name for a lime kiln

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at
Sun Mar 17 21:23:35 UTC 2013

As I mentioned to Tom off-list last week, he may have an "L" dialect, 
and needs to find that out.

Since the basic morpheme for 'grass' is /xiw-/, it does not seem 
impossible for a dialect to reanalyze this term as /xiwtli/ (or /xiwli/ 
in an "L" dialect), as there are commonly used terms that end in 
/-xiwtli/ such as icxiutli and huexiutli that would serve as a basis 
and stimulation for such a reanalysis.

(It would be very odd for xihuitl to be reanalyzed as *xiuhtl because 
of those two consonants /h/ and /tl/ coming up against each other. A 
reanalysis would much more likely result in *xiuhtli.)

If reanalysis has occurred, then what Tom could be essentially 'xiuhtli 
itempa(n)', 'on the grass's lip', which mirrors the Spanish translation 
he was given.


Quoting John Sullivan <idiez at>:

> Piyali notequixpoyohuan,
> 	I think the word xihuitl is being shortened to xiuhtl (two final
> consonants are possible is some variants). Then, when this is joined
> in speech with the following word, itempan (devoiced final n), the
> final consonanant of xiuhtl, the "tl" forms a new syllable with the
> "i" of itempan. Now it gets tricky. The devoiced "uh" of xiuhtl
> weekens the following "tl" turning it into a devoiced "l". This kind
> of thing happens in my variant, Modern Huastecan, so I recognized it
> (if indeed this is what is happening). So anyway, you can probably
> write it "xiuhtl itempan", understanding that the phrase is
> pronounced as single phonetic unit.
> John
> On Mar 17, 2013, at 7:52 PM, Tomas Amando Amaya Aquino
> <t_amaya at> wrote:
>> Hi Tom and friends
>> Maybe they use the word xiuhti (nahuat) or xiuhtli (nahuatl) for "grass";
>> then it is easy to conclude that the "ti" (or "tli") of the ending becomes
>> "li" in a composition where one T  not so far from another T: xiuhti
>> itempan => xiuhtitempan => xiuhl-litempa' => xiuhlitempa / xiuhtli itempan
>> => xiuhtlitempan => xiuhl-litempa' => xiuhlitempa .
>> Basically, the t of the nahuat-speaking people is linguopalatal and not
>> dental as in Spanish. Therefore it is easy to understand a change from t to
>> l (in the case of the first t). Of course it also applies to "tl" if you
>> pronounce "xiuhtli".
>> Ximoyecpia (take care)
>> Tomas Amaya
>> 2013/3/15 grigsby tom <tom_grigsby at>
>>> Estimados listeros,
>>> One of the largest of the now disused lime kilns in San
>>> Andres de la Cal is pronounced by the villagers as xiuh li tempa which they
>>> translate as "en la orilla de las yerbas." I've tried pronouncing the site,
>>> xiuhuitl i tempa but nobody's buying that form. Is the former possible?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Tom
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