Nahuatl (English: /ˈnɑːwɑːtəl/; Nahuatl
pronunciation: [ˈnaːwatɬ] ( listen)[cn 1]), known
historically as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the
Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of
Nahuatl are spoken by an
estimated 1.5 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central
Nahuatl has been spoken in central
Mexico since at least the seventh
century CE. It was the language of the Aztecs, who dominated what
is now central
Mexico during the Late Postclassic period of
Mesoamerican history. During the centuries preceding the Spanish
conquest of the
Aztec Empire, the Aztecs had expanded to incorporate a
large part of central Mexico, and their influence caused the variety
Nahuatl spoken by the residents of
Tenochtitlan to become a
prestige language in Mesoamerica. At the conquest, with the
introduction of the Latin alphabet,
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. This early literary language based on the
Tenochtitlan variety has been labeled Classical Nahuatl, and is among
the most studied and best-documented languages of America.
Nahuan languages are spoken in scattered communities, mostly in
rural areas throughout central
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 are generally more closely related to it
than those on the periphery. Under Mexico's General Law of
Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples promulgated in 2003,
Nahuatl and the other 63 indigenous languages of
Mexico are recognized
as lenguas nacionales ("national languages") in the regions where they
are spoken, enjoying the same status as Spanish within their
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 have been borrowed into Spanish
and, from there, were diffused into hundreds of other languages. Most
of these loanwords denote things indigenous to central
the Spanish heard mentioned for the first time by their
English words of
Nahuatl origin include "avocado", "chayote", "chili",
"chocolate", "atlatl", "coyote", "peyote", "axolotl" and "tomato".
2.1 Pre-Columbian period
2.2 Colonial period
2.3 Modern period
3 Demography and distribution
5 Morphology and syntax
6 Contact phenomena
8 Writing and literature
9 Sample text
10 See also
11.1 Content notes
13 Further reading
13.1 Dictionaries of Classical Nahuatl
13.2 Grammars of Classical Nahuatl
13.3 Modern Dialects
14 External links
Main article: Nahuan languages
Tree diagram of the relation between the
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
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. 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 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.
Aztec encompasses the
Nahuatl and Pipil languages.[cn 3]
Pochutec is a scantily attested language, which became extinct in the
20th century, 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
"Nahuatl" denotes at least Classical
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
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.
Current subclassification of
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 in the
Central group, while Lastra de Suárez (1986) places them in the
Eastern Periphery, which was followed by Kaufman (2001).
The terminology used to describe varieties of spoken
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 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 pronunciation: [asˈteːkah]. During the
period of the
Aztec empire centered in Mexico-
language came to be identified with the politically dominant mēxihcah
[meːˈʃiʔkaʔ] ethnic group, and consequently the
was often described as mēxihcacopa [meːʃiʔkaˈkopa] (literally "in
the manner of Mexicas") or mēxihcatlahtolli "
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.
The speakers of
Nahuatl themselves often refer to their language as
either Mexicano or some word derived from mācēhualli, the
Nahuatl word for "commoner". One example of the latter is the case for
Nahuatl spoken in Tetelcingo, whose speakers call their language
Pipil people of
El Salvador do not call their own
language "Pipil", as most linguists do, but rather nawat. The
Durango call their language Mexicanero. Speakers of
Nahuatl of the
Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Isthmus of Tehuantepec call their language mela'tajtol
("the straight language"). 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.
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. 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 into central
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 and spread northwards at a very
early date. This hypothesis and the analyses of data that it rests
upon have received serious criticism.
The proposed migration of speakers of the
Proto-Nahuan language into
Mesoamerican region has been placed at sometime around AD 500,
towards the end of the Early Classic period in Mesoamerican
chronology. 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 (which are
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
Teotihuacan being prominent in that enquiry. 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 influx was seen to coincide more closely with
Teotihuacan's fall than its rise, and other candidates such as
Totonacan identified as more likely. But recently, evidence from
Mayan epigraphy of possible
Nahuatl loanwords in
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 presence at Teotihuacan.
In Mesoamerica the Mayan, Oto-Manguean and
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. 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
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. Some Nahuan groups migrated south along the
Central American isthmus, reaching as far as Nicaragua. The critically
Pipil language of
El Salvador is the only living descendant
of the variety of
Nahuatl once spoken south of present-day Mexico.
