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THE ORIGIN OF ORTHOGRAPHIC HU FOR /W/ IN NAHUATL

  • Una Canger (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Today a standard has emerged in the English speaking world for writing the language of the Aztecs. According to this standard the phoneme /w/ is written <hu> in the position before a vowel, nahuatl, ahuacatl, ‘avocado.’ An alternative is to write /w/ with <u> (or <v>), a tradition which in the sixteenth century and onwards was common alongside of <hu>. I demonstrate that <hu> misrepresents the pronunciation of the language then and now, and in uncovering its origin, I suggest that Pedro de Gante was the prime promoter of <hu>.

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E-mail correspondence to: una@hum.ku.dk
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J. Richard Andrews 1975 Introduction to Classical Nahuatl. University of Texas Press, Austin.

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Ancient Mesoamerica
  • ISSN: 0956-5361
  • EISSN: 1469-1787
  • URL: /core/journals/ancient-mesoamerica
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