linguistic hypertrophism

Campbell, R. Joe campbel at
Fri Nov 18 18:27:29 UTC 2011

Hey Ben,

   I looked in the Florentine Codex and found some words that I used to 
consider long until I saw your examples.  A good number reach their 
length by containing multiple prefixes (e.g. mitz-on-mo, 
t(i)-amech-to-tla, etc.), benefactive -ili(a), and by adding -que or 
zque suffixes.

   You will notice that these words are *regularized* from the 
Florentine spelling (no j's, no o's for hu, etc.), but don't indicate 
glottal stops.
The list of words is followed by the sentence context that each word was
found in.


p.s. "in" is a rare sentence-final preposition sometimes found in English.




1. inic cempoalli onchicuacen capitulo: intechpa tlatoa in atolnamacaque,
     ihuan in *cacahuatlaquetzalnamacaque* ihuan in tequixquinamacaque.
      twenty-sixth chapter, which telleth of the atole sellers,
     and the sellers of prepared chocolate, and the sellers of
     saltpeter. (b.10 f.5 p.93).


2. oceloehuatepotzoicpalli, micehuatepotzoicpalli, 
     ocotochehuatepotzoicpalli, cuetlaxtepotzoicpalli, oceloehuaicpalli,
     micehuaicpalli, cuitlachehuaicpalli, cuetlaxicpalli, ocotochehuaicpalli,
      the ocelot skin seat with a back rest; the mountain lion
     skin seat with a back rest; the wolf skin seat with a back
     rest; the mountain cat skin seat with a back rest; the cured
     leather seat with a back rest; the ocelot skin seat, the
     mountain lion skin seat, the wolf skin seat, the cured leather
     seat, the mountain cat skin seat, the coyote skin seat.
     (b.8 f.2 p.31).


3. oncatca *intetlahuehuetzquiticahuan* in quimellelquixtiaya,
     in quicecemeltia:.
      there were their jesters who provided them solace and gave
     them pleasure. (b.8 f.2 p.30).


4. auh in ohuel mitzontlatetequilitiaque, in ohuel 
     in titloque, in tinahuaque, in timoyocoya, in timoquequeloa:.
      and they ordered, they arranged things well for thee, thou
     who art lord of the near, of the nigh, thou who art moyocoya,
     thou who are moquequeloa. (b.6 f.2 p.22).


5. iyoyahue, toteucyoe, diose, in icuac niquitztimotlalia, in
     motlatlaliltzin, in ohui *moteotetlatzontequililitzi*: ca
     cenca ninomauhtia, cenca ninizahuia:.
      alas, o lord god, when I consider thy commandments, the
     sternness of thy divine judgments, much am I afraid, much
     am I terrified. (b.1 f.105 p.76).


6. quimilhuia. toteucyohuane, tlamacazquee, nican anhualmohuicatiaque
     amocxitzin anquihualmanilique, ahzo tlacotl, zacatl cana
     *oanquihualmocxinamiquilique*, ahzo cana amocxitzin 
      they said to them: "o our lords, o priests, you have come
     to come here; you have used your feet; perhaps straws, grass
     you have somewhere touched with your feet; perhaps somewhere
     you have injured your feet; you have stumbled against something."
     (b.3 f.4 p.61).


7. nelli mach in *oquimotlaocolnonochilitinen* toteucyo, tloque,
      certainly he went crying out in sadness unto our lord,
     the lord of the near, of the nigh. (b.6 f.9 p.109).


8. ahzo *quimmotzonteconacocuiliznequi* in huehueixtitihui..
      perhaps he wisheth to lift the heads of those who will
     go increasing in dignity. (b.6 f.12 p.142).


9. acaloco in *quimoncuexcochhuihuitecque*, huitzantica,.
      at the canal they struck each one on the back of the head
     with wooden staves. (b.12 f.4 p.58).


