onomatopoeia/ taka

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at indiana.edu
Wed Apr 4 21:32:40 UTC 2012

Joe sent in a list of "ta-" words, including tacatl, which are defined 
and parsed as follows from his work.

This seems to be getting us closer to tataca. The first two examples 
are from the Florentine, the third from Molina. Andrews, in his first 
edition's glossary, has tacaxtli - root ball of a tree.

*tacatl ***
centacatl (centacatl).  ; mata o pie de qualquiera yerua; mata o pie
   de qualquier yerua; vna mata de yerua; de cardos; o vna lechuga;
   col. &c; clump. <cem-tacatl>. b.11 f.16 p.162|
tacapitzauhqui (tacapitzauhqui).  constricted. <tacatl-pitza:hua-prt1-
   c2>. b.10 f.7 p.127b|
tacatl (tacatl).  mata de albahaca, o de cosa semejante; mata o pie de
   qualquier yerua. <tacatl>. 71m2-15|


Quoting Magnus Pharao Hansen <magnuspharao at gmail.com>:

> Listeros
> Proto-Nahuatl speakers did have /t/ just not before /a/ and (at least some
> occurences of) /?/.
> 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.
> best
> 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.
> Gordon,
> 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/.
> Michael
> --
> Magnus Pharao Hansen
> PhD. student
> Department of Anthropology
> Brown University
> 128 Hope St.
> Providence, RI 02906
> *magnus_pharao_hansen at brown.edu*
> US: 001 401 651 8413
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