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Nahuatl
Nahuatl
(English: /ˈnɑːwɑːtəl/;[4] Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈnaːwatɬ] ( listen)[cn 1]), known historically as Aztec,[3] is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
are spoken by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico. Nahuatl
Nahuatl
has been spoken in central Mexico
Mexico
since at least the seventh century CE.[5] It was the language of the Aztecs, who dominated what is now central Mexico
Mexico
during the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history. During the centuries preceding the Spanish conquest of the Aztec
Aztec
Empire, the Aztecs had expanded to incorporate a large part of central Mexico, and their influence caused the variety of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
spoken by the residents of Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
to become a prestige language in Mesoamerica. At the conquest, with the introduction of the Latin alphabet, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
also became a literary language, and many chronicles, grammars, works of poetry, administrative documents and codices were written in it during the 16th and 17th centuries.[6] This early literary language based on the Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
variety has been labeled Classical Nahuatl, and is among the most studied and best-documented languages of America.[7] Today, Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
are spoken in scattered communities, mostly in rural areas throughout central Mexico
Mexico
and along the coastline. There are considerable differences among varieties, and some are not mutually intelligible. Huasteca Nahuatl, with over one million speakers, is the most-spoken variety. All varieties have been subject to varying degrees of influence from Spanish. No modern Nahuan languages are identical to Classical Nahuatl, but those spoken in and around the Valley of Mexico
Mexico
are generally more closely related to it than those on the periphery.[8] Under Mexico's General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples promulgated in 2003,[9] Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and the other 63 indigenous languages of Mexico
Mexico
are recognized as lenguas nacionales ("national languages") in the regions where they are spoken, enjoying the same status as Spanish within their regions.[cn 2] Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
exhibit a complex morphology characterized by polysynthesis and agglutination. Through a very long period of coexistence with the other indigenous Mesoamerican languages, they have absorbed many influences, coming to form part of the Mesoamerican language area. Many words from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
have been borrowed into Spanish and, from there, were diffused into hundreds of other languages. Most of these loanwords denote things indigenous to central Mexico
Mexico
which the Spanish heard mentioned for the first time by their Nahuatl
Nahuatl
names. English words of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
origin include "avocado", "chayote", "chili", "chocolate", "atlatl", "coyote", "peyote", "axolotl" and "tomato".

Contents

1 Classification

1.1 Terminology

2 History

2.1 Pre-Columbian period 2.2 Colonial period 2.3 Modern period

3 Demography and distribution 4 Phonology

4.1 Phonemes 4.2 Allophony 4.3 Phonotactics 4.4 Stress

5 Morphology and syntax

5.1 Nouns 5.2 Pronouns 5.3 Verbs 5.4 Reduplication 5.5 Syntax

6 Contact phenomena 7 Vocabulary 8 Writing and literature

8.1 Writing 8.2 Literature 8.3 Stylistics

9 Sample text 10 See also 11 Notes

11.1 Content notes 11.2 Citations

12 Bibliography 13 Further reading

13.1 Dictionaries of Classical Nahuatl 13.2 Grammars of Classical Nahuatl 13.3 Modern Dialects 13.4 Miscellaneous

14 External links

Classification[edit] Main article: Nahuan languages

Tree diagram of the relation between the Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
and the rest of the Uto-Aztecan language family, based on the internal classification of Nahuan given by Terrence Kaufman (2001)

