The Aymara Collection is comprised of archival and published texts as well as recorded sounds and images related to the Aymara language. The Aymara Collection supports Aymara on the Internet and its Aymara Object Editor, a tool for language learning.
Aymara is in the Jaqi linguistic family, which includes two other languages: Jaqaru and Kawki. The Jaqi Collection contains materials from each. Resources collected here include some of the first resources in printed Aymara together with later reprints.
Aymara is a language of the high Andean plain between the highest peaks of the Andes mountains and of the shores of the world's highest navigable lake. Aymara is the first language of approximately one-third of the population of Bolivia, the dominant language of the southern area of Perú and down towards the coast in Moquegua, Tacna, with branches into Arequipa, and is the indigenous language of northern Chile.
Aymara is a suffixing language with complex morphophonemics. The bulk of the grammatical resources are found within the morphology. Syntax is morphologically marked; verbal person suffixes mark simultaneously object/subject; data source is marked at all levels of grammar. Within the nominal system inclusive/exclusive and humanness are marked.
The Aymara sentence is defined by the use of sentence suffixes. These sentence suffixes are independent of root classes and may occur on all classes. Every sentence must be marked by one of more sentance suffix, whic serves to define the sentence type. Aymara has 26 consonant phonemes and three vowel phonemes. Fifteen of the consonants are voiceless stops which occur in five contrasting positions of articulation; and in three manners. Vowel dropping is significant, complex and pervasive, marking case and phrase structure as well as style.
The Aymara Collection is particularly indebted to the work of Dr. Martha James Hardman. During her fifty years of research in the region, Dr. Hardman recorded more than 93 audio interviews with speakers of the Jaqi languages - many now deceased village elders - and transcribed these recordings in as many field notebooks documenting Jaqaru and Kawki linguistics. The Collection is augmented with visual resources, the bulk taken between 1959 and 1975 of villages, farms, market scenes, homes, and schools. Additional Resources can be found on her website.