International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest


The Amazon rainforest, home to many and diverse indigenous language populations, expands over a vast territory in South America, the most extensive river system in the world. In the western area, Spanish coexists with many indigenous languages since colonial times. New varieties of Amazonian Spanish emerged in this context of long-term language contact. These varieties are understudied, although research has increased in the last decade. Recent works show that Spanish linguistic features are shared across political borders and point to a macro-region. This paper discusses the socio-historical and linguistic contexts of the expansion of the Northwestern Amazonian Spanish in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, emphasizing the contextual relationship between the Andes and Western Amazon. It also highlights the roles and responsibilities that (socio)linguists have in linguistic documentation in increasing the visibility of linguistic varieties that emerged under intense contact with indigenous languages.