As a language label, the term "Nahuatl" encompasses a group of closely related languages or divergent dialects within the Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The Mexican Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (National Institute of Indigenous Languages) recognizes 30 individual varieties within the "language group" labeled Nahuatl. The Ethnologue
Ethnologue
recognizes 28 varieties with separate ISO codes. Sometimes the label also is used to include the Pipil language (Nawat) of El Salvador. Regardless of whether "Nahuatl" is considered to label a dialect continuum or a group of separate languages, the varieties form a single branch within the Uto-Aztecan family, descended from a single Proto-Nahuan language. Within Mexico, the question of whether to consider individual varieties to be languages or dialects of a single language is highly political.[10] This article focuses on describing the general history of the group and on giving an overview of the diversity it encompasses. For details on individual varieties or subgroups, see the individual articles. In the past, the branch of Uto-Aztecan to which Nahuatl
Nahuatl
belongs has been called "Aztecan". From the 1990s onward, the alternative designation "Nahuan" has been frequently used as a replacement, especially in Spanish-language publications. The Nahuan (Aztecan) branch of Uto-Aztecan is widely accepted as having two divisions: "General Aztec" and Pochutec.[11] General Aztec
Aztec
encompasses the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and Pipil languages.[cn 3] Pochutec is a scantily attested language, which became extinct in the 20th century,[12][13] and which Campbell and Langacker classify as being outside of general Aztec. Other researchers have argued that Pochutec should be considered a divergent variant of the western periphery.[14] "Nahuatl" denotes at least Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
together with related modern languages spoken in Mexico. The inclusion of Pipil into the group is debated. Lyle Campbell (1997) classified Pipil as separate from the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
branch within general Aztecan, whereas dialectologists like Una Canger, Karen Dakin, Yolanda Lastra and Terrence Kaufman have preferred to include Pipil within the General Aztecan branch, citing close historical ties with the eastern peripheral dialects of General Aztec.[15] Current subclassification of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
rests on research by Canger (1980), Canger (1988) and Lastra de Suárez (1986). Canger introduced the scheme of a Central grouping and two Peripheral groups, and Lastra confirmed this notion, differing in some details. Canger & Dakin (1985) demonstrated a basic split between Eastern and Western branches of Nahuan, considered to reflect the oldest division of the proto-Nahuan speech community. Canger originally considered the central dialect area to be an innovative subarea within the Western branch, but in 2011, she suggested that it arose as an urban koiné language with features from both Western and Eastern dialect areas. Canger (1988) tentatively included dialects of La Huasteca
La Huasteca
in the Central group, while Lastra de Suárez (1986) places them in the Eastern Periphery, which was followed by Kaufman (2001). Terminology[edit] The terminology used to describe varieties of spoken Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is inconsistently applied. Many terms are used with multiple denotations, or a single dialect grouping goes under several names. Sometimes, older terms are substituted with newer ones or with the speakers' own name for their specific variety. The word Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is itself a Nahuatl word, probably derived from the word nāhuatlahtōlli [naːwat͡laʔˈtoːlli] ("clear language"). The language was formerly called "Aztec" because it was spoken by the Central Mexican peoples known as Aztecs Nahuatl
Nahuatl
pronunciation: [asˈteːkah]. During the period of the Aztec
Aztec
empire centered in Mexico- Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
the language came to be identified with the politically dominant mēxihcah [meːˈʃiʔkaʔ] ethnic group, and consequently the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
language was often described as mēxihcacopa [meːʃiʔkaˈkopa] (literally "in the manner of Mexicas")[16] or mēxihcatlahtolli " Mexica
Mexica
language". Now, the term "Aztec" is rarely used for modern Nahuan languages, but linguists' traditional name of "Aztecan" for the branch of Uto-Aztecan that comprises Nahuatl, Pipil, and Pochutec is still in use (although some linguists prefer "Nahuan"). Since 1978, the term "General Aztec" has been adopted by linguists to refer to the languages of the Aztecan branch excluding the Pochutec language.[17] The speakers of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
themselves often refer to their language as either Mexicano[18] or some word derived from mācēhualli, the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
word for "commoner". One example of the latter is the case for Nahuatl
Nahuatl
spoken in Tetelcingo, whose speakers call their language mösiehuali.[19] The Pipil people
Pipil people
of El Salvador
El Salvador
do not call their own language "Pipil", as most linguists do, but rather nawat.[20] The Nahuas of Durango
Durango
call their language Mexicanero.[21] Speakers of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Isthmus of Tehuantepec
call their language mela'tajtol ("the straight language").[22] Some speech communities use "Nahuatl" as the name for their language although it seems to be a recent innovation. Linguists commonly identify localized dialects of Nahuatl by adding as a qualifier the name of the village or area where that variety is spoken.[23] History[edit] Pre-Columbian period[edit] On the issue of geographic origin, the consensus of linguists during the 20th century was that the Uto-Aztecan language family originated in the southwestern United States.[24] Evidence from archaeology and ethnohistory supports the thesis of a southward diffusion across the American continent, specifically that speakers of early Nahuan languages migrated from Aridoamerica
Aridoamerica
into central Mexico
Mexico
in several waves. But recently, the traditional assessment has been challenged by Jane H. Hill, who proposes instead that the Uto-Aztecan language family originated in central Mexico
Mexico
and spread northwards at a very early date.[25] This hypothesis and the analyses of data that it rests upon have received serious criticism.[26][27] The proposed migration of speakers of the Proto-Nahuan language into the Mesoamerican region has been placed at sometime around AD 500, towards the end of the Early Classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.[28][29][30] Before reaching the Mexican Plateau, pre-Nahuan groups probably spent a period of time in contact with the Corachol languages Cora and Huichol of northwestern Mexico
Mexico
(which are also Uto-Aztecan).[31] The major political and cultural center of Mesoamerica in the Early Classic period was Teotihuacan. The identity of the language(s) spoken by Teotihuacan's founders has long been debated, with the relationship of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
to Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
being prominent in that enquiry.[32] While in the 19th and early 20th centuries it was presumed that Teotihuacan had been founded by speakers of Nahuatl, later linguistic and archaeological research tended to disconfirm this view. Instead, the timing of the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
influx was seen to coincide more closely with Teotihuacan's fall than its rise, and other candidates such as Totonacan identified as more likely.[33] But recently, evidence from Mayan epigraphy of possible Nahuatl
Nahuatl
loanwords in Mayan languages
Mayan languages
has been interpreted as demonstrating that other Mesoamerican languages may have been borrowing words from Proto-Nahuan (or its early descendants) significantly earlier than previously thought, bolstering the possibility of a significant Nahuatl
Nahuatl
presence at Teotihuacan.[34] In Mesoamerica the Mayan, Oto-Manguean and Mixe–Zoque languages
Mixe–Zoque languages
had coexisted for millennia. This had given rise to the Mesoamerican language area ("language area" refers to a set of language traits have become common among the area's languages by diffusion and not by evolution within a set of languages belonging to a common genetic subgrouping). After the Nahuas migrated into the Mesoamerican cultural zone, their language too adopted some of the traits defining the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.[35] Examples of such adopted traits are the use of relational nouns, the appearance of calques, or loan translations, and a form of possessive construction typical of Mesoamerican languages. A language which was the ancestor of Pochutec split from Proto-Nahuan (or Proto-Aztecan) possibly as early as AD 400, arriving in Mesoamerica a few centuries earlier than the main bulk of speakers of Nahuan languages.[5] Some Nahuan groups migrated south along the Central American isthmus, reaching as far as Nicaragua. The critically endangered Pipil language
Pipil language
of El Salvador
El Salvador
is the only living descendant of the variety of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
once spoken south of present-day Mexico.[36] Beginning in the 7th century, Nahuan speakers rose to power in central Mexico. The people of the Toltec
Toltec
culture of Tula, which was active in central Mexico
Mexico
around the 10th century, are thought to have been Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers. By the 11th century, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers were dominant in the Valley of Mexico
Mexico
and far beyond, with settlements including Azcapotzalco, Colhuacan and Cholula rising to prominence. Nahua migrations into the region from the north continued into the Postclassic period. One of the last of these migrations to arrive in the Valley of Mexico settled on an island in the Lake Texcoco
Lake Texcoco
and proceeded to subjugate the surrounding tribes. This group was the Mexica, who over the course of the next three centuries founded an empire named Tenochtitlan. Their political and linguistic influence came to extend into Central America and Nahuatl
Nahuatl
became a lingua franca among merchants and elites in Mesoamerica, e.g., among the Maya K'iche' people.[37] As Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
grew to become the largest urban center in Central America, it attracted speakers of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
from diverse areas giving birth to an urban form of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
with traits from many dialects. This urbanized variety of Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
is what came to be known as Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
as documented in colonial times.[38] Colonial period[edit] With the arrival of the Spanish in 1519, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
was displaced as the dominant regional language, but remained important in Nahua communities under Spanish rule. There is extensive colonial era documentation in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
for Tlaxcala, Cuernavaca, Culhuacan, Coyoacan, Toluca and other locations in the Valley of Mexico
Mexico
and beyond. Since the 1970s, scholars working in a branch of Mesoamerican ethnohistory known as the New Philology have translated to English and analyzed a great number of examples of this type of documentation. Since the Spanish made alliances with first the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers from Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala
and later with the conquered Mexica
Mexica
of Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
(Aztecs), the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
language continued spreading throughout Mesoamerica in the decades after the conquest. Spanish expeditions with thousands of Nahua soldiers marched north and south to conquer new territories. Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
missions in northern Mexico
Mexico
and the Southwestern United States
United States
often included a barrio of Tlaxcaltec soldiers who remained to guard the mission.[39] For example, some fourteen years after the northeastern city of Saltillo
Saltillo
was founded in 1577, a Tlaxcaltec community was resettled in a separate nearby village, San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala, to cultivate the land and aid colonization efforts that had stalled in the face of local hostility to the Spanish settlement.[40] As for the conquest of modern-day Central America, Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado
conquered Guatemala
Guatemala
with the help of tens of thousands of Tlaxcaltec allies, who then settled outside of modern-day Antigua Guatemala.[41]

Page 51 of Book IX from the Florentine Codex. The text is in Nahuatl written in the Latin alphabet.

As a part of their missionary efforts, members of various religious orders (principally Franciscan
Franciscan
and Dominican friars and Jesuits) introduced the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
to the Nahuas. Within the first twenty years after the Spanish arrival, texts were being prepared in the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
language written in Latin characters.[42] Simultaneously, schools were founded, such as the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco in 1536, which taught both indigenous and classical European languages to both Native Americans and priests. Missionary grammarians undertook the writing of grammars, also called artes, of indigenous languages for use by priests. The first Nahuatl
Nahuatl
grammar, written by Andrés de Olmos, was published in 1547—three years before the first French grammar. By 1645, four more had been published, authored respectively by Alonso de Molina
Alonso de Molina
(1571), Antonio del Rincón (1595),[43] Diego de Galdo Guzmán (1642), and Horacio Carochi
Horacio Carochi
(1645).[44] Carochi's is today considered the most important of the colonial era grammars of Nahuatl.[45] Carochi has been particularly important for scholars working in the New Philology, such that there is a 2001 English translation of Carochi's 1645 grammar by James Lockhart.[46] Through contact with Spanish the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
language adopted many loan words, and as bilingualism intensified, changes in the grammatical structure of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
followed.[47]

