Classical-quechua Language Classical-quechua Grammar: Gramatical generalities

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< Language‎ | Classical-quechua‎ | Grammar
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Hi everyone, In today's lesson you will learn some general grammar rules in Guechua.

Typology[edit | edit source]

Quechua belongs to the group of agglutinating languages ​​in which a root can be followed by one or more suffixes

Quechua Spanish English
Rumi Piedra  Stone                          
Rumiwan Con la piedra With the Stone                                     
Rumi-lla-wan Sólo con la piedra Onlv with the Stone                  
Rumi-lla-wan-raq Sólo con la piedra todavía  Only with the stone yet 

In this way a series of sentences can be formed with any root. In some cases the suffix chu indicates the interrogative form

Quechua Spanish English
Takinkichu Vas a cantar? Will you sing?               
Riymanchu  Puedo ir? Shall i go?     


The suffix wan equals to:

Quechua Spanish English
Mamaywan Con mi madre With my mother

The suffix lla equals to:

Quechua Spanish English
Ñoqalla Solamente yo Only me

GRAMMATIC UNITS[edit | edit source]

Morfema[edit | edit source]

It is the minimum unit of speech with its own meaning.

In Quechua there are two kinds of morphemes: free and linked.

Free are those that constitute words by themselves with a specific meaning, eg:

Quechua Spanish English
Uma Cabeza Head

Morpheme linked is the one that never appears only but linked to another morpheme to have meaning:

Quechua Spanish English
Uma-sapa Cabezón Big-headed      


As you can see, the sapa particle has no meaning if it is not linked to another morpheme, which does not happen with one that can appear alone. These linked morphemes are called suffixes.

In a Quechua sentence there may be three or more suffixes linked to free morpheme ej:

Quechua Spanish English
Wawa Criatura Babv               
Wawa-kuna-man A las criaturas To the babies               
Wawa-kuna-man-raq A las criaturas, primero To the babies first

Root[edit | edit source]

It is called like this some morphemes that do not carry suffixes.

They are more numerous and have, in general, a greater number of phonemes, eg:

Quechua Spanish English
Paya Vieja Old woman                                           
Mallki Arbol Tree     


Topic[edit | edit source]

It is a root stripped of inflectional suffixes or bearing derivation suffixes, as in the case of Quechua, ex:

Quechua Spanish English
Mihuy Comer To eat  
Mihuna Comida Food   
Qhaway  Mirar To look
Qhawana Mirador Watch-tower     

Word[edit | edit source]

It is the morpheme that can be used independently. In Quechua it can consist of a simple root, ex:

Quechua Spanish English
Karu Lejos Far      
Wayna Joven Young man      

Or also in a root with derivative and inflectional suffixes. ex:

Quechua Spanish English
Karumanta hamuni Vengo de lejos I come from far off

Prayer[edit | edit source]

Prayer is a syntactically independent unit.

It is simple when it has only one verb, eg: It is said that the sentence is composed when it has more than one verb, ex:

Quechua Spanish English
Ñañay takiyta munan Mi hermana quiere cantar My sister wants to sing



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