Logo Estudios Indianos
Universidad del Pacífico


Arte de la lengua aymara, con una silva de phrases de la misma lengua, y su declaración en romance

Authors: Ludovico Bertonio

Bertonio’s work reflects the Jesuit presence in the Juli region. His works constitute an important and select corpus of the Aymara language of the first colonial century, which goes beyond simple phrases and translations written by European missionaries. Arte de la lengua aymara, con una silva de phrases de la misma lengua is composed of two parts. Each one with its own numbering, but bound and titled jointly: the first is a grammar; and the second, a compendium of Aymara phrases elaborated by the Indians themselves, with their respective translation.
Arte de la lengua aymara, 135 folios, is the abbreviated, revised and corrected version of the copious grammar printed in Rome in 1603. Silva de Phrases consists of 264 folios of phrases organized around a vocabulary of about 300 words, plus a double index of terms in Aymara and Spanish. Numerous phrases and idiomatic constructions of the time are included, as well as many phrases that have been inspired by the evangelizing work of missionary linguists. According to Xavier Albó and Félix Layo, in large part, this Silva is a compliment to the more formal aesthetics of 16th century Aymara oral literature: it is what Bertonio called the “galas”, the “afeytes del bien dezir” and the “muchos modos y muy galanos”of the Aymara language.

Daphne Cornejo
Proyecto Estudios Indianos
Digital Resources
Albó, X., & Layo, F. (1984). Ludovico Bertonio (1557-1625): fuente única al mundo Aymara temprano. Revista Andina, (3), 223-264