I present evidence that speakers of Cochabamba Quechua are aware of non-local restrictions on laryngeal features in their language, and look at whether typological asymmetries have an impact on the synchronic knowledge of Quechua speakers.
Quechua exhibits two non-local restrictions of interest: a cooccurrence restriction prohibits pairs of ejectives within roots (e.g., [k'ap'i], and an ordering restriction prohibits roots with an initial plain stop and a medial ejective (e.g., [kap’i]). Medial ejectives are generally attested in the language, but only occur in roots with an initial fricative or sonorant e.g., [mat’i] ‘forehead’. On a repetition and a word game task, Quechua speakers make more errors on phonotactically illegal ejectives than on legal ejectives.
Cross-linguistically, restrictions on pairs of ejectives (or other segments sharing a phonetic property) are quite common, while a restriction against plain stops followed by ejectives are quite rare. Quechua speakers also reflect this asymmetry, making more errors on ejective-ejective sequences ([k'ap'i] than on plain stop-ejective sequences ([kap'i]), although both are categorically absent in the language. A second typological asymmetry is the preference in some languages for identical segments; many languages disallow pairs of non-identical ejectives, but allow pairs of identical ejectives (*[k'ap'i] but [k'ak'i] is attested). Quechua does not distinguish identical and non-identical ejectives, both are categorically absent. No difference is found between Quechua speakers accuracy in producing identical and non-identical ejective pairs.