for nahuatl info?

Matthew Montchalin mmontcha at
Mon Jan 6 09:54:43 UTC 2003

On Mon, 6 Jan 2003, r. joe campbell wrote:
|   But I *did* have to face the difference in orthography -- Molina didn't
|use my 'k w kw s ts...etc.' -- he did a natural and common thing -- he
|simply adapted his Spanish spelling system (ignoring long vowels and
|glottal stops),

Perhaps you will explain why adopting the Spanish spelling system strikes
you as a natural and common thing?

|as did Sahagun with the "Florentine Codex" (with considerably more
|irregularity).  But it was easy to read and I soon found myself writing
|with 'qu' instead of 'k'.

For those of us with little or no exposure to Spanish's orthography,
I am not so sure it will be an 'easy' thing to chin up and plod

|   When I moved to 'qu', I put myself in touch with a large body of
|material which has been recorded since the arrival of the Spaniards.

This seems to be the most telling argument in favor of Spanish's
orthography.  And you seem to be suggesting that the body of material
is so vast that it will never be regularized with the 'k' and 'kw'

|If I had stuck with 'k', all that rich body of text would look
|"quaint" to me.

Are you saying it is impractical - if not impossible - to write a
computer program to translate the spellings from Nahuatl to Nawatl?

|   If I were designing materials that I hoped would be helpful to
|Spanish speakers (some of them possible monolingual), I would use
|the 'qu' (and the spelling that goes with it) in order to reduce
|impediments in learning the important things.

But you are presupposing a Spanish-speaking audience to receive
your preferred spelling system.  If you start your argument with
a chip on your shoulder, it is that much harder to put some other
chip there.

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