Toward a Khipu Transcription "Insistence": a Corpus-Based Study of the Textos Andinos
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CitationMedrano, Manuel. 2019. Toward a Khipu Transcription "Insistence": a Corpus-Based Study of the Textos Andinos. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
AbstractThis thesis analyzes the Textos Andinos, a compilation of sixteenth-century Spanish transcriptions of indigenous narrations of khipus—knotted-string recording devices used in the Inka Empire for recording information. I compile the largest digitized and syntactically-annotated corpus of khipu transcriptions to date from the Textos. Textual interpretation is employed to suggest an exegetical typology of khipu transcriptions. I apply Ascher and Ascher’s (1997) concept of “insistence” to illuminate the idiosyncrasies of the texts. The output of the close reading—a primordial division of 72 khipu transcriptions—is subjected to exploratory multivariate analysis, based in corpus linguistics, to suggest a statistical typology of the corpus. Chronology and the recording of currency emerge as the most significantly distinguishable typological categories for describing khipu narration in the early colonial Andes. A significant differentiation is found in the essential narrative structures of pre- and postconquest khipu transcriptions. Novel statistical support is offered for Urton’s (1998) hypothesis: postconquest khipu narrations were characterized by attenuated clauses and enumerated lists, constituting a flattening of the expressive capacity of khipus following the Spanish conquest. I offer formal principles for a Khipu Transcription Corpus (KTC)—a novel online repository of early colonial khipu transcriptions. Following these principles, it is argued that aggregate analysis of the texts in a corpus framework establishes the enabling infrastructure for a statistically-informed khipu transcription insistence.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364622
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