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Universidad del Pacífico


Arte de la lengua general del Ynga llamada qquechhua

Authors: Esteban Sancho de Melgar

The Arte de la lengua general del Ynga llamada qquechhua (Art of the general language of the Ynga called qquechhua) reflects, in part, the monumental work of Esteban Sancho de Melgar. Only with the manuscript Lucerna indica a better evaluation of the same is reached. In this work (which we now know incomplete) promises in its end the Art of the same author, perhaps a revised version of the book printed in 1691.

The Art follows a tripartite structure:

 The first two chapters describe the main phonological aspects of Quechua, as well as examine their grammatical categories. In the prologue, the author describes his orthographic proposal. The third, however, follows more the spirit of his manuscript. This is a series of practical advice for the translation of biblical Latin into Quechua. Here we see both the interest in the correct communication of the Gospels in Quechua, and the concern of the author for the knowledge that the priests then (late XVII century) had from Latin. However, the Art of Sancho de Melgar reveals an effective use of classical philology applied to the Amerindian languages ​​and, above all, a systematizing eagerness for the correct phonological writing of Quechua.