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Author: Edward Polanco

SCRM, Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad

SCRM, Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad

Anyone poking around in early modern royal-documents from Spain, particularly from the sixteenth century, will come across “S.C.R.M.”

 

SCRM comes from SCCRM, a phrase that Charles V of Spain started using when he became the Holy Roman Emperor (Crowned by the Pope in 1530). SCCRM stands for Sacra Cesárea Católica Real Majestade(Holy, Imperial, Catholic, Royal Majesty). Under Phillip II SCRM begins to appear, which stands for “Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad” (Holy, Catholic, Royal Majesty).

 

Now, pick up your shovel, and continue digging in the archives.

Getting Acquainted with Nahuatl Nouns

Getting Acquainted with Nahuatl Nouns

If you are a beginner, start with this lesson, and keep in mind that I am discussing Early Modern Nahuatl from the Valley of Mexico, other dialects will vary. Subsequent lessons will build upon this lesson.

For tips on how to pronounce Nahuatl, click here. For other Nahuatl resources, click here.

 

What is a noun?

A noun is a word that can be the subject of a clause, or the object (indirect or direct) of a verb. In simple terms, it is a person, place, or thing.

In Nahuatl, there is one important way to identify nouns, four absolutive suffixes, which are:

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Nahuatl Lesson: Abstract Nouns — the -liztli and -iztli suffixes

Nahuatl Lesson: Abstract Nouns — the -liztli and -iztli suffixes

Abstract nouns – -liztli, and -iztli suffixes

This lesson will only cover abstract nouns in Early Modern Nahuatl, not contemporary dialects.

An abstract noun is a noun that cannot be seen or touched. It can be a quality (beauty), a state (hope and death), or an idea (freedom and education). The English language, like many others, offers speakers and writers the ability to create abstract nouns from verbs. For example:

Obedience from obey

Judgment from Judge

Death from Die

Knowledge from Know

Growth from grow

Pleasure from please

In Nahuatl, like English, you can turn a verb into an abstract noun. We can achieve this by adding the pervasive -liztli or -iztli suffix to a verb. The -liztli suffix is important because it allows a verb, to be possessed, something that is not possible when a verb is in its normal state.

For example:

Nemi – To live.

You can say, ninemi (ni-nemi) I live.

You could also say, tinemi (ti-nemi), you live.

You are not soundly capable of saying nonemi (no-nemi) my live.

 

This changes when we add the -liztli suffix to nemi. Giving us Nemiliztli, living or life. The savy reader will notice that close connection to the root verb- Nemi, but also that there is now an absolutive suffix on the word, in fact making it a noun.

Thus,

Nonemiliz (no-nemiliz(tli)) is now a viable option. Which means, “my life.” Monemiliz (mo-nemiliz(tli)) is also possible, which means, “your life.”

Here are some examples, with answers all the way at the bottom so you can see how well you are doing.

  1. Chololiztli
  2. Nochololiz
  3. Tlacualiztli (Tlaqualiztli)
  4. Monepohualiztli
  5. Nezahualiztli

 

Some things to be aware of. Be sure to recognize that if you see a word that ends with in -liz or -iz, and it has a possessive prefix, that word is a verb turned noun that is possessed. The missing absolutive suffix gives it away.

 

 

 

Answers:

  1. Chololiztli
    • Cholo(a)-liztli
    • To flee – abstract suffix
    • Flight
  2. Nochololiz
    • No-cholo(a)-liz(tli)
    • My-to flee- abstract suffix
    • My flight, My escape
  3. Tlacualiztli (Tlaqualiztli)
    • Tlacua-liztli
    • To eat – abstract suffix
    • Eat, as in, something to eat, or food
  4. Monepohualiztli
    • mo-ne-pohua-liztli
    • Your-indef reflex – to be arrogant – abstracting suffix
    • Your arrogance
  5. Nezahualiztli
    • Ne-zahua-liztli
    • Indefinite reflexive – to fast- abstracting noun
    • Fast
Tips on Pronouncing Nahuatl

Tips on Pronouncing Nahuatl

This page is intended for academic use as a tool to help students hear a native speaker of Nahuatl (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronounce words and phrases. None of the files on this page or the rest of the site should be used without prior consent, and can never be used for commercial purposes.

