Media Lengua, a mixed language with mostly Quechua syntax, morphology, phonology, and semantics and Spanish lexical shapes, is or was used in several distinct areas of Ecuador. My own research was mostly focused on the variety used outside of Salcedo (Cotopaxi) and this is the variety primarily cited in APiCS (the default lect). I have also discovered varieties spoken near Saraguro (Loja) and Cañar (Cañar). Subsequently, Jorge Gomez Rendón (Quito) and Jesse Stewart (Manitoba) have been exploring varieties of Media Lengua spoken mostly north of the capital Quito in the province of Imbabura which is referred to as the lect of Imbabura Media Lengua (data Gómez Rendón) in APiCS. Earlier reports suggest that Media Lengua was also spoken in Zámbiza, near Quito. It is hard to generalize across all these communities, but perhaps something like “indigenous Quechua speakers with frequent contacts with the Spanish-speaking world” comes closest. This description now holds for a great many indigenous highland people in Ecuador, and there may be varieties of Media Lengua so far unnoticed. Also speakers will not always openly acknowledge using Media Lengua. This makes it hard to give exact numbers of Media Lengua speakers. Media Lengua has not been reported outside of Ecuador, e.g. in the Peruvian or Bolivian highlands. However, forms of mixing resembling Media Lengua may be found there in special registers, e.g. bilingual songs. Also, Spanish loans with Quechua suffixes have been incorporated into Amazonian languages such as Cocama-Cocamilla, suggesting a possible earlier Media Lengua-like pidgin in the Upper Amazon basin.
|trill, tap or flap||r||ɾ|
|ʎ||voiced palatal lateral approximant - Exists (as a major allophone)|
|Exists (as a major allophone)|
|Exists only as a minor allophone|
|Exists only in loanwords|
|Does not exist|