Text about the language by Fray Joseph de Carranza, second half of the 18th century (click to read)

In 1570, King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
decreed that Nahuatl
Nahuatl
should become the official language of the colonies of New Spain
New Spain
in order to facilitate communication between the Spanish and natives of the colonies.[48] This led to Spanish missionaries teaching Nahuatl
Nahuatl
to Indians living as far south as Honduras
Honduras
and El Salvador. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
was used as a literary language, and a large corpus of texts from that period exists today. They include histories, chronicles, poetry, theatrical works, Christian canonical works, ethnographic descriptions, and administrative documents. The Spanish permitted a great deal of autonomy in the local administration of indigenous towns during this period, and in many Nahuatl-speaking towns the language was the de facto administrative language both in writing and speech. A large body of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
literature was composed during this period, including the Florentine Codex, a twelve-volume compendium of Aztec
Aztec
culture compiled by Franciscan
Franciscan
Bernardino de Sahagún; Crónica Mexicayotl, a chronicle of the royal lineage of Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
by Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc; Cantares Mexicanos, a collection of songs in Nahuatl; a Nahuatl-Spanish/Spanish- Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dictionary compiled by Alonso de Molina; and the Huei tlamahuiçoltica, a description in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.[49] Grammars and dictionaries of indigenous languages were composed throughout the colonial period, but their quality was highest in the initial period.[50] The friars found that learning all the indigenous languages was impossible in practice, so they concentrated on Nahuatl. For a time, the linguistic situation in Mesoamerica remained relatively stable, but in 1696, Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
issued a decree banning the use of any language other than Spanish throughout the Spanish Empire. In 1770, another decree, calling for the elimination of the indigenous languages, did away with Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
as a literary language.[48] Until Mexican Independence in 1821, the Spanish courts admitted Nahuatl
Nahuatl
testimony and documentation as evidence in lawsuits, with court translators rendering it in Spanish.[51] Modern period[edit] Throughout the modern period the situation of indigenous languages has grown increasingly precarious in Mexico, and the numbers of speakers of virtually all indigenous languages have dwindled. Although the absolute number of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers has actually risen over the past century, indigenous populations have become increasingly marginalized in Mexican society. In 1895, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
was spoken by over 5% of the population. By 2000, this proportion had fallen to 1.49%. Given the process of marginalization combined with the trend of migration to urban areas and to the United States, some linguists are warning of impending language death.[52] At present Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is mostly spoken in rural areas by an impoverished class of indigenous subsistence agriculturists. According to the Mexican national statistics institute, INEGI, 51% of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers are involved in the farming sector and 6 in 10 receive no wages or less than the minimum wage.[53] From the early 20th century to at least the mid-1980s, educational policies in Mexico
Mexico
focused on the hispanicization (castellanización) of indigenous communities, teaching only Spanish and discouraging the use of indigenous languages.[54] As a result, today there is no group of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers having attained general literacy in Nahuatl;[55] while their literacy rate in Spanish also remains much lower than the national average.[56] Even so, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is still spoken by well over a million people, of whom around 10% are monolingual. The survival of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
as a whole is not imminently endangered, but the survival of certain dialects is, and some dialects have already become extinct within the last few decades of the 20th century.[57] The 1990s saw the onset of a radical change in official Mexican government policies towards indigenous and linguistic rights. Developments of accords in the international rights arena[cn 4] combined with domestic pressures (such as social and political agitation by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
and indigenous social movements) led to legislative reforms and the creation of decentralized government agencies like the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) and the Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (INALI) with responsibilities for the promotion and protection of indigenous communities and languages.[58] In particular, the federal Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas ["General Law on the Language Rights of the Indigenous Peoples", promulgated 13 March 2003] recognizes all the country's indigenous languages, including Nahuatl, as "national languages" and gives indigenous people the right to use them in all spheres of public and private life. In Article 11, it grants access to compulsory, bilingual and intercultural education.[59] Nonetheless, progress towards institutionalizing Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and securing linguistic rights for its speakers has been slow.[47] Demography and distribution[edit] Main articles: Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
and Nahua peoples

Map showing the areas of Mesoamerica where Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is spoken today (in White) and where it is known to have been spoken historically (Grey)[60]

Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers over 5 years of age in the ten states with most speakers (2000 census data). Absolute and relative numbers. Percentages given are in comparison to the total population of the corresponding state. INEGI (2005):4

Region Totals Percentages

Federal District 37,450 0.44%

Guerrero 136,681 4.44%

Hidalgo 221,684 9.92%

State of Mexico 55,802 0.43%

Morelos 18,656 1.20%

Oaxaca 10,979 0.32%

Puebla 416,968 8.21%

San Luis Potosí 138,523 6.02%

Tlaxcala 23,737 2.47%

Veracruz 338,324 4.90%

Rest of Mexico 50,132 0.10%

Total: 1,448,937 1.49%

Today, a spectrum of Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
are spoken in scattered areas stretching from the northern state of Durango
Durango
to Tabasco
Tabasco
in the southeast. Pipil,[20] the southernmost Nahuan language, is spoken in El Salvador
El Salvador
by a small number of speakers. According to IRIN-International, the Nawat Language Recovery Initiative project, there are no reliable figures for the contemporary numbers of speakers of Pipil. Numbers may range anywhere from "perhaps a few hundred people, perhaps only a few dozen".[61] According to the 2000 census by INEGI, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is spoken by an estimated 1.45 million people, some 198,000 (14.9%) of whom are monolingual.[62] There are many more female than male monolinguals, and women represent nearly two thirds of the total number. The states of Guerrero
Guerrero
and Hidalgo have the highest rates of monolingual Nahuatl speakers relative to the total Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speaking population, at 24.2% and 22.6%, respectively. For most other states the percentage of monolinguals among the speakers is less than 5%. This means that in most states more than 95% of the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speaking population are bilingual in Spanish.[63] The largest concentrations of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers are found in the states of Puebla, Veracruz, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, and Guerrero. Significant populations are also found in the State of Mexico, Morelos, and the Federal District, with smaller communities in Michoacán
Michoacán
and Durango. Nahuatl
Nahuatl
became extinct in the states of Jalisco
Jalisco
and Colima
Colima
during the 20th century. As a result of internal migration within the country, Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speaking communities exist in all states in Mexico. The modern influx of Mexican workers and families into the United States
United States
has resulted in the establishment of a few small Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speaking communities in that country, particularly in California, New York, Texas, New Mexico
Mexico
and Arizona.[64] Phonology[edit] Nahuan languages
Nahuan languages
are defined as a subgroup of Uto-Aztecan by having undergone a number of shared changes from the Uto-Aztecan protolanguage (PUA). The table below shows the phonemic inventory of Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
as an example of a typical Nahuan language. In some dialects, the /t͡ɬ/ phoneme, so common in Classical Nahuatl, has changed into either /t/, as in Isthmus Nahuatl, Mexicanero and Pipil, or into /l/, as in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of Pómaro, Michoacán.[65] Many dialects no longer distinguish between short and long vowels. Some have introduced completely new vowel qualities to compensate, as is the case for Tetelcingo
Tetelcingo
Nahuatl.[19] Others have developed a pitch accent, such as Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of Oapan, Guerrero.[66] Many modern dialects have also borrowed phonemes from Spanish, such as /b, d, ɡ, f/.[67] Phonemes[edit]

Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Consonants

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal

central lateral plain labialized

Nasal m n

Plosive p t

k kʷ ʔ

Affricate

ts tɬ tʃ

Continuant

s l ʃ

(h)*

Semivowel

j

w

Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Vowels

Front Central Back

long short long short long short

Close iː i

oː o

Mid eː e

Open

aː a

* The glottal phoneme, called the "saltillo," occurs only after vowels. In many modern dialects it is realized as an [h], but in others, as in Classical Nahuatl, it is a glottal stop [ʔ].[68]

In many Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dialects vowel length contrast is vague, and in others it has become lost entirely. The dialect of Tetelcingo
Tetelcingo
(nhg) developed the vowel length into a difference in quality:[non-IPA transcription][69]

Long vowels Short vowels

Classical Nahuatl /iː/ /eː/ /aː/ /oː/ /i/ /e/ /a/ /o/

Tetelcingo
Tetelcingo
dialect /i/ /ʲe/ /ɔ/ /u/ /ɪ/ /e/ /a/ /o/

Allophony[edit] Most varieties have relatively simple patterns of sound alternation (allophony). In many dialects, the voiced consonants are devoiced in word-final position and in consonant clusters: /j/ devoices to a voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant /ʃ/,[70] /w/ devoices to a voiceless glottal fricative [h] or to a voiceless labialized velar approximant [ʍ], and /l/ devoices to voiceless alveolar lateral fricative [ɬ]. In some dialects, the first consonant in almost any consonant cluster becomes [h]. Some dialects have productive lenition of voiceless consonants into their voiced counterparts between vowels. The nasals are normally assimilated to the place of articulation of a following consonant. The voiceless alveolar lateral affricate [t͡ɬ] is assimilated after /l/ and pronounced [l].[71] Phonotactics[edit] Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and most of the modern varieties have fairly simple phonological systems. They allow only syllables with maximally one initial and one final consonant. Consonant clusters occur only word-medially and over syllable boundaries. Some morphemes have two alternating forms: one with a vowel i to prevent consonant clusters and one without it. For example, the absolutive suffix has the variant forms -tli (used after consonants) and -tl (used after vowels).[72] Some modern varieties, however, have formed complex clusters from vowel loss. Others have contracted syllable sequences, causing accents to shift or vowels to become long.[cn 5] Stress[edit] Most Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dialects have stress on the penultimate syllable of a word. In Mexicanero from Durango, many unstressed syllables have disappeared from words, and the placement of syllable stress has become phonemic.[73] Morphology and syntax[edit] For details, see Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
grammar. The Nahuatl
Nahuatl
languages are agglutinative, polysynthetic languages that make extensive use of compounding, incorporation and derivation. That is, they can add many different prefixes and suffixes to a root until very long words are formed, and a single word can constitute an entire sentence.[74] The following verb shows how the verb is marked for subject, patient, object, and indirect object:

/ni-mits-teː-tla-makiː-ltiː-s/ I-you-someone-something-give-CAUSATIVE-FUTURE "I shall make somebody give something to you"[cn 6] (Classical Nahuatl)

Nouns[edit] The Nahuatl
Nahuatl
noun has a relatively complex structure. The only obligatory inflections are for number (singular and plural) and possession (whether the noun is possessed, as is indicated by a prefix meaning 'my', 'your', etc.). Nahuatl
Nahuatl
has neither case nor gender, but Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and some modern dialects distinguish between animate and inanimate nouns. In Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
the animacy distinction manifested with respect to pluralization, as only animate nouns could take a plural form, and all inanimate nouns were uncountable (as the words "bread" and "money" are uncountable in English). Now, many speakers do not maintain this distinction and all nouns may take the plural inflection.[75] One dialect, that of the Eastern Huasteca, has a distinction between two different plural suffixes for animate and inanimate nouns.[76] In most varieties of Nahuatl, nouns in the unpossessed singular form generally take an "absolutive" suffix. The most common forms of the absolutive are -tl after vowels, -tli after consonants other than l, and -li after l. Nouns that take the plural usually form the plural by adding one of the plural absolutive suffixes -tin or -meh, but some plural forms are irregular or formed by reduplication. Some nouns have competing plural forms.[77]

Singular noun:

/kojo-tl/ coyote-ABSOLUTIVE "coyote" (Classical Nahuatl)

Plural animate noun:

/kojo-meʔ/ coyote-PLURAL "coyotes" (Classical Nahuatl)

Plural animate noun w. reduplication:

/koː~kojo-ʔ/ PLURAL~coyote-PLURAL "coyotes" (Classical Nahuatl)

Nahuatl
Nahuatl
distinguishes between possessed and unpossessed forms of nouns. The absolutive suffix is not used on possessed nouns. In all dialects, possessed nouns take a prefix agreeing with number and person of its possessor. Possessed plural nouns take the ending -/waːn/.[78]

Absolutive noun:

/kal-li/ house-ABSOLUTIVE "house" (Classical Nahuatl)

Possessed noun:

/no-kal/ my-house "my house" (Classical Nahuatl)

Possessed plural:

/no-kal-waːn/ my-house-PLURAL "my houses" (Classical Nahuatl)

Nahuatl
Nahuatl
does not have grammatical case but uses what is sometimes called a relational noun to describe spatial (and other) relations. These morphemes cannot appear alone but must occur after a noun or a possessive prefix. They are also often called postpositions[79] or locative suffixes.[80] In some ways these locative constructions resemble and can be thought of as locative case constructions. Most modern dialects have incorporated prepositions from Spanish that are competing with or that have completely replaced relational nouns.[81]

Uses of relational noun/postposition/locative -pan with a possessive prefix:

no-pan my-in/on "in/on me" (Classical Nahuatl)

iː-pan its-in/on "in/on it" (Classical Nahuatl)

iː-pan kal-li its-in house-ABSOLUTIVE "in the house" (Classical Nahuatl)

Use with a preceding noun stem:

kal-pan house-in "in the house" (Classical Nahuatl)

Noun compounds are commonly formed by combining two or more nominal stems or combining a nominal stem with an adjectival or verbal stem.[82] Pronouns[edit] Nahuatl
Nahuatl
generally distinguishes three persons, both in the singular and plural numbers. In at least one modern dialect, the Isthmus-Mecayapan variety, there has come to be a distinction between inclusive (I/we and you) and exclusive (we but not you) forms of the first person plural:[22]

First person plural pronoun in Classical Nahuatl:

tehwaːntin "we"

First person plural pronouns in Isthmus-Mecayapan Nahuat:

nejamēn ([nehameːn]) "We, but not you" (= me & them) tejamēn ([tehameːn]) "We along with you" (= me & you & them)[83]

Much more common is an honorific/non-honorific distinction, usually applied to second and third persons but not first.

