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Curriculum Vitae

David Tuggy


See Personal page

Permanent Address:
SIL--16131 N Vernon Drive
Tucson AZ 85739-9395

Tel: (520)825-6000, email


David attended high school in Venezuela until 1966, then attended Columbia Bible College in Columbia, S.C., where he earned a BA in 1970. He studied at the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota in 1970 and 1973. He earned the MA (1980) C. Phil. (1979) and PhD (1981) degrees from the University of California at San Diego.

Professional experience:

David has been a member of the Mexico Branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics since 1970, assigned first to the Tetelcingo Nahuatl (Aztec) project and then to the Orizaba Nawatl project. Besides linguistic and translation consulting in the Mexico Branch (and occasionally outside of it), David was on the Executive Committee for 10 years (chairman during 7), and has served as associate director of the branch. He was coordinator of the branch website ( from its beginning in 1998 until 2008. He has also been the branch coordinator of public relations, and has served as director of the Diplomado en Lingüística Descriptiva y Empatía Cultural  at the Universidad Madero, Cholula, Pue. ( He was president of the Instituto Lingüístico de Verano A.C., the legal entity sponsoring the Branch's activities in Mexico, from 1999 to 2010.

David has taught (mostly linguistics, some Nahuatl and Spanish and other things) at the following institutions:

David served on the governing board of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association 2005-2011.

Invited presentations and workshops include:

  • La categorización en la lingüística cognoscitiva: prototipos y esquemas. Plenary lecture at Jornadas Lingüísticas, Mexico City, 9 November 1989.
  • Workshop on Cognitive Grammar. Co-directed with Eugene H. Casad. SIL Mexico Branch, Catalina AZ, USA, February 1993. 
  • Two weeks presentation at Cognitive Semantics Workshop, SIL International, Kangaroo Ground, Australia, December 1997. 
  • The Inflectional-derivational distinction: A Cognitive grammar view. Plenary lecture at Cognitive Morphology Conference, Ghent, Belgium, July 1998. 
  • The literal-idiomatic Bible translation debate from the perspective of Cognitive grammar. Plenary lecture at conference Metaphor, meaning, and religion: Cognitive semantics and the Bible. Leuven, Belgium, July 1998. 
  • 5 days presentation at the Dirección General de Educación Indígena, Secretaría de Educación Pública, México, on basic concepts of linguistics, May 1999. 
  • The uses of computers in linguistic anthropology. 2 week course at Linguistic Society of America's Summer Linguistic Institute, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, July 1999. 
  • Linking cases, multiple analyses, and blends in schematic networks. Featured lecture at VII International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Santa Barbara CA, 26 July 2001.
  • Phonemes: A Cognitive grammar perspective. Presentation to Phonology I class at Oregon SIL, 5 July 2006. Powerpoint available on this site.
  • Seeing patterns and learning to do things, and what that has to do with language. Keynote colloquium presentation, Oregon SIL and the University of Oregon, 6 July 2006. Powerpoint available on this site.
  • Translation from a Cognitive grammar perspective. Presentation at the Department of Linguistics of the University of the Philippines, Quezon City, 21-22 April 2008. Invited by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Philippine Language Commission), Co-sponsored by the Philippine Linguistic Society and SIL International. (6 hours of lectures and discussion.)
  • Introduction to Cognitive grammar & Issues in Translation. Nida Professor lectures at the Nida School for Translation Studies At the Istituto San Pellegrino, Misano Adriatico, Italy, 8-19 September 2008. Powerpoints available on this site.


1979. “Tetelcingo Náhuatl.” Ronald W. Langacker, Ed., Studies in Uto-Aztecan grammar, Vol. 2: Modern Aztec grammatical sketches, pp. 1-140. Dallas: UTA and SIL.

1979b. The phonology of iya and owa verbs in Tetelcingo Aztec. (Scanned manuscript (2003) available on this website.)

