South America’s indigenous languages: Where are they now?

South America has a rich linguistic heritage. According to The World Bank’s 2015 study “Indigenous Latin America in the 21st century,” the number of languages spoken in the region is 560, although some studies estimate that before Spanish colonization the continent was home to over 2,000. This diversity is in part due to the continent’s geography; dense jungles, snow-capped mountains and deserts separate communities making contact difficult with other groups. Large empires like the Incas, the Mayans, and the Aztecs reduced linguistic diversity when they conquered large swathes of land and people, but even today, there are remote monolingual groups … Continue reading South America’s indigenous languages: Where are they now?