Versión en español

bescomatl
Spanish Borrowings
in Mösiehuali̱
(Tetelcingo Nahuatl)

There are recordings of most of the examples, marked Click on this symbol to hear a recording. The sound files average less than 50Kb.


General rules

When loan words from Spanish are brought into Mösiehuali̱ (Tetelcingo Nahuatl) several kinds of systematic changes are made.


Various changes in the consonants and syllable structure may also occur, in order to bring the word into conformity with the normal patterns of Nahuatl. Two common changes are:


Words that in Spanish end in an unstressed vowel


To words that in Spanish end in a stressed vowel


The phoneme /w/ is labial in Mösiehuali̱ when it precedes a front vowel. In such cases it is pronounced (and written) like the b [β] of Spanish. In some of those cases it is voiceless [ɸ], and thus corresponds, both in pronunciation and orthography, rather to the f of Spanish. As a result:


Consonants may also suffer the effects of other morphophonemic rules of Mösiehuali̱. For example, obstruents generally become j [h] when they precede an identical (or closely similar) obstruent. One such case is that of cruz cross, where z [s] becomes j before tz.


Older borrowed forms

In loans which are a century or more old, there was less tolerance for some of the foreign phonemes which are permitted in later borrowings. For instance:


Combinations of phonemes which do not exist in native Nahuatl words may be simplified or reinterpreted. For example:


Spanish s and j [h] were pronounced differently in the time of the older loans, As a result:


In the older borrowings it seems also that there was more of a tendency to hear long vowels. Vowels that in Spanish carry a secondary accent, or which are followed by a nasal, may be interpreted as long.

A number of borrowed words have two forms, one older and the other more recent. Generally the older borrowings involve more changes, the newer fewer. Examples given below include Sabado Saturday, cruz cross, and pobre poor.

Adding affixes

To any stem that is produced according to these rules, the normal Mösiehuali̱ affixes for the appropriate grammatical class (part of speech) can be added. Sometimes the meaning of the stem will shift as well.

Examples

The following examples exemplify these patterns. (The sound files attached to the examples average about 40K.)

Nahuatl Original Spanish Summary of the Changes Meaning of the original Spanish
sound bute
[βúte]
bote

ó > u (the corresponding long vowel), final j [h] does not appear

(tin) can
sound nobutejua
[noβutéhwɔ]
mis botes

ó > u, affixes no- my and -hua plural possessed, final j [h] appears

my (tin) cans
sound arus
[ářus]
arroz
[ar̃ós]

ó > u, rr > r, penultimate stress

rice
sound capi̱tö
[kapÍa]
capitán
[kapitán]

á > ö, non-stressed i > i̱ , n disappears, penultimate stress

captain
sound capi̱tönte
[kapItɔ́ante]
capitanes

same, plus plural -te; final n appears

captains
sound Josie
[hʊ́sie]
José
[hosé]

é > ie, penultimate stress

Joseph
sound Tomös
[tʊ́mɔas]
Tomás

á > ö, penultimate stress

Thomas
sound Mönobiel
[mɔanóβiel]
Manuel
[manuél]

anué interpreted as ànuwé, é > ie, à > ö, unaccented u > o, w > β before a front vowel, penultimate stress

Immanuel
sound Xohuönajtzi
[šowɔanáhtsi]
Juana
[hwána]

ju [hw] > xohu [šow], á > ö, add -tzi honorific, final j [h] appears, penultimate stress

Jane
sound fiebes
[hɸiéβes]
jueves
[hwéβes]

hw > f [hw > hɸ], é > ie

Thursday
xöbatu
[šɔaβátu]
sábado
[sáβaðò]

(older form)
s > x, á > ö, d > t, ò > u, penultimate stress

Saturday
söbro
[sɔ́aβřo]
sábado

(newer form)
á > ö, ábadò > ábro, penultimate stress (preserved)

Saturday
sound xapu
[šápu]
jabón
[haβón]

ó > u, b > p, j > x, final n disappears

soap
sound cafie
[káhɸie]
café
[kafé]

é > ie, f > hw, final n does not appear, penultimate stress

coffee
sound cafientic
[kahɸiéntIk]
color café

add -ti̱c adjective, final n appears

brown
(coffee-color)
corujtzi
[kořúhtsi]
cruz
[křus]

(older form)
crú > corú, add -tzi honorific, s > j [h] before tz

cross
sound crujtzi
[křúhtsi]
cruz

(newer form)
add -tzi honorific, s > j [h] before tz

cross
porube
[pořúβe]
pobre
[póβře]

(older form)
póbr > prób > porób, ó > u, final j [h] does not appear

poor
sound prube
[přúβe]
pobre

(newer form)
póbr > prób, ó > u, final j [h] does not appear

poor
sound Di̱us
Íyus]
Dios
iós]

ó > u, i > i̱ , penultimate stress

God
sound xomplielojme
[šomplielóhme]
sombrero(s)
[sombřeřo]

s > x, br > pl, r > l, é > ie, add me plural, final j [h] appears, penultimate stress

hats
sound xöntocalco
[šɔantokálko]
santo
[sánto]

á > ö, s > x, add cal-co house-place = saints' shrine, final j [h] exceptionally fails to appear

saint
qui̱xtiöno / sound qui̱xti̱yöno
[kIštiɔ́ano] / [kIštIyɔ́ano]
cristiano
[křistiáno]

outsider, foreigner
á > ö, unstressed i > i̱, cr > qu [kr > k], s > x, (ti > ti̱y), final j [h] does not appear.

