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Obituary Notice
Alfredo Torero Fernández de Córdova

Rosaleen Howard y Willem Adelaar
p. 223-224

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1We regret to report the death of the distinguished Peruvian linguist Alfredo Torero, in Valencia on 19 June 2004. Alfredo Torero was born in Huacho, Peru, in 1930. He was a leading member of the Peruvian academic community until his exile to Europe in 1990, where he held refugee status in the Netherlands for the latter part of his life. Although born in a typical Peruvian coastal community and educated at the prestigious Colegio Guadalupe in Lima, Alfredo soon became fascinated by the diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the migrants who descended from the Andean cordilleras in search of a better life. We owe to his exhaustive research beginning in the 1960s, the path breaking classification of the Quechua dialects of the Andes on which all subsequent comparative and historical research into Andean languages has been based. Alfredo’s foundational publications on Quechua dialectology began with ‘Los dialectos quechuas’ in the Anales Científicos de la Universidad Agraria (Lima, 1964) and include El quechua y la historia social andina, published by the Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima, 1974). Most recently, Alfredo completed a monumental study of the Andean languages, placing Quechua in the context of other living languages such as Aymara and Mapuche, as well as relating it chronologically and typologically to extinct languages such as Mochica and Kulli, both formerly spoken in northern Peru (Los idiomas de los Andes, IFEA, Lima, 2002). While earning a living as a journalist, Alfredo trained in linguistics at the Sorbonne in the 1960s, where he earned his Doctorate for a thesis on Puquina, the third ‘general language of Peru’, at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Between 1969 and 1990 he held high-level academic positions in Peru, first at the Universidad Nacional Agraria of La Molina, where he was a colleague of the writer José María Arguedas, and then at his alma mater, the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. He was Vice-Rector of San Marcos from 1985 until 1990, when his career was interrupted by political events in the country. Alfredo always combined a passionate interest for the Andean people with a deep concern for social justice, especially relating to the situation of the poor and dispossessed. This position eventually brought him into conflict with the authorities of his country. During his exile in Europe he held several academic positions in Spain (Salamanca, Valencia). Alfredo Torero was an inspiration to several generations of students and scholars of Quechua throughout the international Andeanist community. The quality and originality of his work lay in his ability to draw on ethnohistorical and archaeological evidence in his historical linguistic reconstructions. He had an extraordinary knowledge of the Andean landscape and its people, to which he could relate at will the diverse Quechua and Aymara dialects spoken from southern Colombia to northwest Argentina. Alfredo was generous with his knowledge, and we all the poorer for no longer having him with us as a teacher, and as a wonderful conversationist.

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Referencia en papel

Rosaleen Howard y Willem Adelaar, « Obituary Notice
Alfredo Torero Fernández de Córdova », Bulletin de l'Institut français d'études andines, 33 (2) | 2004, 223-224.

Referencia electrónica

Rosaleen Howard y Willem Adelaar, « Obituary Notice
Alfredo Torero Fernández de Córdova », Bulletin de l'Institut français d'études andines [En línea], 33 (2) | 2004, Publicado el 08 agosto 2004, consultado el 29 marzo 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/bifea.5691

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Les contenus du Bulletin de l’Institut français d’études andines sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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