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Mochica: grammatical topics and external relations

On the 12th of May, Rita Barrera Virhuez-Eloranta successfully defended a doctoral thesis and graduated. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Rita Barrera Virhuez-Eloranta on this achievement.

Rita Barrera Virhuez-Eloranta
12 May 2020
Leiden University Repository


This thesis is about the Mochica language, an extinct linguistic isolate that was spoken until the mid- to late-nineteenth century in the northern coastal area of Peru. The aim of this study is twofold. The first goal is to reconstruct and better understand the Mochica language, in order to achieve the second goal of this research: a comparison of the Mochica language with other languages, which could potentially allow the establishment of contact or genealogical relations.This thesis includes a brief grammatical sketch of the Mochica language, as well as the reconstruction of some of its grammatical aspects (nominal possession, numeral classification, and nominalization) and its phonology. The thesis also offers the results of the grammatical and lexical comparison carried out between the Mochica language and other surrounding languages, and with other typologically similar languages.This thesis will be of interest to linguists who study indigenous languages of the Americas, Andean Linguistics and Linguistic Typology.

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