Nahuatl Word of Interest (micca tilmaua)

Frye, David dfrye at UMICH.EDU
Tue Jan 27 11:48:05 UTC 2004

My copy of Molina has two separate (unrelated?) entries, one after the other:
Vestido de blanco. moztaca quetza. yztac ytilma. yztacatitlan actinemi.
Vestido de luto. micca tilmaua. tlazoquipal tilmaua.


From: Nahua language and culture discussion on behalf of r. joe campbell
Sent: Tue 1/27/2004 12:43 AM
Subject: Nahuatl Word of Interest

   The NCB (Nahuatl Circle of Bloomington) gets together once a week and
discusses Nahuatl for a few hours.  It grinds through the translation
(usually morpheme by morpheme, leaving no tetl unturned) of documents like
the Florentine Codex or the Sahagun's Psalmodia Christiana.  The term
"grinding" is not negative -- it just means that the discussion is not
fluffy or superficial.
   Sometimes the group turns its attention to a particular word formation
problem and everyone shines their light on it until everyone is happy.
   Lately the group started exchanging "mystery words" by e-mail, words
that were worthy of a second or third glance.  Now, sometimes a word that
seems interesting to the originator is quickly transparent to everyone in
the group, but the tetlahtolmacani just looks for another gem to throw on
the table.  The exercise of playing the game seems to be enjoyable to
everyone... and hopefully is as beneficial as a run around the block.

   I was looking at a few words in Molina tonight and I ran across one
(actually, several) that might be worthy of comment.  I thought that this
one might be of interest to y'all.  The beginning question is "What does
the Nahuatl word mean and *how* does it mean it?"

 Molina's Spanish definition:
   vestido de blanco
   miccatilmaua (can be respelled as miccatilmahua
                 [no info on vowel length or glotal stops])



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