Beginning in the 7th century, Nahuan speakers rose to power in central
Mexico. The people of the
Toltec culture of Tula, which was active in
Mexico around the 10th century, are thought to have been
Nahuatl speakers. By the 11th century,
Nahuatl speakers were dominant
in the Valley of
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
One of the last of these migrations to arrive in the Valley of Mexico
settled on an island in the
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
Nahuatl became a lingua franca among merchants and elites
in Mesoamerica, e.g., among the Maya K'iche' people. As
Tenochtitlan grew to become the largest urban center in Central
America, it attracted speakers of
Nahuatl from diverse areas giving
birth to an urban form of
Nahuatl with traits from many dialects. This
urbanized variety of
Tenochtitlan is what came to be known as
Nahuatl as documented in colonial times.
With the arrival of the Spanish in 1519,
Nahuatl was displaced as the
dominant regional language, but remained important in Nahua
communities under Spanish rule. There is extensive colonial era
Nahuatl for Tlaxcala, Cuernavaca, Culhuacan,
Coyoacan, Toluca and other locations in the Valley of
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 speakers from
Tlaxcala and later with the conquered
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 and the Southwestern
United States often included a barrio of Tlaxcaltec soldiers who
remained to guard the mission. For example, some fourteen years
after the northeastern city of
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. As for the conquest of modern-day Central America,
Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado conquered
Guatemala with the help of tens of
thousands of Tlaxcaltec allies, who then settled outside of modern-day
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
Franciscan and Dominican friars and Jesuits)
Latin alphabet to the Nahuas. Within the first twenty
years after the Spanish arrival, texts were being prepared in the
Nahuatl language written in Latin characters. 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 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
Alonso de Molina
Alonso de Molina (1571),
Antonio del Rincón (1595), Diego de
Galdo Guzmán (1642), and
Horacio Carochi (1645). Carochi's is
today considered the most important of the colonial era grammars of
Nahuatl. 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. Through
contact with Spanish the
Nahuatl language adopted many loan words, and
as bilingualism intensified, changes in the grammatical structure of
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 should become
the official language of the colonies of
New Spain in order to
facilitate communication between the Spanish and natives of the
colonies. This led to Spanish missionaries teaching
Indians living as far south as
Honduras and El Salvador. During the
16th and 17th centuries, Classical
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
Nahuatl literature was composed during this period, including the
Florentine Codex, a twelve-volume compendium of
Aztec culture compiled
Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún; Crónica Mexicayotl, a chronicle
of the royal lineage of
Tenochtitlan by Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc;
Cantares Mexicanos, a collection of songs in Nahuatl; a
Nahuatl dictionary compiled by Alonso de
Molina; and the Huei tlamahuiçoltica, a description in
Nahuatl of the
apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Grammars and dictionaries of indigenous languages were composed
throughout the colonial period, but their quality was highest in the
initial period. 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 as a
literary language. Until Mexican Independence in 1821, the Spanish
Nahuatl testimony and documentation as evidence in
lawsuits, with court translators rendering it in Spanish.
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 speakers has actually risen over the past
century, indigenous populations have become increasingly marginalized
in Mexican society. In 1895,
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. At present
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 speakers are involved in the farming
sector and 6 in 10 receive no wages or less than the minimum wage.
From the early 20th century to at least the mid-1980s, educational
Mexico focused on the hispanicization (castellanización)
of indigenous communities, teaching only Spanish and discouraging the
use of indigenous languages. As a result, today there is no group
Nahuatl speakers having attained general literacy in Nahuatl;
while their literacy rate in Spanish also remains much lower than the
national average. Even so,
Nahuatl is still spoken by well over a
million people, of whom around 10% are monolingual. The survival of
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.
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. 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. Nonetheless, progress
Nahuatl and securing linguistic rights for
its speakers has been slow.
Demography and distribution
Nahuan languages and Nahua peoples
Map showing the areas of Mesoamerica where
Nahuatl is spoken today (in
White) and where it is known to have been spoken historically
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
State of Mexico
San Luis Potosí
Rest of Mexico
Today, a spectrum of
Nahuan languages are spoken in scattered areas
stretching from the northern state of
Tabasco in the
southeast. Pipil, the southernmost Nahuan language, is spoken in
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".
According to the 2000 census by INEGI,
Nahuatl is spoken by an
estimated 1.45 million people, some 198,000 (14.9%) of whom are
monolingual. There are many more female than male monolinguals,
and women represent nearly two thirds of the total number. The states
Guerrero and Hidalgo have the highest rates of monolingual Nahuatl
speakers relative to the total
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 speaking population are
bilingual in Spanish.
The largest concentrations of
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 and Durango.
Nahuatl became extinct in the states of
Colima during the 20th century. As a result of internal
migration within the country,
Nahuatl speaking communities exist in
all states in Mexico. The modern influx of Mexican workers and
families into the
United States has resulted in the establishment of a
Nahuatl speaking communities in that country, particularly
in California, New York, Texas, New
Mexico and Arizona.
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
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 of Pómaro, Michoacán. Many dialects
no longer distinguish between short and long vowels. Some have
introduced completely new vowel qualities to compensate, as is the
Tetelcingo Nahuatl. Others have developed a pitch accent,
Nahuatl of Oapan, Guerrero. Many modern dialects have also
borrowed phonemes from Spanish, such as /b, d, ɡ, f/.
* 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].
Nahuatl dialects vowel length contrast is vague, and in others
it has become lost entirely. The dialect of
Tetelcingo (nhg) developed
the vowel length into a difference in quality:[non-IPA
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/, /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].
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).
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]
Nahuatl dialects have stress on the penultimate syllable of a
Mexicanero from Durango, many unstressed syllables have
disappeared from words, and the placement of syllable stress has
Morphology and syntax
For details, see Classical
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
The following verb shows how the verb is marked for subject, patient,
object, and indirect object:
"I shall make somebody give something to you"[cn 6] (Classical
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 has neither case nor gender, but
Nahuatl and some modern dialects distinguish between animate
and inanimate nouns. In Classical
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. One dialect, that of the Eastern Huasteca, has
a distinction between two different plural suffixes for animate and
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.
"coyote" (Classical Nahuatl)
Plural animate noun:
"coyotes" (Classical Nahuatl)
Plural animate noun w. reduplication:
"coyotes" (Classical 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
"house" (Classical Nahuatl)
"my house" (Classical Nahuatl)
"my houses" (Classical 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 or
locative suffixes. 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.
Uses of relational noun/postposition/locative -pan with a possessive
"in/on me" (Classical Nahuatl)
"in/on it" (Classical Nahuatl)
"in the house" (Classical Nahuatl)
Use with a preceding noun stem:
"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
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:
First person plural pronoun in Classical Nahuatl:
First person plural pronouns in Isthmus-Mecayapan Nahuat:
nejamēn ([nehameːn]) "We, but not you" (= me & them)
tejamēn ([tehameːn]) "We along with you" (= me & you &
Much more common is an honorific/non-honorific distinction, usually
applied to second and third persons but not first.
tehwaːtl "you sg."
amehwaːntin "you pl."
tehwaːtzin "you sg. honorific"
amehwaːntzitzin "you pl. honorific"
yehwaːtzin "he/she honorific"
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.
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.
Nahuatl varieties have a number of ways to alter the valency of a
Nahuatl had a passive voice (also sometimes defined as
an impersonal voice), but this is not found in most modern
varieties. However the applicative and causative voices are found in
many modern dialects. Many
Nahuatl varieties also allow forming
verbal compounds with two or more verbal roots.
The following verbal form has two verbal roots and is inflected for
causative voice and both a direct and indirect object:
"I want to feed them" (Classical 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
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".
Familiar verbal form:
"you run" (Classical Nahuatl)
Honorific verbal form:
"You run" (said with respect) (Classical Nahuatl)
Many varieties of
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. In verbs reduplication is often
used to form a reiterative meaning (i.e. expressing repetition), for
Nahuatl of Tezcoco:
/wetsi/ "he/she falls"
/we:-wetsi/ "he/she falls several times"
/weʔ-wetsi-ʔ/ "they fall (many people)"
Some linguists have argued that
Nahuatl displays the properties of a
non-configurational language, meaning that word order in
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.
Michel Launey argues that Classical
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. The
same has been argued for some contemporary varieties.
"My fiancée" (and not anyone else's) (
It has been argued that Classical
Nahuatl syntax is best characterised
by "omnipredicativity", meaning that any noun or verb in the language
is in fact a full predicative sentence. A radical interpretation
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".
Nearly 500 years of intense contact between speakers of
speakers of Spanish, combined with the minority status of
the higher prestige associated with Spanish has caused many changes in
Nahuatl varieties, with large numbers of words borrowed from
Spanish into Nahuatl, and the introduction of new syntactic
constructions and grammatical categories.
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
In some modern dialects basic word order has become a fixed
subject–verb–object, probably under influence from Spanish.
Other changes in the syntax of modern
Nahuatl include the use of
Spanish prepositions instead of native postpositions or relational
nouns and the reinterpretation of original postpositions/relational
nouns into prepositions. In the following example, from
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?" (
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
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
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.
Main article: Words of
The Aztecs called (red) tomatoes xitōmatl, whereas the green
tomatillo was called tōmatl; the latter is the source for the English
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
For instance, in English, two of the most prominent are undoubtedly
chocolate[cn 8] and tomato (from
Nahuatl tomatl). Other common words
are coyote (from
Nahuatl coyotl), avocado (from
Nahuatl ahuacatl) and
chile or chili (from
Nahuatl chilli). The word chicle is also derived
Nahuatl tzictli "sticky stuff, chicle". Some other English words
Aztec (from aztecatl); cacao (from
'shell, rind'); ocelot (from ocelotl). In
Mexico many words
for common everyday concepts attest to the close contact between
Nahuatl - so many in fact that entire dictionaries of
"mexicanismos" (words particular to Mexican Spanish) have been
Nahuatl etymologies, as well as Spanish words with
origins in other indigenous languages. Many well known toponyms also
come from Nahuatl, including
Mexico (from the
Nahuatl word for the
Aztec capital mexihco) and
Guatemala (from the word
Writing and literature
Aztec writing and
The placenames Mapachtepec ("Raccoon Hill"), Mazatlan ("Deer Place")
and Huitztlan ("Thorn Place") written in the
Aztec writing system,
from the Codex Mendoza
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
Maya Script did. Therefore, generally
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).
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 did.
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.
The Spanish introduced the Latin script, which was used to record a
large body of
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. No standardized Latin orthography has been developed
for Nahuatl, and no general consensus has arisen for the
representation of many sounds in
Nahuatl that are lacking in Spanish,
such as long vowels and the glottal stop. The orthography most
accurately representing the phonemes of
Nahuatl was developed in the
17th century by the
Jesuit Horacio Carochi, building on the insights
of another Jesuit, Antonio del Rincon. 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. This orthography did not achieve a wide following outside
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. Apart from dialectal differences, major issues in
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.
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.
whether and how to represent vowel length, e.g. by double vowels or by
the use of macrons.
Main article: Mesoamerican literature
Among the indigenous languages of the Americas, the extensive corpus
of surviving literature in
Nahuatl dating as far back as the 16th
century may be considered unique.
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".
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
Diego Muñoz Camargo, from Mexico-
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 creation myth recounted in Codex Chimalpopoca.
One of the most important works of prose written in
Nahuatl is the
twelve-volume compilation generally known as the Florentine Codex,
produced in the mid-16th century by the
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
Spanish and illustrated throughout by color plates drawn by indigenous
painters. Its volumes cover a diverse range of topics:
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
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.
Nahuatl poetry is preserved in principally two sources: the Cantares
Mexicanos and the Romances de los señores de Nueva España, both
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.
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.
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, 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"
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 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. Such difrasismos
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"
The sample text below is an excerpt from a statement issued in Nahuatl
Emiliano Zapata in 1918 in order to convince the Nahua towns in the
Tlaxcala to join the Revolution against the regime of
Venustiano Carranza. 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).
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,
ihuan itech nin mahuiztica,
ihuan ica nochi noyolo
niquinyolehua nonques altepeme
aquihque cate qui chihuazque netehuiliztle
ipampa meláhqui tlanahuatil
ihuan amo nen motenecahuilia quitlahtlaczazque
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"
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.
