- 18.1 Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
- 18.2 Loanwords and Calques
- 18.3 Intralingual and Interlingual Diglossia
- 18.4 Diglossia of Lingua Nobilis and Lingua Sacra
- 18.5 Lingua Franca of Empires and Regions of the Americas
- 18.6 Writing Systems and Scriptura Franca Representing Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
- 18.7 Phonetic Graphic Systems in Mesoamerica and North America
- 18.8 Synthesis of Pictorial-logographic (Scriptura Franca) and Phonetic Writing in Mesoamerica
- 18.9 Scriptura Francas of North America and South America
- 18.10 Translation, Multilingualism and Lingua (Scriptura) Franca
- 18.11 Intersemiotic Translations
- 18.12 Ethnographer Missionary and Missionary Linguistic Translations into Alphabetic Script
- 18.13 Future Research Explicating Semantics of Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
18.1 Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
Various nations from Europe—English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Russian
The concept “multilingualism” has received various definitions. Quite simply, I employ it in order to categorize the existence of and communication between two or more linguistic cultures, intralingual and interlingual, within a particular region and/or society. Economic, religious, scientific, social, military and political interaction
A “lingua franca” constitutes a supralanguage
In 1492 (the year Christopher Columbus
Language associated with philosophy, ideology, or a belief, symbol and practice system is definitely a powerful strategy when instigating not only a religious but also a cultural, economical, political, and social conquest. This combination of linguistics and theology is manifested by the grammarian Nebrija and the Bishop of Avila respectively. Language does not merely represent a linguistic system of grammar
Portuguese is incommensurate with Pirahã in many areas and culturally incompatible, like all Western languages, in that it violates the immediacy of experience constraint on grammar and living in so many aspects of its structure and use. The Pirahã say that their heads are different. In fact, the Pirahã language is called 'apaitiso a straight head, while all other languages are called 'apagiso a crooked head. …Given the connection between culture and language in Pirahã, to lose or change ones language is to lose ones identity as a Pirahã – hiaitih, a straight one/he is straight.18
Portuguese is incommensurate with Pirahã in many areas and culturally incompatible, like all Western languages, in that it violates the immediacy of experience constraint on grammar and living in so many aspects of its structure and use. The Pirahã say that their heads are different. In fact, the Pirahã language is called 'apaitiso a straight head, while all other languages are called 'apagiso a crooked head. …Given the connection between culture and language in Pirahã, to lose or change ones language is to lose ones identity as a Pirahã – hiaitih, a straight one/he is straight», Everett (2005, 633–634).
Loanwords calques diglossia lingua franca; scriptura franca translation. These represent fundamental elements for an explication of the conceptional conditions and interactions of multilingualism and lingua francae.
18.2 Loanwords and Calques
There are various categories of linguistic borrowings
There are, however, examples where loanwords are ultimately ignored. As observed by Edward P. Dozier,25 there is a reluctance in the Pueblo communities
Middle America or Mesoamerica33 contains many pre-European writing and semiotic systems, which display variant examples of multilingualism. There were contacts between the different Mesoamerican cultures through migrations, pilgrimage, trade, diplomacy
The earliest documented, in writing, lexical borrowing between Indigenous languages of the Americas is probably the Mixe-Zoquean
po-mo-ja according to Søren Wichmann, inscribed in the earliest known Maya inscription
Besides various loanwords from the neighbor linguistic culture (proto-) Mixe-Zoquean there are examples of borrowed terms from the more remote Uto-Aztecan language family (Nahuatl) in the classic Maya
ta-wi-si-ka-la or Tlahuzcalpantecuhtli, xi-wi-te or Xiuhtecuhtli and ka-ka-tu-na-la or Cactonalli(?)—in the Maya writing system e-je-ke. Iconography and the calendar system of the inscription confirm a non-Maya (Central Mexican) origin suggesting the introduction of Venus/Quetzalcoatl from Central Mexico into the Maya religious system according to Alfonso Lacadena.42
Scholars have identified many examples of calques or loan translations
18.3 Intralingual and Interlingual Diglossia
18.4 Diglossia of Lingua Nobilis and Lingua Sacra
There may be a variant (esoteric) language within a linguistic entity—where multilingualism becomes social, political, philosophical, or religious—categorized as the lingua nobilis or lingua sacra of a political and/or religious group in addition to “knowledge specialists.” This can be oral and scriptural where literacy can be both lexical and numerical, that is, in the latter case outline an exclusive numeracy.
