Fwd: Re: Chicago's Field Museum

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at indiana.edu
Wed Dec 31 04:27:51 UTC 2008

----- Forwarded message from mmccaffe at indiana.edu -----
    Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 23:26:14 -0500
    From: Michael McCafferty <mmccaffe at indiana.edu>
Reply-To: Michael McCafferty <mmccaffe at indiana.edu>
Subject: Re: [Nahuat-l] Chicago's Field Museum
      To: Craig Berry <cberry at cine.net>

Quoting Craig Berry <cberry at cine.net>:

> On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 1:25 PM, Robert A. Neinast
> <neinast at worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>> An example that illustrates the problem:
>>  tecuhtli (teh-COOT-lee).
> Ouch.  Of course, that's how I was first taught to say it (by someone
> who thought of himself as an expert...oh, well).  I'm still trying to
> master that glottal sound, but I know now it's a two-syllable word, at
> least.

There's no glottal stop in this term. It's /te:kwLi/, where : indicates
a long vowel and L is the phoneme written with the digraph tl in the
classic Spanish orthography. The first syllable /te:kw-/ receives the

>> Yes, that it what they had. They also had other
>> abominations like
>>  cuauhtin (kwah-oo-teen).
> How would you render that properly into informal phonetics?

Well, this "kwah-oo-teen" is not really an abomination. It's actually
pretty decent informal phonetics. Would've been better had they put an
accent marker over the first syllable kwah- to show where the "stress"

>> In splitting syllables, they also split "tl" and "tz",
>> putting the "t" at the end of one syllable,and the
>> "l" or "z" at the beginning of the next.

That's pretty sloppy, gotta admit.

Oh, and for a final
>> "tl" they had it pronounced simply as "t".

It's like that in some dialects, so it's not a great offense.


> Given they couldn't station a staff person by each sign to teach how
> to do the tongue positioning that produces the terminal -tl sound, I'd
> say this was a reasonable compromise.  It's what I tell newbies to do,
> just to get them from e.g. coh-AH-tul to COH-aht; the next step is
> then to teach them the -tl trick.
> --
> Craig Berry - http://www.cine.net/~cberry/
> "Lots of things in the universe don't solve any problems, and
> nevertheless exist."  -- Sean Carroll
> _______________________________________________
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> Nahuatl at lists.famsi.org
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