Vocabulario manual de las lenguas castellana y mexicana
Vocabulario manual de las lenguas castellana y mexicana (a
Vocabulario trilingüe (dictionary of Spanish, Latin, and Nahuatl)
^ The Classical
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 speakers are
^ 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.")
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
^ All examples given in this section and these subsections are from
Suárez (1983):61–63 unless otherwise noted. Glosses have been
^ 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 verbal affixes, is standard. The sequence lo
que tlen combines Spanish lo que 'what' with
Nahuatl tlen (also
meaning 'what') to mean (what else) 'what'. en is a preposition and
heads a prepositional phrase; traditionally
Nahuatl had postpositions
or relational nouns rather than prepositions. The stem mexihka,
related to the name mexihko, 'Mexico', is of
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 etymology /ʃokolaːtl/ "bitter
water" no longer seems to be tenable. Dakin & Wichmann (2000)
suggest the correct etymology to be /tʃikolaːtl/ – a word found in
Mexica used the word for the Kaqchikel capital
central Guatemala, but the word was extended to the entire zone in
colonial times; see Carmack (1981):143.
^ "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.
Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute
for the Science of Human History.
^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
^ a b Suárez (1983):149
^ Canger 1980, p. 13.
^ Canger 2002, p. 195.
^ Canger 1988.
^ "Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas"
Diario Oficial de la Federación (in Spanish). Issued by the
Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión. 2003-03-13.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2008. .
^ Pharao Hansen 2013.
^ Canger (1988):42–43, Dakin (1982):202, INALI (2008):63, Suárez
^ Boas 1917.
^ Knab 1980.
^ Canger & Dakin (1985):360, Dakin (2001):21–22
^ Dakin (2001):21–22, Kaufman (2001)
^ Launey 1992, p. 116.
^ Canger 2001, p. 385.
^ Hill & Hill 1986.
^ a b Tuggy (1979)
^ a b Campbell (1985)
^ Canger 2001.
^ a b Wolgemuth 2002.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 20.
^ Canger (1980):12, Kaufman (2001):1
^ Hill 2001.
^ Merrill et al. 2010.
^ Kaufman & Justeson 2009.
^ Justeson et al. 1985, p. passim.
^ Kaufman 2001, pp. 3–6,12.
^ Kaufman & Justeson 2007.
^ Kaufman 2001, pp. 6,12.
^ Cowgill (1992):240–242; Pasztory (1993)
^ Campbell (1997):161, Justeson et al. (1985); Kaufman (2001):3–6,12
^ Dakin & Wichmann (2000), Macri (2005), Macri & Looper
(2003), Cowgill (2003):335, Pasztory (1993)
^ Dakin (1994); Kaufman (2001)
^ Fowler (1985):38; Kaufman (2001)
^ Carmack 1981, pp. 142–143.
^ Canger 2011.
^ Jackson 2000.
INAFED (Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo
Municipal) (2005). "Saltillo, Coahuila". Enciclopedia de los
Municipios de México (in Spanish) (online version at E-Local ed.).
INAFED, Secretaría de Gobernación. Archived from the original on 20
May 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-28. . The Tlaxcaltec community
remained legally separate until the 19th century.
^ Matthew 2012.
^ Lockhart (1991):12; Lockhart (1992):330–331
^ Rincón 1885.
^ Carochi 1645.
^ Canger 1980, p. 14.
^ Carochi 2001.
^ a b Olko & Sullivan 2013.
^ a b Suárez (1983):165
^ Suárez 1983, pp. 140–41.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 5.
^ Cline 2000.
^ Rolstad 2002, p. passim..
^ INEGI 2005, pp. 63–73.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 167.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 168.
^ INEGI 2005, p. 49.
^ Lastra de Suárez (1986), Rolstad (2002):passim
^ Pellicer, Cifuentes & Herrera 2006, pp. 132–137.
^ INALI [Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas] (n.d.).
"Presentación de la Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos".
Difusión de INALI (in Spanish). INALI, Secretaría de Educación
Pública. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008. Retrieved
^ Based on Lastra de Suárez (1986); Fowler (1985)
^ IRIN 2004.
^ INEGI 2005, p. 35.
^ INEGI 2005.
^ Flores Farfán 2002, p. 229.
^ Sischo 1979, p. passim.
^ Amith 1989.
^ a b Flores Farfán (1999)
^ Pury-Toumi 1980.