The language of the classic Maya writing system may be classified as a
A colloquial (common) vernacular might not only oppose a political lingua nobilis
|Normal Vocabulary||Special Day-Sign|
|1. Ee coo yechi||ca, co quevui (1 Alligator).|
|2. Vvui tachi||ca, co, cu chi (2 Wind).|
|3. Uni huahi||co cuau; mau (3 House).|
|4. Qmi, cumi (ti) yechi||qui q(ue) (4 Lizard).|
|5. Hoho coo||q yo (5 Serpent).|
|6. Iño ndeye, sihi||ñu na mahu(a) (6 Death).|
|7. Usa idzu, sacuaa||sa cuaa (7 Deer).|
|8. Una idzo||na sayu (8 Rabbit).|
|9. Ee nduta||q tuta (9 Water).|
|10. Usi ina||si hua (10 Dog).|
|11. Usi ee codzo||si i ñuu (11 Monkey).|
|12. Usi vvui yucu||ca cuañe (12 Grass)|
|13. Usi uni ndoo||si huiyo (13 Reed).|
|14. Cuiñe||huidzu (Jaguar).|
|15. Yaha||sa (Eagle).|
|16. (ti)sii||cuii (Vulture).|
|17. tnaa, nehe||qhi (Movement).|
|18. Yuchi||cusi (Flint).|
|19. Dzavui||co (Rain).|
|20. Ita||huaco (Flower).|
Moreover, Michael W. Swanton and G. Bas van Doesburg64 have found that not only the Mixtec but also the Chocho-Popoloca, whose 260-day calendar
The Mixe (Mije)65 of the southern part of Mexico had an extraordinary vocabulary for calendar numerology but apparently not for the calendar days.66 The Table 18.2 shows the difference between Mixe
|Calendar numbers||Mixe numbers||Day names|
|1. Tu.m||tu’k||hukpi (root)|
|2. mac||meck||sa’a (wind)|
|3. tu:k||tukok or to.hk||how (palm)|
|4. makc||maktask||hu:’n (hard, solid, resistant|
|i.e. of tree or hb).|
|5. moks||mugo.sk||ca’an (serpent)|
|6. tuht||tudu:k or tuhtti.k||?uh (earth, world)|
|7. kuy||westu:k||koy (rabbit)|
|8. tu.gut||tuktu:k||na:n (deer)|
|9. ta:s||tastu:k||ni’in (water, river)|
|10. mahk||mahk||ho’o (?)|
|11. ki’in||mahktu’k||hai.m (fine white ashes)|
|12. ki’is||mahkmeck||ti’ic (tooth)|
|13. pagac||mahktikok or maktu.hk||kep (reed)|
|16.||pa’a (edge, border, to break)|
|18.||tahp (covered up, darkening)|
|20.||hugi’ñ (point [weaving])|
The different designations of numbers suggest an exceptional numerology or perhaps a
lingua numerica today used in some Mixe communities.67
An especially sacred (ceremonial) terminology is not uncommon in Indigenous linguistic cultures of the Americas where there is an extraordinary and an ordinary vocabulary with different words for semantic equivalents (synonyms). In Pueblo languages
Kroskrity advocates that a strategic usage of interlingual or intralingual diglossia
code-switching compartmentalization constitutes a linguistic ideology and simultaneously a language maintenance strategy among the Arizona Tewa.81 Tewa
I conclude this section elucidating how Nahuatl as lingua sacra is employed in order to convey a divine message from the European (and Middle Eastern) Virgin Mary
18.5 Lingua Franca of Empires and Regions of the Americas
There are indeed numerous regional lingua francas (Sp. “lenguas generales” in Latin America
First, however, I will give examples of lingua francas in North America, although much of the data are uncertain regarding lingua franca between Indigenous peoples. There are French reports in the seventeenth century about Algonquin
There is more knowledge about the linguistic empires just before the European invasion of Middle America and South America. Classical Nahuatl
The practice of a lingua franca differed, however, among linguistic groups in the same multilingual region.97 For instance, in Villa Alta, Oaxaca, three variants of Zapotec
Codex Sierra Texupan
Nahua intellectuals recorded history in the Latin script not in Spanish but Nahuatl
Like Chimalpahin, the bilingual-speaker Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala
Apart from Southern Peruvian Quechua
18.6 Writing Systems and Scriptura Franca Representing Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
The different linguistic strategies of literacy (writing and semiotic) systems reflect multilingualism and lingua francas of the Americas. The various graphic communication systems can be multilingual but also predominantly monolingual.114 They may well also represent a hegemonic lingua franca.