1979c. With Jeff Burnham. “A Spectrographic Analysis of Vowel Length in Rafael Delgado Nahuatl.” Presentation at the Friends of Uto-Aztecan conference.  Electronic version (2008) available on this site.

1980a. El Nuevo Testamento de ca Mösiehuale (The New Testament in Tetelcingo Náhuatl). Mexico: Liga Bíblica Mundial del Hogar.

1980b. “¡Ethical dative and possessor omission Sí, possessor ascension No!” Workpapers of the SIL at UND 24.97-141. Grand Forks ND: SIL. Electronic version 2005, on this site. Original version available online from ERIC.

1980c. “The Antigone Constraint.” Workpapers of the SIL at UND 24.1-50. Grand Forks ND: SIL. Available online from ERIC.

1981a. The transitivity-related morphology of Tetelcingo Náhuatl; An exploration in Space grammar. UCSD Doctoral dissertation: available through University Microfilms. pp. xxii, 611. Electronic version (with editing changes), 2008, on this site.

1981b. “Epenthesis of i in Classical and Tetelcingo Náhuatl: Evidence for multiple analyses.” Texas Linguistic Forum 18:223-277. Electronic version (2003) available on this website.

1983. “Aztec causative/applicatives in Space grammar.” Workpapers of the SIL at UND 27.147-159. Grand Forks, ND: SIL.

1985a. “The inflectional/derivational distinction.” Workpapers of the SIL at UND 29.209-222. Grand Forks, ND: SIL.

1985b. “Imagic meaning and dative possessors in Spanish.” Selected Technical Articles Related to Translation 13.1-14. Dallas: SIL. Electronic version (2003) available on this website.

1985c. “Why the oddness of reflexives isn’t odd.” Southwest Journal of Linguistics, Vol. III No.1, 44-59. Electronic edition (2003) available on this website. Spanish version (2003), also on this website.

1986. “Noun incorporations in Náhuatl.” Pacific Linguistics Conference 2.455-470.

1987a. "Scarecrow nouns, generalizations, and Cognitive grammar." Pacific Linguistics Conference 3.307-320. Also on this website.

1987b. “La incorporación de sustantivos en el náhuatl.” SIL Mexico Workpapers 8.1-13. Tucson: SIL.

1988a. “Náhuatl causative/applicatives in Cognitive grammar.” In Brygida Rudzka-Ostyn, Ed., Topics in Cognitive Grammar, 587-618. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

1988b. “La distinción entre afijos y raíces en el náhuatl de Orizaba, según la Gramática cognoscitiva.” Función 8.21-46. Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara.

1989. “The Nahuatl verb maka; a Cognitive grammar analysis.” Workpapers of the SIL at UND 33.121-147. Grand Forks, ND: SIL.

1991-2002. Lecciones para un curso del náhuatl moderno. pp. ix, 132. Sta. Catarina Mártir, Puebla, México: Universidad de las Américas-Puebla. Electronic edition (2002) available on this website.

1992. “The affix-stem distinction; A Cognitive grammar analysis of data from Orizaba Nahuatl.” Cognitive Linguistics 3-3.237-300.

1993. “Ambiguity, polysemy, and vagueness.” Cognitive Linguistics 4-3.273-290. (Re-edited as Tuggy 2006.)

1994. “El verbo maka del náhuatl: un análisis cognoscitivo.” In Carolyn J. Mackay and Verónica Vázquez, Ed., Investigación lingüística en Mesoamérica: trabajos recientes, pp. 110-145. Mexico: UNAM.

1995. “The thing is is that people talk that way. The question is is why?” In Eugene Casad, ed., Cognitive linguistics in the redwoods; the expansion of a new paradigm in linguistics, pp. 713-752. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

1996. “Dative-like constructions in Orizaba Nahuatl.” In William Van Belle and Willy Van Langendonck, eds. The dative, Volume 1: Descriptive studies, pp. 407-452. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

1997. “Rule-governed allomorphy can be suppletive also.” Work Papers of the SIL at UND, Volume 41. On line. URL: .

