intervocalic s > ch

Swanton, M. M.Swanton at LET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Wed Jul 7 15:45:00 UTC 2004

Its important to take into consideration the period when discussing Spanish
orthographic <s>. The 16th century Spanish orthographic <s> had a distinct
realization from the (Mexican) Spanish /s/ today. It probably had a
different point of articulation and intervocalically it was voiced. The <s>
was used to represent the palatal /x/ in the 16th century for various
Mesoamerican indigenous languages.

Instances of intervocalic /x/ > /ch/ seem to be quite uncommon in Nahuatl. A
few examples are given by Karen Dakin and Soren Wichmann in their 2000
Ancient Mesoamerica article on Cacao and Chocolate; all seem to be cases of
progressive assimilation. (e.g. chal=xiwi-tl > chalchihuitl).

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Montchalin [mailto:mmontcha at OREGONVOS.NET]
Sent: dinsdag 6 juli 2004 21:56
Subject: intervocalic s > ch

|I am trying to check the translation of a term from the Florentine
|Codex and am having trouble tracing how it has been derived. The term is
|'suchioa', which is given by Dibble and Anderson as 'pervert'. I have
|tried every variation I can think of and am now wondering whether it may
|have been drawn from the Spanish 'sucio/cia' (meaning dirty/filthy) as
|this is the only possible derivation I seem to be able to find!

If this is true, perhaps there are some other instances of an
intervocalic Spanish /s/ turning into an intervocalic Nawatl /ch/ ?

This kind of sound shift would be very useful if it appears in other
Spanish/Nawatl word pairs.

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