Multilingualism and lingua franca are communicated and manifested in different manners in the various graphic systems of indigenous cultures of the Americas. A graphic (writing and semiotic) system may represent a particular language—although it can include grammatical elements, loanwords, calques, or neologisms
18.7 Phonetic Graphic Systems in Mesoamerica and North America
Due to phoneticism, the logosyllabic
A logosyllabic writing system, also called “hieroglyphic”
The Maya system of writing was first decoded in the second half of the 1980s and the 1990s.124 As we have seen, the classic Maya inscriptions are written in Ch’oltian
Paleographic as well as linguistic (phonological) distinctiveness of the individual city was, however, an identity marker in the logosyllabic writing system of the individual city, according to Søren Wichmann. Maya script
Situated not far from Tenochtitlan (Mexico City),134 Teotihuacan
In 1904 Silas John Edwards constructed a particular “phonetic-semantic” system recording ritual prayers for the Western Apache in east central Arizona. Despite the influence of Christianity
18.8 Synthesis of Pictorial-logographic (Scriptura Franca) and Phonetic Writing in Mesoamerica
Numerical notation systems are principally translinguistic non-phonetic whereas lexical numeral systems are phonetic or linguistically determined.142 These epitomize open as opposed to close (language) systems.143 We have seen that for the Mixtec and Mixe
Civilizations of Central Mexico have a graphic or pictorial-logographic system called “Mixteca-Puebla Horizon Style”
According to David Charles Wright Carr, calques represent concepts of scriptura franca in these pictorial-logographic manuscripts, because the various languages of Central Mexico—Nahuatl, Mixtec, and Otomí—employed the same signs to express the same concepts. But each linguistic culture group could employ homophonic words in order to construct glottographs or logograms (morphemes and phonographs).155 For instance, the lexical entries for “writing” in Mixtec (tacu), Nahuatl (tlacuilo), Maya (tz’ihib’) and Zapotec (tozeea) are synonyms of semantically derivative terms from the word for painting and sculpturing.156 Moreover in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis a Nahua scribe writes bilingual signs for “day” in Maya (k’in) and Nahuatl (ilhuitl). The same signs can be found on 56a in the postclassical Maya Codex Dresden.157
In the pre-European period there were regional scribal schools among the Nahua and the Maya, with a phonetic and a non-phonetic emphasis respectively.165 This signifies that synchronically, language was important for the scribes of the “phonetic school” whereas it did not play a significant role for scribes of the “non-phonetic school.” In most cases graphic communication systems diachronically “evolve.” But when a graphic system becomes more attached to a specific language (i.e. phonetic) should not to be seen as a progressive cultural-linguistic evolution. Maya logosyllabic writing
18.9 Scriptura Francas of North America and South America
Intercommunication in multilingual cultural regions of pre-European America required a spoken common language, lingua franca, but other non-oral strategies could be used between different linguistic entities. Khipu
Khipu (pl. khipukana)—from Quechua or chinu from Aymara (pl. chinunaka), which both signify “knot”—constitutes a quite complicated system. It apparently represents a combination of dyed knotted strings where form, ply, structure, color, direction, placement, and number are significant for communication.168 This system—which may have a binary codified, mnemonic, or phonetic (i.e. writing) function—is, however, not deciphered. Frank Salomon169 has summarized three theoretical positions for the principles of khipu: a Quechua syllabography or phonography;170 a semasiographic system; a neutral binary code.171 Leland Locke172 decoded the decimal arithmetic code of khipu173 and recently Sabine Hyland, Gene A. Ware, and Madison Clark have corroborated the hypothesis by Gary Urton174 that khipu semantically (not phonetically) conveys affiliation to moiety.175 It is likely that Inka and other linguistic groups of the Andes of South America used khipu in order to record and convey a variety of interrelated accounts (narratives) and transference of quantitative (mathematical) information: calendars, censuses, tribute records, royal deeds, inventories, genealogies, ritual records, and so forth.176 It might well have functioned as a scriptura franca in the multilingual Andes region and for the Inka Empire. Khipu was not reserved for the elite since thousands of people were probably competent in its use in the Inka Empire.177 Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that khipu were only employed as individual mnemonics.178 Archaeology and anthropology have demonstrated that the fiber-based media in the Andes known as khipu was used a long time before the Inka Empire. Speakers of languages other than Quechua also practiced it more than 400 years after its demise. Perhaps it was for that reason not connected to a specific language179 but represented a scriptura franca. Extant Andean khipus
The sign systems among native peoples of North America185 did not contain logosyllabic inscriptions (phonetic), as in Mesoamerica, but logograms or petroglyphs (stone). Therefore, they were iconic, and had a mnemonic function not related to a specific language. The Kiowa, Lakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Cheyenne, Praire Apache, Blackfeet had a pictorial-logographic calendar historiography. Community historians, known as season count keepers, maintained and used these pictographic records as mnemonic devices to remember the sequence of events that marked each year or season. As some Lakota people learned to write their own language in the nineteenth century, a few keepers began to add written words to the pictures, and eventually some winter counts consisted entirely of written year names.186 European missionary linguists