10. auh in quixquichtin, in oaxihuaque, oquintetecpanque, 
     incuexcochteuh quimaanilitimani, *quincuacuatemotzoltzitzquitimani*,
     cequintin immaxtlahuicoltitech quimaantimani..
      and as many as had been detained [for transgressions] they
     arranged, each one, in order; they grasped each one firmly;
     they took them each by the napes of their necks, they seized
     each one firmly by the head; some they grasped, each one,
     by the ends of their breechclouts. (b.2 f.4 p.85).


11. amo yehhuanti quimmictiaya in maleque, zan tequitl quimoncahuaya,
     zan tequitl temac quimoncahuaya, *quincuatemotzoltzitzquitihui*,
     incuatla quimantihui, imicpac quimantihui,.
      those who had captives did not slay them; they no more
     than left them, they no more than left them in the hands
     of [the priests], who went seizing them, pulling them by
     their heads; they went taking them by [the hair of] their
     heads; they went taking them by [the hair of] the tops of
     their heads. (b.2 f.1 p.46).


12. ye no ceppa centlamantli hualehuaque in cahuallome, 
      once again a group of horse[men] ran by; they went following
     after [the others]. (b.12 f.6 p.86).


13. auh in oquizato painalton: niman ye ic temanalo, tetecpanalo:
     in ixpan huitzilobochtli, in oncan apetlac, nappa in 
      and when painalton proceeded to emerge, thereupon [the
     bathed slaves] were placed in order, arranged in rows, before
     [the image of] uitzilopochtli; there at the pyramid landing
     they four times took them in procession around the [pyramid]
     temple. (b.9 f.5 p.65).


14. at amo ihuian ammoyetzticate, tamechtotlapololtilizque, 
      perhaps ye are without tranquility; we shall trouble you,
     we shall embarrass you. (b.6 f.11 p.135).


15. auh zan ihuian *techhualcaltechpachotiaque*, zan ihuian techololalique..
      and quite tranquilly [the foe] pressed us back as if with
     a wall; quite tranquilly they herded us. (b.12 f.7 p.105).


16. in za iztlacatiliztica, tetentlapiquiliztica, 
     in quintlatzontequiliaya nahualoztomeca intiachcahuan, inic
     quimmictiaya, in atle intlatlacol: zan nexicoliztica inic
     inca mozcaltiaya in cuachichicti, in otomi, in yaotachcahuan:.
      then the chieftains, in envy, falsely, by means of false
     testimony, with imagined deeds, condemned the disguised
     merchants, in order to slay the innocent, so that by means
     of [their goods] the shorn ones, the otomi warriors, the
     war leaders, might be sustained. separated in the document
     (b.9 f.3 p.32).


17. manozoc tictotlatolchialican, auh manozoc *tictotlahuehuetzquitilican*
     in toteucyo:.
      let us yet await the word of the lord. let us yet provide
     laughter for him. (b.6 f.5 p.61).


18. no oncan o, mopaltzinco *tihualtotzonteconacocuizque*, titechixpatlahuaz:.
      "also there, because of thee we will raise up our heads;
     thou wilt render us honor. (b.6 f.8 p.97).


19. ihuan titechmomaquilia in motenahuatiltzin, inic huel 
      and thou offerest us thy commandments that we may obey
     thee. (b.1 f.4 p.66).


20. tlalli tiquitototztihuetziz, *timocuetzpaltempictihuetziz*..
      "thou wilt stir up the dust; thou wilt suddenly be enclosed
     in the jaws of the lizard!" (b.4 f.8 p.83).


21. auh in oncan titlahuehuetzquitilo, in oncan timotepepenilia,
     *timotetlatzetzelhuazhuilia*, in oncan intlan tinemi, in
     intlan tipaqui in huel mocnihuan, in nelli motlaiximachhuan,.
      "and there thou art provided with laughter; there thou
     selectest one, thou screenest one out; there thou livest,
     thou rejoicest among thy real friends, thy true acquaintances."
     (b.6 f.4 p.44).


