Vol 1 No 2 (2011)

A Historical Overview of Linguistic Imperialism and Resistance in Peru

Tammy Stenner
MAIS program
Published March 27, 2011


The architecture of Cusco today is mainly Inca foundations with Spanish constructions on top. This can be seen as an analogy of the imposition of Spanish language, culture, and political and social institutions on the Inca society, while the indigenous culture and language survive as part of the foundation of the modern culture. The linguistic and cultural diversity of Peru has been subjected to linguistic imperialism on the part of the Spanish conquerors for centuries. Overt and covert resistance to imperialism on the part of the indigenous peoples of Peru, the indigenismo movement, and Bilingual Education Programs are responsible for continued use of Quechua, Aymara, and other indigenous languages. However, the indigenous languages of Peru now face new threats with processes of globalization and the rise of English as a global language.