paradigns yauh, huallauh

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at
Mon Sep 22 00:50:42 UTC 2014

Quoting M Launey <mlauney at>:

> By the way, I object to considering hu?llauh as a verb of its own,
> and I?m afraid that in so doing, many colonial and modern grammarians
> are influenced by the fact that in European languages there are two
> different verbs to translate yauh and hu?llauh. But it is clearly
> hu?l- + yauh, with the directional prefix hu?l- which marks ?motion
> toward? (so hu?l-yauh is ?go closer?).

Dear Dr. Launey:

This is a very good point, and it is certainly one that students need
to hear about.

At the same time, I'm not sure what "modern grammarians" you are
referring to above. Modern grammarians do in fact address this issue,
and quite well.

J. Richard Andrews (1975) in _Introduction to Classical Nahuatl_, p.
67, says, "This verb consists of the directional prefix hua:l and the
verb (ya) ~ (yauh) ~ hui. The directional prefix is fused to the stem.
Since /l/ + /y/ > /ll/, the stem (ya) is spelled (la) and the stem
(yauh), (lauh)."

Sullivan's contemporaneous publication _Compendio de la Gramatica
Nahuatl_, which is a lovely book despite its quirks or lacks, states
"El verbo huallauh" esta' compuesto del adverbio hual, 'hacia aca'' y
yauh, 'ir', y literalmente significa 'ir hacia aca''." (p. 250).

Karttunen's and Campbell's "Foundation Course in Nahuatl Grammar" (vol.
1, p. 47) says, "This verb is composed of the prefix hua:l- 'hither' in
this direction' added to the stems of verbs 'to go'. When l is directly
followed by y, the y assimilates to the l, resulting in ll rather than

Best regards,

Michael McCafferty

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