Puquina Kin Terms

Arjan Mossel, Nicholas Q. Emlen, Simon van de Kerke, Willem F. H. Adelaar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The Puquina language, which was spoken in the South-Central Andes until the early nineteenth century, is documented in just one missionary text published in 1607. This has made it difficult to describe the language with much precision. In this chapter, we present a new picture of the Puquina kinship system, based on a close analysis of a passage regarding the sixth commandment (dealing with sexual relations among family members). The terms that emerge from this analysis are distinguished by gender of ego, and are suggestive of a bifurcate merging kinship system, similar to the Quechuan and Aymaran systems. In addition to its descriptive contribution, this analysis may help develop an ethnohistorical picture of Puquina speakers in pre-colonial Andean society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMissionary Linguistic Studies from Mesoamerica to Patagonia
EditorsAstrid Alexander-Bakkerus, Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez, Liesbeth Zack, Otto Zwartjes
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-42700-6
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-42460-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameBrill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture


  • Puquina language
  • kinship terms
  • Andean languages
  • language description


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