Conventionalized sign language of the Gulf Coastal Plain as far north as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba of North America, also known as Plains Sign Talk (PST), was used for interlinguistic communication between nations where some even speak languages of different language families. PST had regional variations but it was a lingua (scriptura) franca which has survived to a limited extent among elders. English replaced PST as lingua franca in North America. It was invented before the European arrival, probably at the Gulf Coast, where it later dissipated and was first used by the Kiowa-Tanoan
Although there are many languages in these five missions, [...] the language of making signs alone is universal in all the nations, making long orations for any purpose, as if it were just any other language that is spoken.190
How the principles of a regional North American pictorial-logographic system are associated with the principles of PST can be exemplified by the following story: after the great Civil War, a charter member of the Ethnological Society of Great Britain, Dr. William A. Bell, gives an eyewitness account in his book, New Tracks in North America: A Journal of Travel and Adventure whilst engaged in the survey for a southern railroad to the pacific ocean during 1867–8, a quite peculiar event involving the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux
Dr. Bell was the photographer of a survey expedition organized by the Kansas Pacific Railway Company (KPRC) with the purpose of finding the best course for a southern railway to the Pacific coast. The problem, from the perspective of KPRC, was the encounter with so-called “hostile” indigenous nations on the way. His sojourn in the Far West entailed a remarkable incident on June 26, 1867, near Fort Wallace in western Kansas.192 A party of soldiers was attacked by a war party led by the famous Cheyenne war-chief Roman-nose. Seven soldiers were killed and five were wounded. This attack was most likely a retaliation for the infamous massacre of the peaceful Cheyenne village at Sand Creek, around 100 miles southeast of Denver about three years before. On November 29, 1864, a state militia of Colorado Volunteers headed by the former Methodist minister Colonel J. M. Chivington mutilated and scalped men, women, and children of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. In all, seventy people were murdered.193 During another attack near Fort Wallace in 1867, Sergeant Frederic Wylyams—an Englishman educated at Eton and later disowned by his bourgeois family who subsequently immigrated to America—encountered a quite remarkable fate. Wylyams was found lying dead with his horse, and both horse and man had been stripped of their clothes and trappings:194
A portion of the sergeant’s scalp lay near him, but the greater part was gone; through his head a rifle-ball had passed, and a blow from the tomahawk had laid his brain open above his left eye; the nose was slit up, and his throat was cut from ear to ear; seven arrows were standing in different parts of his naked body; the breast was laid open, so as to expose the heart; and the arm, that had doubtless done its work against the red-skins, was hacked to the bone; his legs, from the hip to the knee, lay open with horrible gashes, and from the knee to the foot they had cut the flesh with their knives. Thus mutilated Wylyams lay beside the mangled horse.195
By analyzing the body of Sergeant Wylyams,196 Bell was able to acknowledge “some meaning in the wounds”:
The muscles of the right arm, hacked to the bone, speak of the Cheyennes, or “Cut arms;” the nose slit denotes the “Smeller tribe,” or Arapahoes; and the throat cut bear witness that the Sioux
were also present.197
A union of nations of the southern plains had united their forces against the European invaders. They had different signs of which the individual nation was recognized:
The sign of the Cheyenne, or “Cut arm,” is made in peace by drawing the hand across the arm, to imitate cutting it with a knife; that of the Arapahoe, or “Smeller tribe,” by seizing the nose with the thumb and fore-finger; of the Sioux, or “Cut-throat,” by drawing the hand across the throat. The Comanche, or “Snake Indian,” waves his hand and arm, in imitation of the crawling of a snake; the Crow imitates with his hands the flapping of wings; the Pawnee
, or “Wolf Indian,” places two fingers erect on each side of his head, to represent pointed ears; the Blackfoot touches the heel, and then the toe, of the right foot; and the Kiowa’s most usual sign is to imitate the act of drinking.198
Consequently, there is semiotic evidence that warriors of the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and the Sioux partook in the battle. Bell admits that he did not find, “what tribe was indicated by the incisions down the thighs, and the laceration of the calves of the legs, in oblique parallel gashes. The arrows also varied in make and colour, according to the tribe; and it was evident, from the number of different devices, that warriors from several tribes had each purposely left one in the dead man’s body.”199
How can these symbols or signs be deciphered? I put forward the theory that the wounds on the Sergeant’s body represent the sophisticated sign language of Plain Indians—which the Cheyennes, Arapahoes (both Algonquian
Many different languages were spoken on the Great Plains. Thus the PST sign language functioned as a lingua (scriptura) franca. Captain William Clark employed sign language during his field research in the 1870s. Later he wrote the book The Indian Sign Language
As semiotic technology
Wampum belts were quite commonly used in native diplomacy
18.10 Translation, Multilingualism and Lingua (Scriptura) Franca
18.11 Intersemiotic Translations
From the beginning of the sixteenth century, Catholic missionaries almost immediately followed the European military invasion and initiated religious-linguistic and -semiotic campaigns against indigenous cultures. The missionary linguist applied various linguistic and semiotic strategies. They imposed Indo-European lingua franca and translated indigenous languages, in particular lingua franca of the region, into alphabetic script but they also constructed transcultural intersemiotic systems transmediated towards different indigenous language groups, accordingly representing an innovative form of scriptura franca.
