Ecuadorian Highland Quechua is one of the Quechuan languages that spread throughout the Andes during the Inca Empire in the 13th to 16th Centuries. The Ecuadorian varieties are locally known as “Quichua” and are spoken by many different regional ethnic groups in the Andes and Amazon; estimates vary, but there may be about one million speakers in Ecuador, all together, with several million more speakers of related languages in neighboring countries. The variety of Quechua spoken by the people of Imbabura province is one of the largest regional sub-varieties of Ecuador. Imbaburan people live in agricultural communities, planting crops like corn and potatoes, but are also famous for their long historical tradition of weaving which has developed into an important handcraft industry. Ecuadorian Quechua has some distinct regional features, but like other Quechuan languages it is agglutinative, has primarily SOV word order, and has complex verbal morphology including large agreement paradigms and evidential markers.
- Parsons, Elsie Clews. 1945. Peguche: Cantón de Otavalo, Province of Imbabura, Ecuador: A study of Andean Indians. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Peter Cole. 1982. Imbabura Quechua. (Lingua Descriptive Studies, 5.) Lingua Descriptive Series, Vol. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company: Amsterdam: North-Holland, Amsterdam. vii+233pp.
- Floyd, Simeon. 2011. Re-discovering the Quechua adjective. Linguistic Typology,15, 25-63