Turquoise diadem comment 1 (repeat)

Campbell, R Joe campbel at indiana.edu
Wed May 21 19:04:47 UTC 2008


   This is a repeat of the first of my previous messages, which I 
accidentally sent as an attachment.  This should be easier to handle.  
I will do the same with Comment 2.



   Your "turquoise diadem" problem lit up my interest, first because
of the "tzol", but the /w/ + /w/ issue is more general, so, con tu
permiso, I'll go there first.

   Just some background from Andrews (revised edition):
    (I'll use ':' for vowel length)

p. 36:  /w/ + /w/  >  [w]  The first /w/, which is voiceless, is lost.

     cua:uh- + -huah  > cua:huah

p. 120:  my eagles     nocua:hua:n  [for no-cua:uh-hua:n rjc]

p. 375:  cuauh-hua:-tz-a-l-li
          (no comment on pronunciation, or, for that matter, no
          comment on proper spelling, since the point of the
          example is to show the structure of the word)

p. 469:  cuauhhua:tzaltzonco           [also spelled  cuahua:tzaltzonco] -- Andrews comment

- - - - - - - - -

   If the non-hyphenated words represent a suggested spelling, then
it is not clear that Andrews would insist on *phonetic* spelling.

   Since pronunciation tends to vary over the several places that a
language is spoken, it would be chaotic to have a spelling system
for each dialect, varying from village to village, merely because
of minor phonetic differences.
   The ideal spelling system is at least phonological (phonemic),
even morphophonemic (making the morphological structure more

   If it is true that a sequence of two /w/'s reduced phonetically
to a single [w], it would not be wise to take this reduction into
account in spelling, since that would mean that

  nitecuauhhuitequi (dar de palos)
  nitecuahuitequi (descalabrar)

would not be distinguished in spelling, even though one word
involved the morpheme 'cuahuitl' and the other 'cua:itl'.

   Obviously, it would still be possible to spell sequences of /ww/
either as 'uhhu' or 'uhu', since 'uhu' is unambiguous.  Since the
'hu' represents /w/, the syllable-final 'u' (e.g.,
nitecuauhuitequi) would clearly represent a preceding /w/.
This should cause no more confusion than the slight early problem
when students are faced with:

  nitlahuichuia (I hoe with a huictli)
  nitlaneuchuia (I sweeten something)

   Their acceptance that 'hu' spells /w/ is enough to make it
unambiguous that the phoneme preceding the /w/ is /k/ and /kw/,
respectively.  --They stop seeing 'ch' as a unit.

   David, taking your suggestion, I searched some of the relevant
data in the Molina/Florentine material.  In spite of the logical
*possibility* of a 'uhu' spelling, I agree with you that the 'uhhu'
spelling is preferable, but it was obvious in my search -that- some
chaos reigns there, but I intend to mend my ways.

   Below, I have listed some relevant examples from Molina.
My regularized forms are on the left and Molina's original forms
are on the right.  His prefixes are marked with an 'The location of his entries are given with folio number and column.
M1 M5 
cuacuauhhuia, nite-: quaquauhuia                          cornada dar
cuacuauhhuiliztli, te-: tequaquauhuiliztli. 71m1-30v1
                         cornada de toro o de cosa semejante
cuauhhuaqui, ni-: quauhuaqui                          magrecerse, pararse flaco
cuauhhuatzalli: quauhuatzalli. 55m-154r
                         le¤a seca para quemar
cuauhhuitequiliztli, tla-: tlaquauh uitequiliztli. 55m-231r
cuauhhuitzmecatl: quauitzmecatl. 55m-61r
cuauhhuitztli: quauhuitztli. 71m2-87v2
                         cierto abrojo



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