Cordula Daus

Chan Chan (1969), photo: O. Bonares

J.C. Duenkel

linguist, mountaineer, 1905-1970

From: Toponymisches Heft No. 2, p. 4.

J. C. Duenkel (pronounced Djäy Ssí Dünkl, 1905-1970) was a Peruvian-German linguist, author and mountaineer. Born as the third son of the surveyor Johannes Dünkell and the elementary school teacher Aymara Chira Ballester, Duenkel was raised in Trujillo/Peru. During a research trip on Isla del Sol/Bolivia in 1962 the linguist made the groundbreaking discovery of a language thought to be long dead. Fascinated by its peculiarly coarse sound, Duenkel made recordings of the forgotten idiom and started to develop his own notational system. Duenkel is regarded as one of the precursors of applied toponymy. He is also a fictional character from the journal series Toponymisches Heft.