Non-honorific forms:

tehwaːtl "you sg." amehwaːntin "you pl." yehwatl "he/she/it"

Honorific
Honorific
forms

tehwaːtzin "you sg. honorific" amehwaːntzitzin "you pl. honorific" yehwaːtzin "he/she honorific"

Verbs[edit] The Nahuatl
Nahuatl
verb is quite complex and inflects for many grammatical categories. The verb is composed of a root, prefixes, and suffixes. The prefixes indicate the person of the subject, and person and number of the object and indirect object, whereas the suffixes indicate tense, aspect, mood and subject number.[84] Most Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dialects distinguish three tenses: present, past, and future, and two aspects: perfective and imperfective. Some varieties add progressive or habitual aspects. Many dialects distinguish at least the indicative and imperative moods, and some also have optative and vetative/prohibitive moods. Most Nahuatl
Nahuatl
varieties have a number of ways to alter the valency of a verb. Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
had a passive voice (also sometimes defined as an impersonal voice[85]), but this is not found in most modern varieties. However the applicative and causative voices are found in many modern dialects.[86] Many Nahuatl
Nahuatl
varieties also allow forming verbal compounds with two or more verbal roots.[87] The following verbal form has two verbal roots and is inflected for causative voice and both a direct and indirect object:

ni-kin-tla-kwa-ltiː-s-neki I-them-something-eat-CAUSATIVE-FUTURE-want "I want to feed them" (Classical Nahuatl)

Some Nahuatl
Nahuatl
varieties, notably Classical Nahuatl, can inflect the verb to show the direction of the verbal action going away from or towards the speaker. Some also have specific inflectional categories showing purpose and direction and such complex notions as "to go in order to" or "to come in order to", "go, do and return", "do while going", "do while coming", "do upon arrival", or "go around doing".[87][88] Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and many modern dialects have grammaticalised ways to express politeness towards addressees or even towards people or things that are being mentioned, by using special verb forms and special "honorific suffixes".[89]

Familiar verbal form:

ti-mo-tlaːlo-a you-yourself-run-PRESENT "you run" (Classical Nahuatl)

Honorific
Honorific
verbal form:

ti-mo-tlaːlo-tsino-a you-yourself-run-HONORIFIC-PRESENT "You run" (said with respect) (Classical Nahuatl)

Reduplication[edit] Many varieties of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
have productive reduplication. By reduplicating the first syllable of a root a new word is formed. In nouns this is often used to form plurals, e.g. /tlaːkatl/ "man" → /tlaːtlaːkah/ "men", but also in some varieties to form diminutives, honorifics, or for derivations.[90] In verbs reduplication is often used to form a reiterative meaning (i.e. expressing repetition), for example in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of Tezcoco:

/wetsi/ "he/she falls" /we:-wetsi/ "he/she falls several times" /weʔ-wetsi-ʔ/ "they fall (many people)"[91]

Syntax[edit] Some linguists have argued that Nahuatl
Nahuatl
displays the properties of a non-configurational language, meaning that word order in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is basically free.[92][93] Nahuatl
Nahuatl
allows all possible orderings of the three basic sentence constituents. It is prolifically a pro-drop language: it allows sentences with omission of all noun phrases or independent pronouns, not just of noun phrases or pronouns whose function is the sentence subject. In most varieties independent pronouns are used only for emphasis. It allows certain kinds of syntactically discontinuous expressions.[93] Michel Launey argues that Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
had a verb-initial basic word order with extensive freedom for variation, which was then used to encode pragmatic functions such as focus and topicality.[94] The same has been argued for some contemporary varieties.[93]

newal no-nobia I my-fianceé "My fiancée" (and not anyone else's) ( Michoacán
Michoacán
Nahual)[95]

It has been argued that Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
syntax is best characterised by "omnipredicativity", meaning that any noun or verb in the language is in fact a full predicative sentence.[96] A radical interpretation of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
syntactic typology, this nonetheless seems to account for some of the language's peculiarities, for example, why nouns must also carry the same agreement prefixes as verbs, and why predicates do not require any noun phrases to function as their arguments. For example, the verbal form tzahtzi means "he/she/it shouts", and with the second person prefix titzahtzi it means "you shout". Nouns are inflected in the same way: the noun "conētl" means not just "child", but also "it is a child", and ticonētl means "you are a child". This prompts the omnipredicative interpretation, which posits that all nouns are also predicates. According to this interpretation a phrase such as tzahtzi in conētl should not be interpreted as meaning just "the child screams" but, rather, "it screams, (the one that) is a child".[97] Contact phenomena[edit] Nearly 500 years of intense contact between speakers of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and speakers of Spanish, combined with the minority status of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and the higher prestige associated with Spanish has caused many changes in modern Nahuatl
Nahuatl
varieties, with large numbers of words borrowed from Spanish into Nahuatl, and the introduction of new syntactic constructions and grammatical categories.[98] For example, a construction like the following, with several borrowed words and particles, is common in many modern varieties (Spanish loanwords in boldface):

pero āmo tēchentenderoah lo que tlen tictoah en mexicano[cn 7] but not they-us-understand-PLURAL that which what we-it-say in Nahuatl "But they don't understand what we say in Nahuatl" (Malinche Nahuatl)[99]

In some modern dialects basic word order has become a fixed subject–verb–object, probably under influence from Spanish.[100] Other changes in the syntax of modern Nahuatl
Nahuatl
include the use of Spanish prepositions instead of native postpositions or relational nouns and the reinterpretation of original postpositions/relational nouns into prepositions.[67][98][101] In the following example, from Michoacán
Michoacán
Nahual, the postposition -ka meaning "with" appears used as a preposition, with no preceding object:

ti-ya ti-k-wika ka tel you-go you-it-carry with you "are you going to carry it with you?" ( Michoacán
Michoacán
Nahual)[95]

In this example from Mexicanero Nahuat, of Durango, the original postposition/relational noun -pin "in/on" is used as a preposition. Also, "porque", a conjunction borrowed from Spanish, occurs in the sentence.

amo wel kalaki-yá pin kal porke ȼakwa-tiká im pwerta not can he-enter-PAST in house because it-closed-was the door "He couldn't enter the house because the door was closed" (Mexicanero Nahuat)[102]

Many dialects have also undergone a degree of simplification of their morphology that has caused some scholars to consider them to have ceased to be polysynthetic.[103] Vocabulary[edit] Main article: Words of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
origin

The Aztecs called (red) tomatoes xitōmatl, whereas the green tomatillo was called tōmatl; the latter is the source for the English word "tomato".

Many Nahuatl
Nahuatl
words have been borrowed into the Spanish language, most of which are terms designating things indigenous to the American continent. Some of these loans are restricted to Mexican or Central American Spanish, but others have entered all the varieties of Spanish in the world. A number of them, such as "chocolate", "tomato" and "avocado" have made their way into many other languages via Spanish.[104] For instance, in English, two of the most prominent are undoubtedly chocolate[cn 8] and tomato (from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
tomatl). Other common words are coyote (from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
coyotl), avocado (from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
ahuacatl) and chile or chili (from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
chilli). The word chicle is also derived from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
tzictli "sticky stuff, chicle". Some other English words from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
are: Aztec
Aztec
(from aztecatl); cacao (from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
cacahuatl 'shell, rind');[105] ocelot (from ocelotl).[106] In Mexico
Mexico
many words for common everyday concepts attest to the close contact between Spanish and Nahuatl
Nahuatl
- so many in fact that entire dictionaries of "mexicanismos" (words particular to Mexican Spanish) have been published tracing Nahuatl
Nahuatl
etymologies, as well as Spanish words with origins in other indigenous languages. Many well known toponyms also come from Nahuatl, including Mexico
Mexico
(from the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
word for the Aztec
Aztec
capital mexihco) and Guatemala
Guatemala
(from the word cuauhtēmallan).[cn 9] Writing and literature[edit] Writing[edit] Main article: Nahuatl
Nahuatl
orthography See also: Aztec
Aztec
writing and Aztec
Aztec
codices

