onomatopoeia/ taka

Magnus Pharao Hansen magnuspharao at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 17:22:09 UTC 2012


Proto-Nahuatl speakers did have /t/ just not before /a/ and (at least some
occurences of) /ʉ/.

Also what it means is not necessarily that /taka/ was created after the *ta
> tla change, but that because it was onomatopoeic the change didn't apply.
Onomatopoeia are often shielded from sound changes - the same could be the
case for the root *tah, causing the split into non-shielded "uncle" and
shielded "father" forms.


> 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/.


Magnus Pharao Hansen
PhD. student
Department of Anthropology

Brown University
128 Hope St.
Providence, RI 02906

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