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zompist bboard • View topic - 16th C Spanish and Nahuatl

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:22 pm 
Avisaru
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Reading about Classical Nahuatl, I can mostly understand why the system developed by Spaniards to transcribe it looks the way it does except in one detail: Why did they choose to write the Nahuatl phoneme which I am pretty sure is standard [s] as either <z> or <c>? What was going on with Spanish at that time that this was the most logical way of writing down the phoneme [s]? Didn't contemporary Castilian have it?

It's also interesting to me that 16th century Castilian /ʃ/ apparently → modern /x/ or /h/, but I guess a change like that makes sense to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:29 pm 
Avisaru
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Not all [s]'s are actually the same. I don't remember the phonetic details or which types of [s] Nahuatl and Spanish have, but e.g. in present-day Basque the letters "s" and "z" are used to write two different kinds of [s]-like sounds.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:28 am 
Sumerul
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I remember that 16th-century Castilian had a distinction between apical and laminal /s/, orthographically indicated as <s> versus <c/z> (I do not remember which was which), and <c/z> was used to capture which of these is used to realize Nahuatl /s/. Only later was this distinction lost in Latin American Spanish, obscuring the reasons for why Nahuatl was written with <c/z> rather than <s> for /s/.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:33 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:04 am 
Sumerul
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See .


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:52 am 
Avisaru
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six?! How many damn distinct coronal fricatives does one language need?!

Anyway, thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:14 pm 
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One of those Caucasian languages, Ubykh, had 14. The language is extinct.

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