Home / Dr. Nicholas Q. Emlen


Nicholas Q. Emlen is a linguistic anthropologist who has conducted extensive ethnographic research on multilingualism, migration, and coffee production on the Andean-Amazonian agricultural frontier of Southern Peru. He also works on the reconstruction of Quechua-Aymara language contact in the ancient Central Andes. In another project, he uses 17th century texts to study multilingualism among Quechua, Aymara, Puquina, and Spanish in the colonial Andes, and he is currently involved in creating digital interfaces for those texts. Dr. Emlen is a member of the Leiden Puquina Working Group. He is a postdoctoral researcher in the Research Group "The Language Dynamics of the Ancient Central Andes.”

2014 Ph.D., Linguistic Anthropology, University of Michigan
2010M.A., Linguistic Anthropology, University of Michigan
2003B.A., Anthropology/Linguistics, Brown University
2019Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Tübingen
2018 - 2019Research Fellow, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
2018 - 2019Visiting Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Brown University
2014 - 2017Postdoctoral Researcher, Leiden University
To appearNorthern Aymaran toponymy, revisited. (With Arjan Mossel.)
Puquina. In The Oxford Guide to the Languages of the Central Andes. Matthias Urban, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (With Arjan Mossel, Simon van de Kerke, and Willem F.H. Adelaar.)
The Quechuan-Aymaran relationship. In The Oxford Guide to the Languages of the Central Andes. Matthias Urban, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2020On the polymorphemic genesis of some Proto-Quechua roots: Establishing and interpreting non-random form/meaning correspondences on the basis of a cross-linguistic polysemy network. Diachronica 37 (3): 96–145. (Co-authored with Johannes Dellert.)
Language, Coffee, and Migration on an Andean-Amazonian Frontier. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
The many Spanishes of an Andean-Amazonian crossroads. In: Amazonian Spanish: Language Contact and Evolution. Stephen Fafulas, ed. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 259–286.
Puquina kin terms. In: From Mesoamerica to Patagonia: Colonial Studies of Latin-American Languages. Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus, Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez, Liesbeth Zack, Otto Zwartjes, eds. Leiden: Brill. 277-298. (Co-authored with Arjan Mossel, Simon van de Kerke, and Willem F.H. Adelaar.)
Vowel deletion in two Aymara varieties. Italian Journal of Linguistics 32 (1). (Co-authored with Matt Coler and Edwin Banegas-Flores. Forthcoming.)
Getting funding and support. In Language Revitalization: A Practical Guide. Justyna Olko and Julia Sallabank, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming.)
2019The poetics of recapitulative linkage in Matsigenka and mixed Matsigenka- Spanish myth narration. In Tails, heads, and linkages across languages. Pp. 45-77. Valerie Guérin & Grant Aiton, eds. Berlin: Language Science Press.
2017 Proto-Quechua and Proto-Aymara agropastoral terms: reconstruction and contact patterns. In Language Dispersal Beyond Farming. Martine Robbeets & Alexander Savelyev, eds. Pp. 25-45. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (Co-authored with Willem F.H. Adelaar.)
Perspectives on the Quechua-Aymara contact relationship and the lexicon and phonology of Pre-Proto-Aymara. International Journal of American Linguistics 83(2):307-340
Multilingualism in the Andes and Amazonia: a view from in-between. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 22(3): 556-577.
Review of Between the Andes and the Amazon: Language and Social Meaning in Bolivia (Anna M. Babel). Anthropological Linguistics 59(4): 442-444.
2015 Public discourse and community formation in a trilingual Matsigenka-Quechua- Spanish frontier community of Southern Peru. Language in Society 44(5):679-703
Digital Projects
The Puquina language in the colonial Andes. With Leiden Puquina Working Group. Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.
A database of 17th century Aymara. Aymara language database including text and dictionary. With Patrick Hall. John Carter Brown Library, Brown University.

Contact Information

  • Position Title: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Personal Title: Dr.
  • Location: Rümelinstr. 23, room 425
  • Telephone number: +49 7071 2976509
  • E-mail address: nicholas.emlen@uni-tuebingen.de