The placenames Mapachtepec ("Raccoon Hill"), Mazatlan ("Deer Place") and Huitztlan ("Thorn Place") written in the Aztec
Aztec
writing system, from the Codex Mendoza

Traditionally, Pre-Columbian Aztec
Aztec
writing has not been considered a true writing system, since it did not represent the full vocabulary of a spoken language in the way that the writing systems of the Old World or the Maya Script
Maya Script
did. Therefore, generally Aztec
Aztec
writing was not meant to be read, but to be told. The elaborate codices were essentially pictographic aids for memorizing texts, which include genealogies, astronomical information, and tribute lists. Three kinds of signs were used in the system: pictures used as mnemonics (which do not represent particular words), logograms which represent whole words (instead of phonemes or syllables), and logograms used only for their sound values (i.e. used according to the rebus principle).[107] However, epigrapher Alfonso Lacadena
Alfonso Lacadena
has argued that by the eve of the Spanish invasion, one school of Nahua scribes, those of Tetzcoco, had developed a fully syllabic script which could represent spoken language phonetically in the same way that the Maya script
Maya script
did.[108] Some other epigraphers have questioned the claim, arguing that although the syllabicity was clearly extant in some early colonial manuscripts (hardly any pre-Columbian manuscripts have survived), this could be interpreted as a local innovation inspired by Spanish literacy rather than a continuation of a pre-Columbian practice.[109] The Spanish introduced the Latin script, which was used to record a large body of Aztec
Aztec
prose, poetry and mundane documentation such as testaments, administrative documents, legal letters, etc. In a matter of decades pictorial writing was completely replaced with the Latin alphabet.[110] No standardized Latin orthography has been developed for Nahuatl, and no general consensus has arisen for the representation of many sounds in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
that are lacking in Spanish, such as long vowels and the glottal stop.[111] The orthography most accurately representing the phonemes of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
was developed in the 17th century by the Jesuit
Jesuit
Horacio Carochi, building on the insights of another Jesuit, Antonio del Rincon.[112] Carochi's orthography used two different diacritics: a macron to represent long vowels and a grave for the saltillo, and sometimes an acute accent for short vowels.[113] This orthography did not achieve a wide following outside of the Jesuit
Jesuit
community.[114][115] When Nahuatl
Nahuatl
became the subject of focused linguistic studies in the 20th century, linguists acknowledged the need to represent all the phonemes of the language. Several practical orthographies were developed to transcribe the language, many using the Americanist transcription system. With the establishment of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas in 2004, new attempts to create standardized orthographies for the different dialects were resumed; however to this day there is no single official orthography for Nahuatl.[111] Apart from dialectal differences, major issues in transcribing Nahuatl
Nahuatl
include:

whether to follow Spanish orthographic practice and write /k/ with c and qu, /kʷ/ with cu and uc, /s/ with c and z, or s, and /w/ with hu and uh, or u.[111] how to write the "saltillo" phoneme (in some dialects pronounced as a glottal stop [ʔ] and in others as an [h]), which has been spelled with j, h, ’ (apostrophe), or a grave accent on the preceding vowel, but which traditionally has often been omitted in writing.[111] whether and how to represent vowel length, e.g. by double vowels or by the use of macrons.[111]

Literature[edit] Main article: Mesoamerican literature Among the indigenous languages of the Americas, the extensive corpus of surviving literature in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dating as far back as the 16th century may be considered unique.[116] Nahuatl
Nahuatl
literature encompasses a diverse array of genres and styles, the documents themselves composed under many different circumstances. It appears that the preconquest Nahua had a distinction much like the European distinction between "prose" and "poetry", the first called tlahtolli "speech" and the second cuicatl "song".[117][118] Nahuatl
Nahuatl
tlahtolli prose has been preserved in different forms. Annals and chronicles recount history, normally written from the perspective of a particular altepetl (locally based polity) and often combining mythical accounts with real events. Important works in this genre include those from Chalco written by Chimalpahin, from Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala
by Diego Muñoz Camargo, from Mexico- Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
by Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc and those of Texcoco by Fernando Alva Ixtlilxochitl. Many annals recount history year-by-year and are normally written by anonymous authors. These works are sometimes evidently based on pre-Columbian pictorial year counts that existed, such as the Cuauhtitlan annals and the Anales de Tlatelolco. Purely mythological narratives are also found, like the "Legend of the Five Suns", the Aztec
Aztec
creation myth recounted in Codex Chimalpopoca.[119] One of the most important works of prose written in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is the twelve-volume compilation generally known as the Florentine Codex, produced in the mid-16th century by the Franciscan
Franciscan
missionary Bernardino de Sahagún
Bernardino de Sahagún
with the help of a number of Nahua informants. With this work Sahagún bestowed an enormous ethnographic description of the Nahua, written in side-by-side translations of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
and Spanish and illustrated throughout by color plates drawn by indigenous painters. Its volumes cover a diverse range of topics: Aztec
Aztec
history, material culture, social organization, religious and ceremonial life, rhetorical style and metaphors. The twelfth volume provides an indigenous perspective on the conquest itself. Sahagún also made a point of trying to document the richness of the Nahuatl
Nahuatl
language, stating:

This work is like a dragnet to bring to light all the words of this language with their exact and metaphorical meanings, and all their ways of speaking, and most of their practices good and evil.[120]

Nahuatl
Nahuatl
poetry is preserved in principally two sources: the Cantares Mexicanos and the Romances de los señores de Nueva España, both collections of Aztec
Aztec
songs written down in the 16th and 17th centuries. Some songs may have been preserved through oral tradition from pre-conquest times until the time of their writing, for example the songs attributed to the poet-king of Texcoco, Nezahualcoyotl. Karttunen & Lockhart (1980) identify more than four distinct styles of songs, e.g. the icnocuicatl ("sad song"), the xopancuicatl ("song of spring"), melahuaccuicatl ("plain song") and yaocuicatl ("song of war"), each with distinct stylistic traits. Aztec
Aztec
poetry makes rich use of metaphoric imagery and themes and are lamentation of the brevity of human existence, the celebration of valiant warriors who die in battle, and the appreciation of the beauty of life.[121] Stylistics[edit] The Aztecs distinguished between at least two social registers of language: the language of commoners (macehuallahtolli) and the language of the nobility (tecpillahtolli). The latter was marked by the use of a distinct rhetorical style. Since literacy was confined mainly to these higher social classes, most of the existing prose and poetical documents were written in this style. An important feature of this high rhetorical style of formal oratory was the use of parallelism,[122] whereby the orator structured their speech in couplets consisting of two parallel phrases. For example:

ye maca timiquican "May we not die" ye maca tipolihuican "May we not perish"[123]

Another kind of parallelism used is referred to by modern linguists as difrasismo, in which two phrases are symbolically combined to give a metaphorical reading. Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
was rich in such diphrasal metaphors, many of which are explicated by Sahagún in the Florentine Codex and by Andrés de Olmos in his Arte.[124] Such difrasismos include:[125]

in xochitl, in cuicatl "The flower, the song" – meaning "poetry"

in cuitlapilli, in atlapalli "the tail, the wing" – meaning "the common people"

in toptli, in petlacalli "the chest, the box" – meaning "something secret"

in yollohtli, in eztli "the heart, the blood" – meaning "cacao"

in iztlactli, in tencualactli "the drool, the spittle" – meaning "lies"