^ Burnham, Jeff & David Tuggy (1979). A Spectrographic Analysis of
Vowel Length in Rafael Delgado Nahuatl.
^ Launey 1992, p. 16.
^ Launey 1992, p. 26.
^ Launey 1992, pp. 19–22.
^ Canger 2001, p. 29.
^ Launey 1999.
^ Hill & Hill 1980.
^ Kimball 1990.
^ Launey 1992, pp. 27–28.
^ Launey 1992, pp. 88–89.
^ Hill & Hill (1986) re Malinche Nahuatl
^ Launey (1992) Chapter 13 re classical Nahuatl
^ Suárez 1977, pp. passim.
^ Launey 1999, p. passim.
^ Wolgemuth 2002, p. 35.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 61.
^ Canger 1996.
^ Suárez 1983, p. 81.
^ a b Suárez (1983):62
^ Launey 1992, pp. 207–210.
^ Suárez 1977, p. 61.
^ Launey 1992, p. 27.
^ Peralta Ramírez 1991.
^ Baker 1996, p. passim..
^ a b c Pharao Hansen (2010)
^ Launey 1992, pp. 36–37.
^ a b Sischo (1979):314
^ Launey (1994); Andrews (2003).
^ Launey (1994), Launey (1999):116–18
^ a b Canger & Jensen (2007)
^ Hill & Hill 1986, p. 317.
^ Hill and Hill 1986:page#
^ Suárez 1977.
^ Canger 2001, p. 116.
^ Hill & Hill 1986, pp. 249–340.
^ Haugen 2009.
^ Dakin & Wichmann (2000)
^ Joseph P. Pickett; et al., eds. (2000). ocelot. The American
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Boston, MA:
Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-82517-2. OCLC 43499541.
Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. CS1 maint: BOT:
original-url status unknown (link)
^ Lockhart 1992, pp. 327–329.
^ Lacadena 2008.
^ Whittaker 2009.
^ Lockhart 1992, pp. 330–335.
^ a b c d e Canger (2002):200–204
^ Smith-Stark 2005.
^ Whorf, Karttunen & Campbell 1993.
^ McDonough 2014, p. 148.
^ Bierhorst 1985, p. xii.
^ Canger 2002, p. 300.
^ León-Portilla 1985, p. 12.
^ Karttunen & Lockhart 1980.
^ Bierhorst 1998.
^ Sahagún & 1950–82, pp. part I:47.
^ León-Portilla 1985, pp. 12–20.
^ Bright 1990, p. passim..
^ Bright 1990, p. 440.
^ Olmos 1993.
^ Examples given are from Sahagún 1950–82, vol. VI, ff. 202V-211V
^ Text as reproduced in León-Portilla 1978:78–80
^ León-Portilla 1978.
Amith, Jonathan D. (1989). Acento en el nahuatl de Oapan. Presentation
to the Seminario de Lenguas Indígenas, Instituto de Investigaciones
UNAM (in Spanish). México D.F.: Universidad Nacional
Autónoma de México.
Andrews, J. Richard (2003). Introduction to Classical
ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3452-6.
Baker, Mark C. (1996). The
Polysynthesis Parameter. Oxford Studies in
Comparative Syntax. New York: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-509308-9. OCLC 31045692.
Beller, Richard; Beller, Patricia (1979). "Huasteca Nahuatl". In
Ronald Langacker. Studies in Uto-Aztecan
Grammar 2: Modern Aztec
Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in
Linguistics, 56. Dallas, TX:
Summer Institute of Linguistics
Summer Institute of Linguistics and the
Texas at Arlington. pp. 199–306.
ISBN 0-88312-072-0. OCLC 6086368.
Bierhorst, J. (1985). Cantares mexicanos: Songs of the Aztecs.
Stanford University Press.
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Look up nahuatl in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Nahuatl Dictionary - Wired Humanities Projects, University of
Colorado River (Chemehuevi, Southern Paiute, Ute)
Northern Paiute (including Bannock)
Shoshoni (including Gosiute)
Italics indicate extinct languages
Languages of Mexico
Chontal de Tabasco
Chontal of Oaxaca
Mexican Sign Language
Mayan Sign Language
Note: The list of official languages is ordered by decreasing size of