In particular in Mesoamerica and the Andean region of South America—where the Europeans encountered numerous city-states and empires with sophisticated semiotic- and writing systems
Pictorial Roman Catholic catechisms for conversion were constructed for Quechua and Aymara speakers from the Lake Titicaca region of Bolivia and Peru in the Andes as late as in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Andean religious practices influenced by European Catholic Christianity is communicated. Most of the Andean pictorial catechisms are, as is the case with the Testerian, written in boustrophedon, although there is no iconographic relation to the Mexican Testerian tradition. Neither is the visual language of these two traditions associated with the ledger art tradition of the nineteenth-century North American Plains Indians or the Cunas of Panama.217 Intriguingly the pictographs follow the syntax of Quechua and Aymara. They convey concepts by using natural and abstract signs. Ideas are also transmitted with phonetic rebus
Wampum was employed by Jesuits in the Catholic mission among Northeastern American Indigenous cultures in the eighteenth century. Wampum-belts, strings, and pearls could be displayed in churches. Latin
18.12 Ethnographer Missionary and Missionary Linguistic Translations into Alphabetic Script
An unsurpassed work, written by an ethnographer missionary in America, is Fray Bernardino de Sahagun’s (c. 1499–1589) encyclopedia
The missionary linguistic operation of French Catholics (in particular Jesuit) and English Protestants and Anglicans in North America (Canada and the US) originated around 1620 CE. Apart from Moravian (German), the “English tradition” of missionary linguistics began in reality with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) in the mid-1930s.241 Missionary linguists mainly applied Latin
Translated Catholic doctrinal scriptures—for example, catechisms and confessionals—were produced in the Latin alphabet. Missionary linguists
The postcolonial twentieth and twenty-first centuries brought a new wave of missionary linguists. North American Evangelical Protestantism is characterized by a theology about the Bible as the single authority of faith, life, and teachings
Translations can be conveyed through different media: written, oral, and visual. Christian
Rachel M. McCleary asserts that since Guatemala is a highly illiterate country with limited access to expensive translated New Testaments, Protestant missionaries began, at the beginning of the twentieth century, to mass evangelise
SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators are beginning to make translated New Testaments available in PDF. They are accompanied by film and sound.271 Films and audio (Mp3), which can be downloaded free of charge, gain more and more importance in evangelization and proselytizing for SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators. Using technological visual media like the “The JESUS Film Project”272 from the Gospel of Luke, in addition to text, is a powerful tool in the future converting work for the missionary linguists. The “JESUS”
18.13 Future Research Explicating Semantics of Multilingualism and Lingua Franca
Considerable systematic research on multilingualism and lingua franca as intellectual phenomena, in both literate and oral traditions, is left to be executed both synchronically and diachronically in the Americas—where there exist an enormous amount of indigenous
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The Nahuatl name derives from the most disastrous sign, Ce Malinalli (“1 Twisted Grass”) of the Nahua divinatory 260-day calendar.
Spanish chroniclers called La Malinche la lengua, “the tongue” or nuestra lengua, “our tongue,” Valdeon (2014, 51).
It is not known whether La Malinche mastered the Aztec aristocratic language, tecpillahtolli, an eloquent oratory which was also used in diplomacy, in order to translate Moctezuma. See Valdeon (2014, 55–56).
There are quite a few, although it is disputed how many, phylogenetic lineages, for example, language stocks, language families, and linguistic isolates in the Americas (cf. http://mesandlingk.eu/project), accessed April 4, 2017.
Around 42 million Indigenous people inhabit the American continent today.
Cf. Campbell (1997); Mithun (1999). Linguists have classified different Indigenous American “Sprachbunde” and linguistic areas: Campbell (1997, 330–376); Mithun (1999, 311, 297–616). General surveys of American languages can be found in Adelaar et al. (2007); Campbell (1997); Mithun (1999); Campbell and Mithun (2014). Cf. also: http://mesandlingk.eu/project, accessed April 4, 2017.
