Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Nichols, Deborah L. 2016. Teotihuacan. Journal of Archaeological Research, Vol. 24, Issue. 1, p. 1.


    Holguín-Salas, Alehlí López-López, Diana Corkidi, Gabriel and Galindo, Enrique 2015. Foam production and hydrodynamic performance of a traditional Mexican molinillo (beater) in the chocolate beverage preparation process. Food and Bioproducts Processing, Vol. 93, p. 139.


    Hill, Jane H. 2013. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration.


    Law, Danny 2013. Mayan Historical Linguistics in a New Age. Language and Linguistics Compass, Vol. 7, Issue. 3, p. 141.


    Beekman, Christopher S. 2010. Recent Research in Western Mexican Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Research, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 41.


    Fowler, William R. and McCafferty, Geoffrey G. 2010. Comments on Kaufman and Justeson: “The History of the Word for Cacao in Ancient Mesoamerica”. Ancient Mesoamerica, Vol. 21, Issue. 02, p. 415.


    Sampeck, Kathryn E. 2010. LATE POSTCLASSIC TO COLONIAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE LANDSCAPE IN THE IZALCOS REGION OF WESTERN EL SALVADOR. Ancient Mesoamerica, Vol. 21, Issue. 02, p. 261.


    ×

THE HISTORY OF THE WORD FOR CACAO IN ANCIENT MESOAMERICA

  • Terrence Kaufman (a1) and John Justeson (a2)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956536107000211
  • Published online: 01 February 2008
Abstract
Abstract

The word *kakaw(a) (‘cacao’, Theobroma cacao) was widely diffused among Mesoamerican languages, and from there to much of lower Central America. This study provides evidence establishing beyond reasonable doubt that this word originated in the Mije-Sokean family; that it spread from the Mije-Sokean languages in or around the Olmec heartland into southeastern Mesoamerican languages; that its diffusion into Mayan languages took place between about 200 B.C. and A.D. 400; and that it spread from a Mije-Sokean language in or near the Basin of Mexico into languages in the region. It shows that each of the arguments presented by Dakin and Wichmann (2000) against a Mije-Sokean origin is either unworkable, is based upon false premises, or is not relevant; and that their proposed alternative — that it originated in and spread from Nawa into other Mesoamerican languages — conflicts with the mass of evidence relevant to the issue.

This study also discusses the linguistic details of vocabulary for drinks made from cacao; shows that no proposed etymology for the word chocolate is correct, but agrees with Dakin and Wichmann that its proximate source is a Nawa form chikola:tl; and discusses the history of words for Theobroma bicolor (‘Nicaragua chocolate tree; pataxte’) and their use.

The linguistic data are pertinent to issues of intergroup interaction in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, but do not shed light on the nature or the cultural context of the diffusion of cacao in Mesoamerica, nor on its uses.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail correspondence to:tzajinkajaw@aol.com
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lyle Campbell 1985 The Pipil Language of El Salvador. Mouton, Berlin.

Lyle Campbell , and Terrence Kaufman 1976 A Linguistic Look at the Olmecs. American Antiquity 41:8089.

Lyle Campbell , and Ronald W. Langacker 1978 Proto-Aztecan Vowels. International Journal of American Linguistics 44:85102,197–210, 262–279.

Karen Dakin , and Søren Wichmann 2000 Cacao and Chocolate: A Uto-Aztecan Perspective. Ancient Mesoamerica 11:5575.

Munro Edmonson 1982 The Ancient Future of the Itza: The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Jane Hill 2001 Proto-Uto-Aztecan: A Community of Cultivators in Central Mexico? American Anthropologist 103:913934.

W. Jeffrey Hurst , Stanley M. Tarka Jr., Terry G. Powis , Fred Valdez Jr., and Thomas R. Hester 2002 Cacao Usage by the Earliest Maya Civilization. Nature 418:289290.

B'alam Mateo-Toledo 2003 The Use of Languages' Names: The Mayan Case. International Journal of American Linguistics 69:151153.

Søren Wichmann 1998a Conservative Look at Diffusion Involving Mixe-Zoquean Languages. In Archaeology and Language II: Archaeological Data and Linguistic Hypotheses, edited by Roger Blench and Matthew Spence , pp. 297323. Routledge, London.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ancient Mesoamerica
  • ISSN: 0956-5361
  • EISSN: 1469-1787
  • URL: /core/journals/ancient-mesoamerica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×