Languages of Peru
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
|Part of a series on the|
Peru is a multilingual nation. Its official language is Spanish. In the zones where they are predominant, Quechua, Aymara and other aboriginal languages also have official status. (Political Constitution, art. 48) The most common languages are Spanish, to a lesser extent, Quechua and Aymara languages, not to mention numerous Amazonian languages, such as Urarina.
The aboriginal languages of Peru are spoken mainly in the central Andes and in the Amazon forests. A considerable number of languages were once spoken on the northern coast and in the northern Andes, but other than some in the northern highlands (Cajamarca, Inkawasi-Cañaris and Chachapoyas), all others have died out - Mochica is thought to have gone extinct in the 1950s.
The only aboriginal Andean languages in use in the highlands today are those of the Them Nudes and Aymara families (the latter including Jaqaru/Kawki). The Amazon region, however, is home to a[clarification needed]
It is known that the number of languages that were used in Peru easily surpasses 300; some observers speak of 700. Yet from the time of European conquest, epidemics and periods of forced work (in addition to the influence of the hegemonic Spanish language), fewer than 150 can be counted today. The following is an incomplete list of languages spoken today, and a number that became extinct in the twentieth century or that are endangered.
Families and language isolates