Hanke (1959, 8). In the prologue to Grámatica Nebrija had, however, already stated: “siempre la lengua ha sido compañera del imperio,” “always the language has been the companion of empire,” Hanke (1959, 127, note 31). In addition, Nebrija writes in Grámatica that “one thing I discovered and concluded with certainty is that language was always the companion of empire; therefore it follows that together they begin, grow, and flourish, and together they fall,” Rafael (1992, 23). This is an idea inspired by Lorenzo Valla’s Elegantiae claiming a Latin connection to the empire of Rome. It also was asserted in Cicero’s De senectute and later in grammars into Portuguese, Padley (1985–1988, 162, note 38); Asensio (1960).
Quechua and Spanish are official languages of Peru.
Mesoamerica has been defined as a cultural-geographical region incorporating the northwestern, central, and southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and the western part of Honduras and El Salvador. In this area people, like the Maya, Aztec, Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Tlapanec, Teotihuacano, Tarascos, Otomí, Mixtec, and so forth, lived in sophisticated urban civilizations c. 1000 BCE–1521 BC ‘Mesoamerica’ was originally outlined as a cultural and geographical unity by Paul Kirchoff in 1943, Kirchhoff (1943). Other definitions of this region have been suggested as well, cf. Carrasco (2001, ix, xiii). For a linguistic definition of Mesoamerica cf. Lyle Campbell, Terrence Kaufman, and Thomas Smith-Stark (1986).
Karen Dakin gives a survey of languages and language families in Mesoamerica at the time of the European arrival, Dakin (2010, 218, fig. 1).
It would be interesting to look into the grammatical level where there might be in some “[...] stable bilingual communities [...] accommodation between symbiotic languages, such that they cease to reflect distinct cultural worlds: their sentences approach a word-for-word translatability, which is rare among really autonomous languages,” Haugen (1972, 335).
Toponyms, anthroponyms, gentile nouns, “difrasismos,” and the names of social structures, animals, and plants, according to Wright Carr (2007; 2008). Thomas Smith-Stark has collected lists of calques in Mesoamerica giving evidence for linguistic diffusion in Mesoamerica. Cf. also Campbell, Kaufman and Smith-Stark (1986, 553–555).
Archaeologists has designated the period of the lowland Maya as “classic” because of the existence of dates from the so-called Long Count calendar corresponding to c. 200–c. 900 CE found inscribed in their writing system on monumental architecture.
The constructed denomination “Maya” comprises around seven or eight million people who speak a Mayan language today (there are 29 extant Mayan languages). The various contemporary Mayan peoples constitute cultural and linguistic minorities in the Mexican states Veracruz, Tabasco, San Luis Potosí, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, in Belize, in Guatemala, in the western parts of El Salvador and Honduras.
Cf. Martin and Grube (2000); Houston and Inomata (2009). The regents of the most prestigious dynasties are from the fourth century bearing the k’uhul ajaw (“sacred lord”) title, a title that spread to the smaller cites during the Classic period. This was to distinguish the rulers from the increasing aristocracy who came to usurp the ajaw title, Houston and Stuart (1996, 295); Martin and Grube (2000, 17).
The Mixtec language is called Tu’un Savi “language of the rain” where tu’un can be translated as “words; talk; language; history.” Dadavi, “language of the rain” where da is a contraction from da’an, “language” and davi is “rain.” A variant is Daidavi, “sacred language of the rain” where i of dai means sacred. Da’an Ñuu Davi, “language of the Pueblo of the Rain” whereas da’an enka ñuu, “language of the other Pueblo” is used in order to describe a foreign language. In addition the verb ka’an can be employed to describe the language of the Mixtecs, López García (2008, 407–408).
Mixtec is a tonal language with high, mid, and low tones, which probably explains the apparent identical words for different numerical coefficients. See Smith (1973, 26).
The 260-day calendar consists of the combination of 13 numbers and 20-day names (13 x 20 = 260 days).
Smith (1973, 23–27); Lipp (1983, 203–205; 1991, 62–63); Duinmeijer (1997, 180–181); Boone (2007a, 4). The application of the thirteen calendar numbers is today restricted to pueblos of the lowland. The calendar numbers are close to ordinal numerals of the Zoque of the same language family, for example, Mixe-Zoque, Lipp (1983, 204); Duinmeijer (1997, 181–182). The Mixe calendar numbers might have become tabooed in everyday life and therefore confined to the 260-day calendar according to Søren Wichmann, Duinmeijer (1997, 181–182).
Classical Nahuatl refers to the colonial Nahuatl dialect that is generally used in documents from Central Mexico.