22. oc tehhuatzin tocommotlapialilia in toteucyo: oc tehhuatzin
     *tocommotlahueltetequililia* in petlapan, in icpalpan in
      thou yet guardest it for our lord; thou yet placest the
     government, his place of honor, in good order. (b.6 f.15


23. auh ano mopal *tompilhuacateuhtlamatizque* ano mopal 
      and will we not also through thee experience parenthood,
     experience manhood? (b.6 f.6 p.77).


24. auh in ixquich in tlamacehualiztli, in yohualtamachihuiliztli
     in ixtozoliztli: xiquincuitlahuiltica *xiquintlacuauhtzitzquiltica*,.
      and [instruct them in] all the penances, the fixing of
     the divisions of the night, the vigils: take care of them;
     keep them firmly in your grasp. of the patient? more likely:
     urge them (b.9 f.2 p.15).


25. cuix oc ceppa xiuhchimaltonatimomanaz. anozo cuix oc ceppa
      will perchance the turquoise shield appear shining? or:
     will perchance the turquoise shield come to appear shining?
     (b.1 f.105 p.81).


26. auh in axcan manozo nelli *xocommotlaocolnonochilican* in
     toteucyo, in tloque, nahuaque:.
      "and now verily call out in contriteness to our lord, the
     lord of the near, of the nigh. (b.6 f.15 p.181).


27. ma amommotlacochcahuiliti, ma oc *xocommotlaocolnonochilitinencan*
     in tloque nahuaque, quen techmonequililia, quen quimitalhuia..
      do not abandon sorrow; yet live calling out for compassion
     to the lord of the near, of the nigh, as to what he requireth
     of you, what he sayeth." (b.3 f.4 p.53).


28. auh ma oc mochoquiz, ma oc motlaocol xoconixcahui, ma oc
     *xocommotlaocolnonochilitinemi* in toteucyo:.
      and give thyself exclusively to thy weeping, thy sorrowing;
     go calling to our lord in sadness. (b.6 f.3 p.32).


29. ma oc nelle axcan *xocommotlaocolnonochilitocan* in teootl,
     in tlatoani, in tloque, nahuaque, in moyocoya, in moquequeloa:.
      verily, even now call out in sorrow to the god, the ruler,
     the lord of the near, of the nigh, the one who doth as he
     pleaseth, the one who mocketh. (b.6 f.15 p.186).


30. ma oc *xompilhuacateuhtlamattocan*:.
      consider yourselves as parents. (b.6 f.15 p.186).

Quoting Ben Leeming <bleeming at>:

> Hola todos listeros!
> I come to you seeking to tap into your collective knowledge of our beloved
> colonial Nahuatl sources (crowd-sourcing?) in an effort to further develop
> my database of words that fall into a category that Bierhorst terms
> "linguistic hypertrophism" (1985:47).  You know the words I am talking
> about, those wonderfully long strings of morphemes such as: *
> tiquetzalzacuanxiuhquecholhuihuicomacan* (?let?s make
> troupial-and-turquiose swan plumes twirl? [from *Cantares Mexicanos*,
> Bierhorst
> 1985:47]) and *onquetzalchalchiuhtlapitzalicaoacatiaque* (?They went
> chirping like flutes of quetzal-green jade? [Burkhart 1992:96, quoting from
> the *Psalmodia Christiana *of SahagĂșn]).  I have always loved these words
> and have now decided to investigate them more methodically.  I was hoping
> you might be able to steer me in the direction of additional examples of
> this phenomenon, or towards specific sources that you suspect contain them.
> Additionally, if you know of any authors who have addressed this
> phenomenon (either for Nahuatl or any other language) I would appreciate
> that information, too.  My initial inquiries suggest that this is a topic
> that has not yet been addressed.
> Thank you in advance for your help!
> Ben
> --
> Ben Leeming
> PhD Student
> Department of Anthropology
> University at Albany, SUNY
> _______________________________________________
> Nahuatl mailing list
> Nahuatl at

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