Esta página fue creada para uso académico solamente con el fin de que los estudiantes del náhuatl pueden escuchar a una nativo hablante (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronunciar palabras y frases. Ninguna parte de esta página o sitio se puede usar sin consentimiento previo y expreso. Ninguna parte se podrá usar para propósitos comerciales.


First rule of thumb, if you speak Spanish, default to pronouncing Nahuatl like Spanish over any other language. Nahuatl has very specific sounds that did not derive from Spanish nor should they be mistaken with Spanish, but the two languages have developed together over the course of the last 500 years. Nahuatl was put into the Latin alphabet by early modern Spanish speakers, thus written Nahuatl is closer to Spanish, than French or English.

With that in mind, open your mind, and get ready to pronounce Nahuatl.


The “C”  Sound

Like Latin American Spanish the “C” in Nahuatl makes an “S” sound when it is followed by an “I” or “E.” When followed by any other vowel it sounds like a “K.”

Ce – One

      ce

Cecec – Cold, a cold thing

      cecec

Caxtolli – Fifteen

      caxtolli

Cualli – Good

      cualli_2

Cihuatl – Woman

      cihuatl

The “X”

In Nahuatl the X is pronounced like the “Sh” in American English.

Xochitl – Flower

      xochitl

Xihuitl – Year, Leaf, Herb

      xihuitl

The “Tl,” in any part of a word

What is represented by two letters should be considered a one letter sound that is a “T” sound with air being pushed from both sides of the tongue. This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult sounds to recreate as a student of Nahuatl. There is nothing quite like it in English or Spanish. Listen closely to how Caty ends her words with “tl,” and how the “tl” sound is special in any part of the word, such as, tlacatl

Mazatl – Deer

      mazatl

Tlacatl – Man

      tlacatl

Pahtli – Medicine

      pahtli

Etl – Bean

      etl

Tetl – Rock

      tetl

The “Hu” Sound

The Hu produced a sound very similar to the “W” in American English. Let the vowel that follows the “Hu” guide the sound. Hu+a = Wa, Hu+I=We, Hu+e = Wee (as in Wet). Thus, Cuahuitl, sounds like kwa-we-tl

Cuahuitl – Tree

      cuahuitl

Cihuatl – Woman

      cihuatl

Qu, Cu

The “Qu” and “Cu” sounds can cause some confusion because they are similar in apperance. “Que” sounds just like Latin American Spanish’s “que,” or American English’s “Ke” as in “Kelp.” “Qui” sounds just like American English’s “KEY.” “Cui” sounds like the “Quee” in “Queen” in American English. “Cue” sounds like “Coo-eh” in American English. Finally, “Cua” and “Qua” are interchangeable and sound like the “Qua” in “QUADRANT” in American English.

Cueloa – To bend or fold something

      cueloa

Cui – To grab something

      cui

Ximoquetza – Get up

      ximoquetza

Tlacua – Eat

      tlacua

Quiza – Leave, emerge, or exit

      quiza
How to Write an E-mail to Your University Professor or TA

How to Write an E-mail to Your University Professor or TA

Writing an e-mail is an important skill that is necessary for your success in college, and also afterwards once you have joined the workforce.  A well written and professional e-mail is important for several reasons. First, it will help your instructor know exactly who you are, what class you are in, and how to best help you. Second, I find that the old adage of: “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” rings true. Therefore, a polite and professional e-mail will resonate well with the receiver and probably get a quicker response. Lastly, an e-mail without a subject line, a salutation,  or a leave-taking can appear to be spam, and might be disregarded or flagged for safety. Leaving your e-mail without a reply. 

