Nahuatl: Pronunciation of xochitl

Rainbowlight

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello,

My question has to do with the proper pronunciation of the word "xochitl", which means "flower" in Nahuatl.

Could any of you enlighten me about this issue? I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance,

Rainbow
 
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  • Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you very much for your help. However, I tend to avoid many of the Wikipedia's IPA pronunciations, as I rather rely on sites like Forvo, where you have native speakers actually saying the word.

    I once saw a video of a girl saying the word and it sounded like "Sóchil", which somehow made perfect sense. I have zero knowledge of the Nahuatl language, but why should one pronounce every single letter of Nahuatl words? English and French do not voice every letter of their written languages, so why should Nahuatl be any different in that respect?

    Once again, thank you for your help.
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    c) -tl > -che: coatl > cuache, tepiatl > tepa- che; d) -tl > -l: cuauitl + ocelotl > caucel, cempoalli + xochitl > cempasúchil, coatequitl > coatequil, coyametl > coyamel, chilli + quilitl > chilaquil, huitztli + quilitl > huisquil, xochitl > súchil, tzapotl + yolotl > zapoyol.
    Nueva revista de filología hispánica. (1998). La acomodación fonética de los nahuatlismos al español. Tomo XLVI. Núm. 1.

    MC2_J_064 Tlachia

    387_623r_02 Tlachia
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    As a name for a person, Xochitl only has Spanish pronunciation: SOOO SHILLL
    The “tl” ending was pronounced in Classical Nahuatl.
     
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    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    English and French do not voice every letter of their written languages, so why should Nahuatl be any different in that respect?
    I imagine that the answer is that Nahuatl was reduced to writing more recently than English or French, and therefore has had less time to change pronunciation.
    English and French spelling carry the baggage of several centuries before Nahuatl came into contact with the Roman alphabet.
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Nueva revista de filología hispánica. (1998). La acomodación fonética de los nahuatlismos al español. Tomo XLVI. Núm. 1.

    MC2_J_064 Tlachia

    387_623r_02 Tlachia
    That is what baffles me. That words ending in -tl ended up being pronounced with a -e suffix. Surely it only proves that Classical Nahuatl was definitely not written as it was spoken, as it happens with so many languages. An example: "le lait" is pronounced "le lé". There it is: not a trace whatsoever of the vowels a,i and the consonant t.
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    As a name for a person, Xochitl only has Spanish pronunciation: SOOO SHILLL
    The “tl” ending was pronounced in Classical Nahuatl.
    Would you happen to know any good introduction to the Nahuatl Language? I would be extremely grateful if you recommend me some entry-level books.
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    I'm glad you want to learn it. Unfortunately, I don't speak Nahuatl and therefore I am not able to recommend a book or method because I cannot determine how accurate one of those books might be. On youtube there are people who are dedicated to teaching it through English. For example, the video titled “Nahuatl To Be or Not To Be part1.”
    Best of luck.
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Surely it only proves that Classical Nahuatl was definitely not written as it was spoken
    No, it does not prove that. What it proves is that pronunciations have shifted since the language was originally written in this alphabet, which was by Spaniards a few hundred years ago and originally meant to record the sounds that were actually spoken back then. They obviously wouldn't just make up extra letters to throw into their writing for no reason. (But they did use the digraph TL for a single sound which there was no letter for.)
     
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