Leeming, Ben b.leeming at rivers.org
Sun Sep 28 13:28:51 UTC 2014

Michael, thank you. You’ve provided the clues that has helped track down PART of the mystery – the part related to “cecapal,” which you believe to be related to my “centlacnepal.”  Here’s what I pulled off of the Nahuatl Dictionary at the Wired Humanities Project (by the way, an indispensable resource for those out there unfamiliar with it: http://whp.uoregon.edu/dictionaries/nahuatl/):

ytepanco Francisco yn occecapalal ytepanco Maria = a la linde de Francisco junto a él y por otra a la linde de María
[Source: Vidas y bienes olvidados: Testamentos indígenas novohispanos, vol. 1, Testamentos en castellano del siglo XVI y en náhuatl y castellano de Ocotelulco de los siglos XVI y XVII, eds. Teresa Rojas Rabiela, Elsa Leticia Rea López, y Constantino Medina Lima (Santa Bárbara, Tamascolco, Tlaxcala, 1598), 290-291.]

Esto corresponde a coeccan, occan, etcétera, en otros dialectos. El sufijo -pal se clasifica generalmente como un sufijo instrumental, y no locativo. Ceccapal es el
"adverbio, 'por un lado'; occápal, 'por dos lados', etcétera. Literalmente, 'en un lugar'."
[Source: Thelma Sullivan, Documentos Tlaxcaltecas del siglo XVI en lengua náhuatl (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987), 40.]

Still, the mystery is far from solved since, despite my efforts, I can’t find any reference anywhere to “centlacnepal.” Based on what Sullivan seems to be saying, can I assume the “cen-“ is “one” and the “-pal” is the postposition meaning “for, by means of”?  Or is the “cen” in “centlacnepal” unrelated to the “ce-“ in “cecapal” and instead “cem/n: one, entirely, wholly”? How is “-tlac-“ operating here? Is this “tlactli, upper body, torso”?

I’d love to hear others chime in on this one.  John? Dr. Launey? Magnus?

Ben Leeming
PhD Candidate
Department of Anthropology
University at Albany
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