The Prussian scholar Alexander von Humboldt and the American historian William H. Prescott introduced the word “Aztec” to the Western public in the early nineteenth century. I apply the term “Aztec” instead of “Mexica” despite the fact that several scholars, since Robert Barlow in 1949, have pointed out that this designation is incorrect.
The term “Aztec” derives from aztecatl, “person from Aztlán.” Aztlán, which can be paraphrased as “the white place” or “the place of the herons” in Nahuatl, was the designation for their mystic place of origin. The name “Mexica” was given to the Aztecs by their patron deity, Huitzilopochtli, during their migration from Aztlán. The Aztecs or Mexica was originally a Nahuatl-speaking nomadic nation. They founded the city of Tenochtitlan, today’s Mexico City, which became the capital in the northern and central part of Mexico 1345–1521 CE, (López Austin2001); Nicholson (2002, 17).
Nahuatl-speakers reside in Federal District (Mexico City, D.F.), Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Veracruz in Mexico, but also in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, Sandstrom (2010, 23).
Robert C. Schwaller (2012) argues that Nahuatl as lingua franca varied, according to different factors, in the colonial period.
Quechua is probably an invention by the Spaniards from qheswa simi, “valley speech,” Mannheim (1991, 6).
Around two million peoples use Southern Peruvian Quechua today in the departments of Apurímac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Huancavelica and Puno, Mannheim (1991, 4–5).
Cf. Ramos (2011, 21–23) for references to theories about the origin and dissemination of Andean languages.
Cf. Adelaar et al. (2007); Ramos (2011, 21–23); Torero (1974; 2002); Durston (2007, 37, 40–42, 190–191); Mannheim (1991, 2, 6, 9, 16–21, 34–35, 43–47, 50–51, 64, 80); Itier (2011, 74). Durston (2007, 109–110) claims that this “Standard Colonial Quechua” was a written construction by Spanish clergy used in pastoral scriptures and not a spoken language. Itier (2011) argues that this was a spoken lingua franca. Cf. Itier (2011) for summary and references to theories about Quechua as a colonial lingua franca (lengua general).
“The linguistic complexity was socially significant. For instance, in Vilcashuamán language, differences were used as one of the bases for determining the pattern of resettlement of mitmaq colonists, with Quechua speakers assigned to the temperate valleys (qheswa) and Aymara speakers assigned to contiguous high punas. In Collaguas and Cavanas (Arequipa), the Quechua-speaking Cavanas maintained a stable symbiotic relationship with the Aymara-speaking Collaguas,” Mannheim (1991, 49).
Ramos has, however, recently suggested that the Inka introduction of other linguistic groups into the Cuzco region fortified Quecha as a lingua franca. This immigration continued after the Spanish arrival, Ramos (2011, 27–28).
Cf. Frank Salomon and Sabine Hyland for examples of Indigenous American systems of graphic pluralism (2010).
The category “scriptura franca” was put forward by Florentina Badalanova Geller at the conference “Multilingualism, Linguae Francae and the Global History of Religious and Scientiﬁc Concept” at The Norwegian Institute at Athens April 3–5, 2009, organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG).
The recently discovered although not deciphered Cascajal Block found in the Olmec region of Veracruz, Mexico derives from the first millennium BCE. It represents the oldest known system of writing in the Americas, Rodríguez Martínez et al. (2006).
European missionary linguists created specific North American writing systems, that is, syllabaries for indigenous languages. Western Apache and Cherokee represent exceptions as they were constructed by indigenous people in the (post)colonial period (see below). North American indigenous literacy culture competes with the new dominating lingua franca of English (and to a lesser degree French) and Latin script as a scriptura franca. Cf. for bibliographic references Campbell (1997) and Mithun (1999, 34–36).
More than a dozen graphic systems are recognized in Mesoamerica: Ñuiñe of Mixteca Baja, Teotihuacan, Xochicalco, Chalco, Teotenango, Cacaxtla, Tula, Aztec of Central Mexico and the Mixteca Alta (Mixteca-Puebla), Mixtec, Zapotec of Oaxaca (Monte Alban; Mitla), Coztumalhuapa of Highland Guatemala, Epi-Olmec (Isthmian), and Maya, Urcid (2001, 1–4). Some of the many American writing systems are recently presented in Boone and Urton (2011).
The concept “hieroglyph” is ambiguous. It is a designation for both individual signs and combinations of signs in expressions, like words or compound of words. For example the “hieroglyph” for “to be born” incorporates three signs:
SIY-ya-ja, Wichmann (2000). A more correct category for the writing system is therefore logosyllabic.