Christian
xejnulajte / sound xenulajte
[šehnuláhte] / [šenuláhte]
señora(s)
[señyóřa]

outsiders, foreigners (women)
ó > u, s > x, ñ > ( j) n, r > l, add -te plural, final j [h] appears

ladies, my ladies

People's names

The names of adults are marked honorifically. Adult men's names normally take the almost-prefixal form ru sir, Mr. (It is derived from the Spanish form don by normal processes for older borrowings.) So don Manuel comes out in Mösiehuali̱ as sound ru Mönobiel. The names of adult women (with the exception of one's own wife) take the honorific suffix -tzi, as in sound Xohuönajtzi (doña) Juana or Lady Jane.

Borrowed verbs

When verbs are borrowed from Spanish into Mösiehuali̱, the infinitive form is used (the form that ends in -ar, -er, or - ir). To it is added the ending -oa [-owa] if the verb is transitive, or -i̱bi̱ if it is intransitive. Then the appropriate subject and object prefixes are added, and any other affixes of time, aspect, etc. that may be required. For example:

Nahuatl Original Spanish Summary of the Changes Meaning of the original Spanish
sound pasöri̱bi̱
[pasɔařÍβI]
pasa
[pasář]

á > ö, add - i̱bi̱ , penultimate stress

it happens
sound pasöri̱bi̱s
[pasɔařÍβIs]
pasará

The same, plus -s future

it will happen
sound qui̱pasöroa
[kIpasɔařówa]
le pasa

á > ö, add -oa, mark object with qui̱-

it happens to him/her
sound qui̱mpasöro
[kImpasɔ́ařo]
les pasó

the same, with qui̱m- them, and deletion of final -a in preterite.

it happened to them
sound cöhuantöroa
[kɔawantɔařówa]
lo aguanta
[àɣwantář]

á/à > ö, gu > hu, add -oa, mark object c-, penultimate stress

he/she bears it
sound ti̱jconsentiroöya
[tIhkonsentiřowɔ́aya]
lo consentíamos
[konsentíř]

add -oa and other affixes, penultimate stress

we spoiled him/her
sound conbenieri̱bi̱
[komβeniÍβI]
conviene
[komβeníř]

convenir > mistakenly borrowed as if it were convener, é > ie, add -i̱bi̱, penultimate stress

it is proper, appropriate
sound mi̱tzcombenieroa
[mItskomβenieřówɔ]
te conviene

add -oa, mark object mi̱tz- you sg., penultimate stress

it behooves you

Fruits

A particularly interesting group of loans consists of names of certain agricultural products, mostly fruits, with the inclusion of a bird, the dove or pigeon. These apparently were borrowed in pluralized form even though their meanings may be singular, and they end in x rather than the s of the modern Spanish form. They also exhibit certain other anomalies; for instance, both alöxöx orange and plötöni̱x banana have the long a vowel ö for a non-stressed a as well as a stressed one (where it is expected); plötöni̱x has where the Spanish has o; three of these words end in xöx or the almost indistinguishably similar xox, which no other words of the language do, and so forth.

Nahuatl Original Spanish Summary of the Changes Meaning of the original Spanish
sound öhuax
[ɔ́awaš]
habas
[áβas]

á > ö, β > w before a non-front vowel, s > x

chickpeas
sound plötöni̱x
[plɔatɔ́anIš]
plátano(s)
[plátanos]

á > ö, a > ö (exceptional), o > i̱ (exceptional), s > x, penultimate stress

banana(s)
sound nobiexöx
[noβi̱éšɔaš]
nuez, nueces
[nuéses]

nué interpreted as nowé, é > ie, w > β before a front vowel, s > x, e > ɔa (exceptional)

nut(s)
sound öxox
[ɔ́ašoš]
ajo(s)
[áhos]

á > ö, j > x, s > x

garlic(s)
icox
[íkoš]
higo(s)
[ígos]

g > k, s > x

fig(s)
sound alöxöx
[alɔ́ašɔaš]
naranja(s)
[nařáŋhas]

n interpreted as article (i)n + separate word aranja, r > l, án > ö, a > ö (exceptional), j > x, s > x

orange(s)
palumax
[palúmaš]
paloma(s)
[palómas]

ó > u, stress

dove(s), pigeon(s)


--David Tuggy


The Mösiehuali̱ speaker whose voice is heard in the sound files is Trinidad Ramírez Amaro.

See also:
An article and book: