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Aymara is the name of a South-American people and of their language. The Aymara are native to the Andes region of Bolivia and Peru. Aymara is an official language in both nations. The Aymara were established in the region for centuries before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.

Aymara language

Many linguists believe that the Aymara language is related to its larger neighbour, Quechua. This claim, however, is disputed - although there are indeed similarities, critics say that these may simply be the result of prolonged interaction between the two languages, not a shared origin.

The Aymara language is an inflecting language, and has a subject-object-verb word order.

Aymara, the language, is cited by the author Umberto Eco in The Search for the Perfect Language as a language of immense flexibility and capable of accommodating many neologisms. Ludovico Bertonio published Arte de la lengua Aymara in 1603. He remarked the language was particularly useful for expressing abstract concepts. In 1860 Emeterio Villamil de Rada suggested it was the language of Adam, (La Lengua de Adán).

Aymara is based on a three value logic system giving a capability of expressing modal subtleties which many other languages can only express clumsily. Guzmán de Rojas has suggested that it be used as an intermediary language for computerised translation.

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