Lacadena García-Gallo and Wichmann (2002); Wichmann (2000); 2006b). Thus “Just as Mesopotamian syllabic cuneiform in the Near East was used to write not only Akkadian as the prestige written language, but also vernacular Akkadian, Hurrian and Hittite, the Maya hieroglyphic system was used for transcribing several languages [...],” Lacadena García-Gallo and Wichmann (2002, 313).
Teotihuacan is situated c. 40 km northeast of Tenochtitlan (today Mexico City), the capital of the later Aztec Empire.
These are Mapas de Cuauhtinchan 1, 2, 3, and 4 and Mapa pintado en papel europeo y aforrado en el indiano. Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca written in Nahuatl (alphabet) and pictorial-logographic script has been a “Rosetta Stone” in the explication of these manuscripts, Kirchhoff et al. (1976).
In the story related in MC2 the bilingual Coatzin is described as a linguistic mediator and interpreter between the Toltecs and the Chichimecs.
In annual reports and bulletins and other series, the Bureau of American Ethnology documents linguistics, religions, history, and traditions of indigenous peoples of the nineteenth century and the twentieth century in North America. John Wesely Powell established the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879, renamed the Bureau of American Ethnology from 1897.
Bell (1965 , 63). An intriguing feature, not mentioned by Bell, is that a quite large tattoo was removed from the Sergeant’s chest. The tattoo was recaptured from the Cheyennes sometime later. Photographs of the deceased Sergeant and of his chest skin scalp showing the tattoo are located in the archives of the Smithsonian, Taylor (1975, 91).
Sign language can also accompany speech.
Dutch traders used wampum as money from the beginning of the seventeenth century. This was never its function among indigenous peoples. Wampum became a currency in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In West New Jersey wampum was the main currency up to 1682. Until 1693 passengers on the ferry between New York and Brooklyn could pay for their ticket with wampum. The last known exchange of wampum as payment was a transaction in New York in 1701, but as late as 1875, Germans in Bergen, New Jersey employed wampum in trade with indigenous peoples, Hewitt (1910, 905–909).
Salomon (2008, 286–287, 292, 297, 299–300). Khipu are kept in some villages today but only as community symbols. They are applied in corporate kin groups (ayllu). There is no evidence of people able to read or produce khipus after the mid-twentieth century: Mackey (1970; 2002); Salomon (2002; 2004; 2008, 292, 296–302); Salomonetal (2011).
The Florentine Codex is named after the manuscript’s (Ms. 218–220, Col. Palatina) present place of residence, the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana of Florence, Italy.
An earlier work than The Florentine Codex is Primeros Memoriales (a name given to it later by Francisco Paso y Troncoso) (1558–1560), Sahagun (1997 , 3–4). This manuscript incorporates chapters about the rituals and gods, the heavens and the underworld, and government and human affairs.
See http://cherokeeregistry.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188&Itemid=259, accessed April 4, 2017.
Mexico, after the name of the capital Mexica-Tenochtitlan of the Aztecs, was the name the Spaniards eventually chose to denominate this country. The Aztecs, as noted, were called Mexica.
The designation SIL derives from the first Summer Institute of Linguistics in 1934 in Arkansas, Olson (2009, 646, note 2).
WBT consists of many independent organizations and international partners, Olson (2009, 646, note 1).
The two designations, WBT and SIL, serve respectively to represent the mission for Conservative North Americans and to present an image of disinterested scholarship to Latin American authorities, according to Stoll (1990, 17).
Cf. SIL webpage for an outline of procedures, goals, cooperation and team roles in making the translation (http://www.sil.org/translation/bibletrans.htm), accessed April 4, 2017.
There are around 7,000 languages spoken today according to SIL reference work called Ethnologue: Languages of the World (http://www.ethnologue.com/), accessed April 4, 2017.
Nahuatl; Mixteco de la Costa; Amuzgo; Chianteco Alta; Triqui de Sn Juan Copala; Mazateco; Alto, Cuicateco; Huaves; Chatino de Yaitepec; Zapoteco del Valle; Zapoteco Sierra Sur; Zapoteco del Istmo; Zapoteco de Teotitlan de Valle.
http://www.scriptureearth.org/00i-Scripture_Index.php?sortby=country&name=MX, accessed April 4, 2017.
This also applies to the various idioms or dialects of a language. For instance, in order to make a “Unified Nahuatl” translation of the Roman Catholic Mass the discussion between Nahuatl speaking priests at the 7th Pastoral Workshop on Nahuatl Language and Culture in 2014 in Tehuipango, in the Sierra de Zongolica in Central Veracruz, Mexico, exhibited conflicting issues of grammar due to the diverse language practices of various dialects (cf. Pharao Hansen (2014)).
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/SearchByLang.aspx, accessed April 4, 2017.