + v-durative-k-object marker (Quizlet)
Work with Kichwa oral literature text, “Trees Call Rain.”
Co-reference suffix –sha
-sha verb’s action simultaneous with or independent of main verb’s action
-sha verb facilitating action of main verb
negating a –sha verb
questioning a –sha verb
nina + -sha
Switch reference suffix–kpi
If/then –kpi constructions
When/while/after x happens/y happens –kpi constructions
Sequencing of –sha and -kpi
Exercises with -sha/-kpi in if.... then constructions
-sha/-kpi as if/then
-sha/-kpi as if/then with past tense conditional (If you had I would have).
-sha/-kpi in temporally sequenced actions
-sha simultaneous actions- (adverbial)
-sha/-kpi because (when one verb is the cause of the other)
-sha/-kpi combined with future tense verbs
-sha/-kpi combined with past tense verbs
-sha in polite imperative construction (dame haciendo)
Practice using -sha/kpi to construct 2 word sentences
-sha as exaggeration -nsha (pastaza -shá)
Reading and translation of Kichwa text: Rayo amarunda apin "Thunder Catches Boas"
Present perfect -shka
Narrative past –shka
Grammatical characteristics of -shka
Promises, threats, and other expressions with –shka
Complex subjects with -shka
Complex predicates with -ska-ra
Translation and analysis and discussion of poem Uksha Urku
Vocabulary for lyrics to Uksha Urku
Talking about the future
The compound future –nga + rana ‘going to do something’ construction
Questioning the compound future
Exhortative future constructions
Useful expressions for talking about temporality
Exercise with the future tense -nga rana
“On the future and time in Kichwa thinking and language.”
Reading and translation of Kichwa oral literature text, Luisa Cadena, "On the return of the animals and the dead."
Nominalizing verbs with –y suffix
Passive -y verb +tukuna for passives
Completive –y verb + pasana for perfective aspect
Inceptive –y verb + kallarina for inceptive action
General principles of sentence construction: subject deletion; subject transposition
18.1 Nominalized -y verb +tukuna for passives
Nominalized –y verb + pasana for perfective aspect
18.2 Answer the following questions by making use of the words in parentheses.
Example: Imata tukushun? (mikuna, puma) ‘What will become of us?’
Mikuy tukushun pumamanda. ‘We’ll end up being eaten by a jaguar.’
18.3 Practice expressing the completive construction by responding to direct imperatives.
Example: Mikwi! 'eat!' Ña mikwi pasanimi! 'Well I've (already) eaten!'
18.4 Nominalized –y verb + kallarina for inceptive action
Exercise with -y pasana and -y tukuna
Work with -sha; -kpi
Task: Write the 10 best "how" questions you can in your chosen "islands of language competence." Write the answers to these questions using verbs with -sha for the dependent steps toward the main goal. Use verbs with -kpi for the outside or contingent circumstances affecting how you carry out the task. Perfect the questions and answers with a native speaker. Put them into Quizlet. Memorize them then work in groups practicing the why questions of your classmates.
Readings: Viveiros de Castro, "Amerindian Perspectivalism."
Reading and translation of Quichua oral literature text, Pedro Andi, “The Musician Wren”.
Reading: Rayo amarunda apin "Thunder Catches Boas"
The conditional mood
The relative order of meaningful elements
When order is not strictly regulated
19.1;19.2;19.3; 19.1 Translate the following conditional sentences
19.2 Form sentences using instrumental, locative, or direct object markers. Assume subjects are deleted. Inflect verb for present using 123 word order. Example: Alberto/upichina/aswa > Aswawan masha Albertota upichinma (123 present conditional)
19. Practice 3 Now construct sentences, again following the 123 or 321 order, using the following word sets, and also, including -gama or -manda suffixes wherever possible. Assume that subjects have been deleted, and use the 'going-to-do' compound future
Conversational practice with telling about your family in Kichwa.
Translation of Quichua story, “Baltzar Gualinga Wangana Kuraga.”
Tools for sequencing actions
Translate the following quoted speech sentence.
20. Practice 2 with the subjunctive -chun
Further practice on the subjunctive.
Review and practice for IRIS assessment.
Conversational practice with interviewing in Kichwa about family
Translation of Kichwa story, “Ishki Kandu Rumimanda”
More work on the subjunctive.
Practice simple reporting about a news event in Kichwa.
Further practice on the subjunctive.
Review and practice for IRIS assessment.
Practice telling about your life and job in Kichwa
Translation of Kichwa story, “Balatzar Gualingaina Wangana Kuraga.”
Direct object marker -ta/ra
Pita ñambira riksin. Dialogue with direct object.
Co and switch reference suffixes -sha/kpi (Quizlet)
-naypi if/the with imperative
-s even hough/ no matter how much
Time and Temporal Movement
Vobabulary and Semantics
Humor (Swanson, Asichina, the Language of Kichwa Humor)
Janis B. Nuckolls and Swanson, Tod D. (2014). "Earthy Concreteness and Anti- Hypotheticalism in Amazonian Quichua Discourse," Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America: Vol. 12: Iss. 1, Article 4, 48-60