scratching the surface; lexemes with /ta/

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at
Wed Apr 4 13:37:15 UTC 2012

Quoting Gordon Whittaker <gwhitta4 at>:

> Michael,
> That's interesting that you have non-reduplicated examples of /taka/. But
> it's still likely to be an onomatopoeic term (like tock, tock) or a
> loanword from a nearby language. This is typical of words for scratching,
> striking, smacking, slamming, slicing, and the like, as well as for the
> instruments that do the deed.


I can see the side of the argument that favors borrowing; that seems 
reasonable. But I have to wonder why, if Proto-Nahuatl speakers did not 
have /t/, they created an onomotopeic term with /t/.


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