Sample text[edit] The sample text below is an excerpt from a statement issued in Nahuatl by Emiliano Zapata
Emiliano Zapata
in 1918 in order to convince the Nahua towns in the area of Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala
to join the Revolution against the regime of Venustiano Carranza.[126] The orthography employed in the letter is improvised, and does not distinguish long vowels and only sporadically marks "saltillo" (with both ⟨h⟩ and acute accent).[127]

Tlanahuatil Panoloani An Altepeme de non cate itech nin tlalpan de netehuiloya den tlanahuatiani Arenas. Axcan cuan nonques tlalticpacchanéhque de non altepeme tlami quitzetzeloa neca tliltic amo cuali nemiliz Carrancista, noyolo pahpaqui ihuan itech nin mahuiztica, intoca netehuiloanime-tlatzintlaneca, ihuan nanmechtitlanilia ze páhpaquilizticatlápaloli ihuan ica nochi noyolo niquinyolehua nonques altepeme aquihque cate qui chihuazque netehuiliztle ipampa meláhqui tlanahuatil ihuan amo nen motenecahuilia quitlahtlaczazque in anmocualinemiliz. tiquintlahpaloa nonques netehuiloanime tlen mocuepan ican nin yolopaquilizticatequi, ihuan quixnamiqui in nexicoaliztle ipan non huei tehuile tlen aic hueliti tlami nian aic tlamiz zeme ica nitlamiliz in tliltic oquichtlanahuatiani, de neca moxicoani, teca mocaya de non zemihcac teixcuepa tlen itoca Venustiano Carranza que quimahuizquixtia in netehuiliztle ihuan quipinahtia to tlalticpac-nantzi "Mexico" zeme quimahuizpolóhtica.

Message to be passed around To the towns that are located in the area that fought under General Arenas. Now, that the dwellers of this earth, of those towns, finish shaking out that black, evil life of the Carrancismo my heart is very happy and with the dignity in the name of those who fight in the ranks, and to you all I send a happy greeting and with all of my heart I invite those towns, those who are there, to join the fight for a righteous mandate to not vainly issue statements, to not allow to be done away with your good way of life. We salute those fighters who turn towards this joyous labour and confront the greed in this great war, which can never end, nor will ever end until the end of the black tyrant of that glutton, who mocks and always cheat people and whose name is Venustiano Carranza, who takes the glory out of war and who shames our motherland, Mexico completely dishonouring it.

See also[edit]

Vocabulario manual de las lenguas castellana y mexicana
Vocabulario manual de las lenguas castellana y mexicana
(a Spanish- Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dictionary) Vocabulario trilingüe
Vocabulario trilingüe
(dictionary of Spanish, Latin, and Nahuatl)

Notes[edit] Content notes[edit]

^ The Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
word nāhuatl (noun stem nāhua, + absolutive -tl ) is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" Andrews (2003):578,364,398 This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl (the standard spelling in the Spanish language),("Náhuatl" (in Spanish). rae.es. Retrieved 6 July 2012. ) Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers are called Nahua. ^ By the provisions of Article IV: Las lenguas indígenas...y el español son lenguas nacionales...y tienen la misma validez en su territorio, localización y contexto en que se hablen. ("The indigenous languages ... and Spanish are national languages ... and have the same validity in their territory, location and context in which they are spoken.") ^ "General Aztec
Aztec
is a generally accepted term referring to the most shallow common stage, reconstructed for all present-day Nahuatl varieties; it does not include the Pochutec dialect Campbell & Langacker (1978)." Canger (2000):385(Note 4) ^ Such as the 1996 adoption at a world linguistics conference in Barcelona of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, a declaration which "became a general reference point for the evolution and discussion of linguistic rights in Mexico" Pellicer, Cifuentes & Herrera (2006):132 ^ Sischo (1979):312 and Canger (2000) for a brief description of these phenomena in Nahual of Michoacán
Michoacán
and Durango
Durango
respectively ^ All examples given in this section and these subsections are from Suárez (1983):61–63 unless otherwise noted. Glosses have been standardized. ^ The words pero, entender, lo-que, and en are all from Spanish. The use of the suffix -oa on a Spanish infinitive like entender, enabling the use of other Nahuatl
Nahuatl
verbal affixes, is standard. The sequence lo que tlen combines Spanish lo que 'what' with Nahuatl
Nahuatl
tlen (also meaning 'what') to mean (what else) 'what'. en is a preposition and heads a prepositional phrase; traditionally Nahuatl
Nahuatl
had postpositions or relational nouns rather than prepositions. The stem mexihka, related to the name mexihko, 'Mexico', is of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
origin, but the suffix -ano is from Spanish, and it is probable that the whole word mexicano is a re-borrowing from Spanish back into Nahuatl. ^ While there is no real doubt that the word "chocolate" comes from Nahuatl, the commonly given Nahuatl
Nahuatl
etymology /ʃokolaːtl/ "bitter water" no longer seems to be tenable. Dakin & Wichmann (2000) suggest the correct etymology to be /tʃikolaːtl/ – a word found in several modern Nahuatl
Nahuatl
dialects. ^ The Mexica
Mexica
used the word for the Kaqchikel capital Iximche
Iximche
in central Guatemala, but the word was extended to the entire zone in colonial times; see Carmack (1981):143.

Citations[edit]

^ "General Law of Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2008.  ^ " Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas homepage".  ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Aztec". Glottolog
Glottolog
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bilingualism and the new bilingual maintenance programs". The Bilingual Review/La revista bilingüe. Tempe: Hispanic Research Center, Arizona
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State University. 26 (1): 3–18. ISSN 0094-5366. OCLC 1084374.  Sahagún, Bernardino de (1950–82) [ca. 1540–85]. Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain, 13 vols. vols. I-XII. Charles E. Dibble and Arthur J.O. Anderson (eds., trans., notes and illus.) (translation of Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España ed.). Santa Fe, NM and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-082-X. OCLC 276351.  Sahagún, Bernardino de (1997) [ca.1558–61]. Primeros Memoriales. The Civilization of the American Indians Series vol. 200, part 2. Thelma D. Sullivan (English trans. and paleography of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
text), with H.B. Nicholson, Arthur J.O. Anderson, Charles E. Dibble, Eloise Quiñones Keber, and Wayne Ruwet (completion, revisions, and ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-2909-9. OCLC 35848992.  Sischo, William R. (1979). " Michoacán
Michoacán
Nahual". In Ronald W. Langacker. Studies in Uto-Aztecan Grammar
Grammar
2: Modern Aztec
Aztec
Grammatical Sketches. Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics
Publications in Linguistics, no. 56. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics
and the University of Texas
Texas
at Arlington. pp. 307–380. ISBN 0-88312-072-0. OCLC 6086368.  Smith-Stark, T. C. (2005). "Phonological description in New Spain". In Zwartjes, O.; Altman, C. Missionary Linguistics II/Lingüística misionera II: Orthography and Phonology. Selected papers from the Second International Conference on Missionary Linguistics. 109. John Benjamins Publishing.  Suárez, Jorge A. (1977). "La influencia del español en la estructura gramatical del náhuatl". Anuario de Letras. Revista de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (in Spanish). Ciudad Universitaria, México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro de Linguística Hispánica. 15: 115–164. ISSN 0185-1373. OCLC 48341068.  Suárez, Jorge A. (1983). The Mesoamerian Indian Languages. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22834-4. OCLC 8034800.  Sullivan, Thelma D. (1988). Wick R. Miller; Karen Dakin, eds. Compendium of Náhuatl Grammar. Translated by Thelma D. Sullivan & Neville Stiles (English translation of Compendio de la gramática náhuatl ed.). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-282-2. OCLC 17982711.  Tuggy, David H. (1979). " Tetelcingo
Tetelcingo
Náhuatl". In Ronald Langacker. Studies in Uto-Aztecan Grammar
Grammar
2: Modern Aztec
Aztec
Grammatical Sketches. Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics
Publications in Linguistics, no. 56. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics
and the University of Texas
Texas
at Arlington. pp. 1–140. ISBN 0-88312-072-0. OCLC 6086368.  Voegelin, Charles F.; Florence M. Voegelin; Kenneth L. Hale
Kenneth L. Hale
(1962). Typological and Comparative Grammar
Grammar
of Uto-Aztecan I: Phonology (Supplement to International Journal of American Linguistics, vol. 28, no. 1). Indiana University publications in anthropology and linguistics, Memoir 17. Baltimore MD: Waverly Press. OCLC 55576894.  Whittaker, G. (2009). "The Principles of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Writing" (PDF). Göttinger Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft. 16: 47–81.  Whorf, Benjamin Lee; Karttunen, Frances; Campbell, Lyle (1993). "Pitch Tone and the 'Saltillo' in Modern and Ancient Nahuatl". International Journal of American Linguistics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 59 (2): 165–223. doi:10.1086/466194. OCLC 1753556.  Wimmer, Alexis (2006). "Dictionnaire de la langue nahuatl classique" (online version, incorporating reproductions from Dictionnaire de la langue nahuatl ou mexicaine [1885], by Rémi Siméon). Retrieved 2008-02-04.  (in French) (in Nahuatl) Wolgemuth, Carl (2002). Gramática Náhuatl (melaʼtájto̱l): de los municipios de Mecayapan y Tatahuicapan de Juárez, Veracruz
Veracruz
(PDF online edition). Sharon Stark and Albert Bickford (online eds.) (2nd ed.). México D.F.: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano. ISBN 968-31-0315-4. OCLC 51555383. 