1998. “Giving in Nawatl.” In John Newman, ed., The linguistics of giving, pp. 35-65. Typological Studies in Language 36. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

1999. “Linguistic evidence for polysemy in the mind: a response to Dominiek Sandra and William Croft.” Cognitive Linguistics 10-4.343-368.

1999- Pages on Nahuatl on the SIL-Mexico website (Some pages slated for this website are temporarily published on this site.)

2000- (with Albert Bickford) Electronic glossaries of linguistic terms (in Spanish and English)

2003. “Reduplication in Nahuatl: Iconicity and paradoxes.” In Casad, Eugene H. and Gary B. Palmer, eds. Cognitive Linguistics and Non-Indo-European Languages. pp. 91-133. Cognitive Linguistics Research 18. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

2003. “The literal-idiomatic Bible translation debate from the perspective of Cognitive grammar.” In Kurt Feyaerts, ed., The Bible through metaphor and translation: a cognitive semantic perspective, pp. 239-288. Religion and Discourse, Vol. 15. Bern: Peter Lang.

2003. “The Orizaba Nawatl verb kisa: a case study in polysemy.” In Hubert Cuyckens, René Dirven, and John R. Taylor, eds., Cognitive Approaches to Lexical Semantics, pp. 323-362. Cognitive Linguistics Research Volume 23. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

2003. (With Petra Schroeder K.) “Los prefijos consonánticos de San Miguel Tenango, Puebla.” In Elio Masferrer Kan, Georgina Vences Ruiz, Norma Barranco Torres, Elizabeth Díaz Brenis, and Jaime Mondragón Melo, eds., Etnografía del estado de Puebla. Puebla, México: Secretaría de Cultura del Estado de Puebla.

2004. “Abrelatas and scarecrow nouns: Exocentric verb-noun compounds as illustrations of basic principles of Cognitive grammar.” International Journal of English Studies III.25-61. Murcia: Universidad de Murcia. Online at Spanish version (PDF, 776K) and Spanish PowerPoint, 3.7M (2005).

2004. “Dissimilation in Mösiehuali (Tetelcingo Nahuatl): A Cognitive grammar perspective.” In Augusto Soares da Silva, Amadeu Torres, and Miguel Gonçalves (eds.), Linguagem, Cultura e Cognição: Estudos de Linguística Cognitiva, Vol. I, pp. 627-649. Coimbra: Almedina

2005. “Cognitive approach to word-formation.” In Štekauer, Pavol, and Rochelle Lieber (eds.), Handbook of Word-Formation, pp. 233-265. Dordrecht: Springer.

2006. “Schematic network: Ambiguity, polysemy, and vagueness.” Chapter 5 of Cognitive linguistics: Basic Readings, ed. Dirk Geeraerts. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (Re-edition of Tuggy 1993.)

2007. “Schematicity.” Chapter 4 of The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, ed. Dirk Geeraerts and Hubert Cuyckens, pp. 82-115. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2008. The transitivity-related verbal morphology of Tetelcingo Nahuatl: An exploration in Cognitive grammar. (Electronic version, with some editing changes, of the doctoral dissertation from 1981, available on this site.)

2010. “Function becomes meaning: The case of Nawatl tla-.” In McElhanon, Kenneth A. and Ger Reesink, A Mosaic of Languages and Cultures: Studies celebrating the career of Karl J. Franklin, 310-326. SIL Electronic Publications #19.

2010. Petra Schroeder and David Tuggy. “Los prefijos consonánticos del náhuatl de San Miguel Tenango, Zacatlán.” In Masferrer, Elio, Jaime Mondragón and Georgina Vences, coordinators, Los Pueblos Indígenas de Puebla: Atlas Etnográfico. 232-237. Puebla, México: Gobierno del Estado de Puebla and Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.

2011. “On the storage vs. computation of complex linguistic structures.” In Zelinsky-Wibbelt, Cornelia (ed.), Relations between Language and Memory: Organization, Representation, and Processing. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

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