Re:       Re: Opinions Solicited

Amapohuani at AOL.COM Amapohuani at AOL.COM
Thu Jul 29 23:49:00 UTC 2004

Galen and Mark:

I think Galen has made some good points. To give one instance out of many why 
retaining original distinctive features is critical: in volume one of NAHUATL 
THEATER I was faced with the difficulty of showing why I felt that THE THREE 
KINGS was in a different hand than SOULS AND TESTAMENTARY EXECUTORS and THE 
SACRIFICE OF ISAAC. In other words, why even though the three are bound together 
as mone manuscript at U of Michigan's Clements Library, they should not 
automatically be lumped together. After all, trying to compare and contrast hands 
is a very debatable process. Once a reliable transcription of the three plays 
was made (essentially Louise and I running through the text and transcriptions 
space by space, character by charcter a full three or four times) something 
became very obvious: there were orthographic peculiarities (or however either of 
you might want to characterize them) that were found only in SOULS and 
SACRIFICE but not in 3KINGS, and vice versa. These key distinctions would have been 
lost in a regularized/standardized version. Hence the value of trying as much 
as is possible to show those distinctions, peculiarities and 'errors' (under 
all the human and technical limitations we could enumerate) is, to my way of 
working and thinking, valuable and at times critical. Plus it helps (doesn't 
completely solve by any means) to show where one is taking one interpretative 
road and not another. 

Nonetheless I am very grateful for those scholars who take the Nahuatl much 
further away from the originals. Ideally one would have the opportunity to do 
what Andrews did in the Ruiz de Alarcon book, showing both the original 
orthography and his version. Of course, here again interpretation, reinterpretation, 
and errors in same are always lurking in the shadows. But there are so many 
practical restraints also that go far beyond scholarly considerations. Oh how I 
wish that the publisher of NAHUATL THEATER would suggest putting out an 
additional volume with clear photoreproductions of all the dramatic texts! I 
wouldn't hold my breath waiting, though.....

You both have made good points, so my hat is off to you both. 

Ye ixquich.

In a message dated 7/29/04 6:28:51 AM, brokaw at BUFFALO.EDU writes:

> But Mark, a paleographic transcription (revealing to the extent
> possible the nature of the original document) is also valuable because
> it makes it easier to identify possible mistakes in the regularized
> transcription and the translation. the point is that the regularized
> transcription is often a result of some interpretation. and often there
> are other possible interpretations. we have recently had discussions
> about this very thing on the list. and remember those documents we
> worked on at Indiana with Joe, we had long discussions/arguments about
> the meaning of words or phrases precisely because there were different
> possible interpretations of the orthography and even spacing (i.e. in
> dios versus indios). so, i think Barry, Stafford, and Louise{s method
> is the best both for the sake of historical linguistics and in order to
> leave open the possibility for others to disagree with your
> orthographic/semantic interpretations.
> Galen
> Quoting Mark David Morris <mdmorris at INDIANA.EDU>:
> > I, on the other hand, do not see the cause to publish a "near
> > original"
> > transcription.  The transcription itself is a significant step away
> > from
> > the original and a certain degree of analysis would be merited with
> > it,
> > such as proper word separation and extension of abbreviations.  There
> > is
> > something special about first-hand exposure to a text, but this is
> > only
> > conveyed by the original or a facsimile; a transcription can't
> > capture all
> > of the nuances.  Thank you very much Fran Kartunnen for glossing
> > hueliyoh
> > etc. As for the other, my assumption is that xoxopehualiztli refers
> > to
> > spring.
> >
> > best,
> > Mark Morris
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ~~~~
> >
> > La muerte tiene permiso a todo
> >
> > MDM, PhD Candidate
> > Dept. of History, Indiana Univ.
> >
> >

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Nahuat-l mailing list