Main article: Nahuan languages Tree diagram of the relation between the Nahuan languages and the rest of the Uto-Aztecan language family, based on the internal classification of Nahuan given by Terrence Kaufman As a language label, the term "Nahuatl" encompasses a group of closely related languages or divergent dialects within the Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The Ethnologue recognizes 28 varieties with separate ISO codes. Sometimes the label also is used to include the Pipil language Nawat of El Salvador. Regardless of whether "Nahuatl" is considered to label a dialect continuum or a group of separate languages, the varieties form a single branch within the Uto-Aztecan family, descended from a single Proto-Nahuan language. Within Mexico, the question of whether to consider individual varieties to be languages or dialects of a single language is highly political. For details on individual varieties or subgroups, see the individual articles.
|Published (Last):||15 August 2009|
|PDF File Size:||11.15 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||6.78 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Main article: Nahuan languages Tree diagram of the relation between the Nahuan languages and the rest of the Uto-Aztecan language family, based on the internal classification of Nahuan given by Terrence Kaufman As a language label, the term "Nahuatl" encompasses a group of closely related languages or divergent dialects within the Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
The Ethnologue recognizes 28 varieties with separate ISO codes. Sometimes the label also is used to include the Pipil language Nawat of El Salvador. Regardless of whether "Nahuatl" is considered to label a dialect continuum or a group of separate languages, the varieties form a single branch within the Uto-Aztecan family, descended from a single Proto-Nahuan language. Within Mexico, the question of whether to consider individual varieties to be languages or dialects of a single language is highly political.
For details on individual varieties or subgroups, see the individual articles. In the past, the branch of Uto-Aztecan to which Nahuatl belongs has been called "Aztecan". From the s onward, the alternative designation "Nahuan" has been frequently used as a replacement, especially in Spanish-language publications. Other researchers have argued that Pochutec should be considered a divergent variant of the western periphery.
The inclusion of Pipil into the group is debated. Lyle Campbell classified Pipil as separate from the Nahuatl branch within general Aztecan, whereas dialectologists like Una Canger , Karen Dakin, Yolanda Lastra and Terrence Kaufman have preferred to include Pipil within the General Aztecan branch, citing close historical ties with the eastern peripheral dialects of General Aztec.
Canger introduced the scheme of a Central grouping and two Peripheral groups, and Lastra confirmed this notion, differing in some details. Terminology[ edit ] The terminology used to describe varieties of spoken Nahuatl is inconsistently applied.
Many terms are used with multiple denotations, or a single dialect grouping goes under several names. Since , the term "General Aztec" has been adopted by linguists to refer to the languages of the Aztecan branch excluding the Pochutec language.
Linguists commonly identify localized dialects of Nahuatl by adding as a qualifier the name of the village or area where that variety is spoken. But recently, the traditional assessment has been challenged by Jane H.
Hill , who proposes instead that the Uto-Aztecan language family originated in central Mexico and spread northwards at a very early date. After the Nahuas migrated into the Mesoamerican cultural zone, their language too adopted some of the traits defining the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area. A language which was the ancestor of Pochutec split from Proto-Nahuan or Proto-Aztecan possibly as early as AD , arriving in Mesoamerica a few centuries earlier than the main bulk of speakers of Nahuan languages.
The critically endangered Pipil language of El Salvador is the only living descendant of the variety of Nahuatl once spoken south of present-day Mexico. The people of the Toltec culture of Tula , which was active in central Mexico around the 10th century, are thought to have been Nahuatl speakers.
By the 11th century, Nahuatl speakers were dominant in the Valley of Mexico and far beyond, with settlements including Azcapotzalco , Colhuacan and Cholula rising to prominence. Nahua migrations into the region from the north continued into the Postclassic period. One of the last of these migrations to arrive in the Valley of Mexico settled on an island in the Lake Texcoco and proceeded to subjugate the surrounding tribes. This group was the Mexica , who over the course of the next three centuries founded an empire named Tenochtitlan.
Their political and linguistic influence came to extend into Central America and Nahuatl became a lingua franca among merchants and elites in Mesoamerica, e. This urbanized variety of Tenochtitlan is what came to be known as Classical Nahuatl as documented in colonial times. There is extensive colonial-era documentation in Nahuatl for Tlaxcala , Cuernavaca, Culhuacan, Coyoacan, Toluca and other locations in the Valley of Mexico and beyond.
Starting in the s, scholars of Mesoamerican ethnohistory have analyzed local-level texts in Nahuatl and other indigenous languages to gain insight into cultural change in the colonial era via linguistic changes, known at present as the New Philology.
The types of documentation include censuses, especially a very early set from the Cuernavaca region,   town council records from Tlaxcala,  and testaments of individual Nahuas.
Spanish expeditions with thousands of Nahua soldiers marched north and south to conquer new territories. Society of Jesus missions in northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States often included a barrio of Tlaxcaltec soldiers who remained to guard the mission. The text is in Nahuatl written in the Latin alphabet. As a part of their missionary efforts, members of various religious orders principally Franciscan and Dominican friars and Jesuits introduced the Latin alphabet to the Nahuas.
Within the first twenty years after the Spanish arrival, texts were being prepared in the Nahuatl language written in Latin characters. Missionary grammarians undertook the writing of grammars , also called artes, of indigenous languages for use by priests.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Classical Nahuatl was used as a literary language, and a large corpus of texts from that period exists today.
They include histories, chronicles, poetry, theatrical works, Christian canonical works, ethnographic descriptions, and administrative documents. The Spanish permitted a great deal of autonomy in the local administration of indigenous towns during this period, and in many Nahuatl-speaking towns the language was the de facto administrative language both in writing and speech.
For a time, the linguistic situation in Mesoamerica remained relatively stable, but in , Charles II of Spain issued a decree banning the use of any language other than Spanish throughout the Spanish Empire. In , another decree, calling for the elimination of the indigenous languages, did away with Classical Nahuatl as a literary language.
Although the absolute number of Nahuatl speakers has actually risen over the past century, indigenous populations have become increasingly marginalized in Mexican society. By , this proportion had fallen to 1. Given the process of marginalization combined with the trend of migration to urban areas and to the United States , some linguists are warning of impending language death. The survival of Nahuatl as a whole is not imminently endangered, but the survival of certain dialects is, and some dialects have already become extinct within the last few decades of the 20th century.
In Article 11, it grants access to compulsory, bilingual and intercultural education.
Thelma D. Sullivan's compendium of Nahuatl grammar
Gardazuru Thelma D. Sullivan and Neville Stiles ; edited by Wick R. HathiTrust Digital Library, Limited view search only. Miller was on the anthropology faculty at compednium University of Utah. From inside the book. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway. Would you also like to submit a review for this item?
COMPENDIUM OF NAHUATL GRAMMAR PDF