Further reading[edit] Dictionaries of Classical Nahuatl[edit]

de Molina, Fray Alonso: Vocabulario en Lengua Castellana y Mexicana y Mexicana y Castellana. [1555] Reprint: Porrúa México 1992 Karttunen, Frances, An analytical dictionary of Náhuatl. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1992 Siméon, Rémi: Diccionario de la Lengua Náhuatl o Mexicana. [Paris 1885] Reprint: México 2001

Grammars of Classical Nahuatl[edit]

Carochi, Horacio. Grammar
Grammar
of the Mexican Language: With an Explanation of its Adverbs (1645) Translated by James Lockhart. Stanford University Press. 2001. Lockhart, James: Nahuatl
Nahuatl
as written: lessons in older written Nahuatl, with copious examples and texts, Stanford 2001 Sullivan, Thelma: Compendium of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Grammar, Univ. of Utah Press, 1988. Campbell, Joe and Frances Karttunen, Foundation course in Náhuatl grammar. Austin 1989 Launey, Michel. Introducción a la lengua y a la literatura Náhuatl. México D.F.: UNAM. 1992 (Spanish); An Introduction to Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
[English translation/adaptation by Christopher Mackay], 2011, Cambridge University Press. Andrews, J. Richard. Introduction to Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
University of Oklahoma Press: 2003 (revised edition)

Modern Dialects[edit]

Ronald W. Langacker (ed.): Studies in Uto-Aztecan Grammar
Grammar
2: Modern Aztec
Aztec
Grammatical Sketches, Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics, 56. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas
Texas
at Arlington, pp. 1–140. ISBN 0-88312-072-0. OCLC
OCLC
6086368. 1979. (Contains studies of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
from Michoacan, Tetelcingo, Huasteca and North Puebla) Canger, Una. Mexicanero de la Sierra Madre Occidental, Archivo de Lenguas Indígenas de México, #24. México D.F.: El Colegio de México. ISBN 968-12-1041-7. OCLC
OCLC
49212643. 2001 (Spanish) Campbell, Lyle. The Pipil Language of El Salvador, Mouton Grammar Library (No. 1). Berlin: Mouton Publishers. 1985. ISBN 0-89925-040-8. OCLC
OCLC
13433705. Wolgemuth, Carl. Gramática Náhuatl (melaʼtájto̱l) de los municipios de Mecayapan y Tatahuicapan de Juárez, Veracruz, 2nd edition. 2002. (in Spanish)

Miscellaneous[edit]

The Nahua Newsletter: edited by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies of the Indiana University (Chief Editor Alan Sandstrom) Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl: special interest-yearbook of the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas (IIH) of the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), Ed.: Miguel León Portilla A Catalogue of Pre-1840 Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Works Held by The Lilly Library from The Indiana University Bookman No. 11. November, 1973: 69–88. Collection of Nahuatl
Nahuatl
of the Sierra Nororiental de Puebla, Mexico
Mexico
of Jonathan Amith, containing recordings in Nahuatl
Nahuatl
by native speakers and transcriptions, from the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America.

External links[edit]

Nāhuatl edition of, the free encyclopedia

Classical Nahuatl
Nahuatl
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Central Huastec Nahuatl
Nahuatl
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Central Nahuatl
Nahuatl
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Pipil test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Orizaba Nahuatl
Nahuatl
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Look up nahuatl in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

online Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Dictionary - Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon

v t e

Uto-Aztecan languages

Northern

Numic

Colorado River (Chemehuevi, Southern Paiute, Ute) Comanche Kawaiisu Mono Northern Paiute (including Bannock) Shoshoni (including Gosiute) Timbisha

Takic

Cahuilla Cupeño Kitanemuk Luiseño-Juaneño Serrano Tongva

Other

Hopi Tübatulabal

Southern

Tepiman

Northern Tepehuan O'odham Pima Bajo Southern Tepehuan Tepecano

Tarahumaran

Downriver Guarijio Tarahumara Tubar Upriver Guarijio

Opatan

Eudeve Opata

Cahita

Yaqui Mayo

Corachol

Cora Huichol

Aztecan

Nahuatl Pipil Pochutec

Italics indicate extinct languages

v t e

Languages of Mexico

Official/ Indigenous

100,000+ speakers

Spanish Nahuatl Yucatec Maya Mixtec Zapotec Tzeltal Maya Tzotzil Maya Otomí Totonac Mazatec Ch'ol Huastec Chinantec Mixe Mazahua Purépecha

10,000-100,000 speakers

Tlapanec Tarahumara Amuzgo Chatino Tojolab'al Sierra Popoluca Chontal de Tabasco Huichol Mayo Tepehuán Trique Cora Popolocan Huave Cuicatec Yaqui Q'anjob'al Tepehua

Under 10,000 speakers

Pame Mam Chontal of Oaxaca Chuj Tacuate Chichimeca Jonaz Huarijío Chocho Pima Bajo Q'eqchí Lacandón Jakaltek Matlatzinca Seri Ixcatec K'iche' Kaqchikel Paipai Cucapá Mototzintleco Kumiai Pápago Kikapú Ixil Cochimí Kiliwa Aguacatec

Non-official

Plautdietsch Venetian English French Basque Catalan Hebrew Arabic Chinese

Sign

Mexican Sign Language Mayan Sign Language

Note: The list of official languages is ordered by decreasing size of population.

Authority control

GND: 41202

.