Nahuatl Word of Interest

Frances Karttunen karttu at NANTUCKET.NET
Tue Jan 27 15:14:25 UTC 2004

The absolutive form of 'corpse' is micqui (literally 'one who has died'),
but the compounding stem is micca:-.  In Molina there are some entries in
which "micca" is separated by a space from what follows intermingled with
others that follow the convention of writing compound words solid.  Other
examples of the entries with separation are "micca cuicatl. obsequias de
muerto" and "micca petlacalli. tumba de sepultura."  I feel confident that
"micca tilmaua. enlutado" is literally 'one who has a shroud (literally a

Something I find unexpected about micqui is that whereas burrohmicqui means
a dead burro, when it comes to humans, things apparently are reversed.

Oquichmicqui doesn't mean a dead husband.  It means a widow, that is a woman
who is husband-wise dead.

Likewise, ci:huamicqui refers to a man who has lost his wife to death.

Fran Karttunen

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