Nahuatl word classes

John Sullivan idiez at
Mon Jan 14 19:10:58 UTC 2013

Piyali Joost,
	But if this is the case, then, at least in Modern Huastecan Nahuatl, the present tense is inherently stative. "ninehnemi", for example doesn't mean "I walk", it means "I am walking". To get it to mean "I walk" you have to add an adverb. For example, "Mohmoztlah ninehnemi", "I walk everyday". I still don't understand the difference between, "ninehnemi" and ninehnenticah". I'll have to run this by the macehualmeh here at IDIEZ.

On Jan 6, 2013, at 6:16 AM, Joost Kremers <joostkremers at> wrote:

> Hi John,
> Though I can't comment on your Nahuatl examples in particular, there is
> a working definition of statives that might help. In general, a verb is
> stative if it describes a situation or property without specific
> duration. That is, if you can split up the event being described into
> smaller subevents and these subevents can still be described by the same
> verb form, then the verb form is stative.
> So "He is sleeping" is stative because if the sleeping lasts for say
> eight hours, and you consider any subinterval of those eight hours, you
> can describe each correctly with "he is sleeping". On the other hand,
> "he fell asleep" is not stative, because if the falling asleep takes 10
> minutes, then any subinterval does not constitute a falling asleep
> event.
> Joost
> On Fri, Jan 04 2013, John Sullivan <idiez at> wrote:
>> Piyali listeros, 
>> 	I'm a little confused with how the word stative is used (in linguistics?). Would all of these words be considered stative?
>> 1. Cuaciyah tlachihchihualli. "It's a hand-made chair". Tlachihchihualli is a noun formed from the passive form of a verb, and refers to the result of an action.
>> 2. Cuaciyah chichiltic. "It's a red chair". Chichiltic literally means "it has become a very red chilli". This seems to me to be the relationship of a metaphor, in other words, chair is identified with a chilli, it is not in a certain state.
>> 3. Eliazar ihcatoc. "Eliazar is standing". Ihcatoc is literally "he stands up and has rested in that state."
>> 4. Eliazar mocehuihtoc. "Eliazar is seated." Mocehuihtoc is literally "He sits down and has rested in that state."
>> John
>> _______________________________________________
>> Nahuatl mailing list
>> Nahuatl at
> -- 
> Joost Kremers
> Life has its moments

Nahuatl mailing list
Nahuatl at

More information about the Nahuat-l mailing list