Here are 6 tips to help you create a professional e-mail that will make you look like a champion. Keep in mind that you might want to change some titles or formatting, depending on your need.

1) Use Your Official University E-mail Account

In order to comply with FERPA regulations most universities ask instructors not to address sensitive materials such as grades via non university e-mail. Theoretically only students have access to their official university accounts. It is worth mentioning here that you should try your hardest to keep your password safe. Moreover, anyone (e.g., a parent) can create a yahoo or gmail account with anyone’s name and attempt to contact an instructor regarding class performance and things of the like. For example, Shelby Walker’s mom can create Swalker14@yahoo.com and contact an instructor asking about her grade in the course. In order to protect the student, instructors are likely to reply to such requests via official university e-mail only. Beginning communication from your university account will save time, and help protect your privacy. Lastly, e-mails from non-university addresses can appear to be spam, especially if they lack the other key components of a professional e-mail.

2) Include a Clear and Concise Subject Title

If this e-mail is for a professor or TA that you are currently working with, and the e-mail pertains to the class,  include the course title (and section if applicable) in the subject line. You would then want to have a concise summary of what the e-mail pertains to. For example: “HIST 150: Midterm Question”

3) Include a Salutation

This is an important aspect of an e-mail that students can overlook. If you jump right into the meat and potatoes of your e-mail you run the risk of essentially sending your instructor an e-mail that seems like a text message.  This can appear unprofessional and perhaps even cause confusion.

First, you always want to start an e-mail with the salutation “Dear.”

 If you are writing to the professor, use the title “Dr.” or “Professor” before their last name, unless of course they have invited you to call them by his or her first name or something of the sort. If you are not sure if the instructor has a PhD, default to “Professor,” you can’t go wrong. Thus, you would start an e-mail for a professor as follows: “Dear Dr. Morrison,”

If you are writing your TA, typically using their first name is fine. Remember to follow his or her first name with a comma.  An e-mail to a TA should begin as follows: “Dear Cecilia,”

Pro Tip: Keep titles in mind when writing e-mails in general, using “Dean,” “Dr.” and “Mr.,Mrs., & Ms.” where appropriate.

4) Organization

If this is your first time communicating with your instructor (in person or online), take a few minutes to introduce yourself and explain what course you are in.

You will then want to start a new paragraph in which you get to the point of your e-mail. Like an essay, each paragraph in an e-mail should cover a particular point, this will make it easier for the receiver to digest your e-mail.

5) Use a Leave-Taking

Again, if you want to avoid sending an e-mail that looks like a text message, use a professional leave-taking followed by a comma right above your name. Such as, “Regards,” “Sincerely,” or “Warm Regards.” I personally avoid using “Yours” in all of my e-mails, and I think it is odd and would advise against it for professional e-mails.

 

6) Sign with Your Full Name

Now that your e-mail is almost done, sign it with your full name. I suggest using the name that your instructor will see on his or her roster or grade book, this will avoid any confusion. Believe it or not, there are lots of Edwards in the world.

An example: “Bernardino de Shagún”

Pro Tip: Take a few minutes to create a signature for your university e-mail account. Include your full name and perhaps your major and any other pertinent information. This will save you time when you write e-mails.

 


Below is an example of what an e-mail should look like. This e-mail assumes I am writing a professor, and I have already been in communication with her in the past.

———

 

SUBJECT: HIST 160 H3- 11:00AM Section: Question Regarding Study Guide

 

Dear Dr. Jones,

I hope this e-mail finds you well. The syllabus mentions that the final study guide would be posted in the 9th week of class. I looked around on the course site and I was unable to find it. I was wondering if it is up yet, or perhaps I just missed it?

Thanks in advance.

 

Regards,

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
Economics Major
Class of 2045
The University of My Dreams

Salutations and Other Basics in Nahuatl

Salutations and Other Basics in Nahuatl

This page is intended for academic use as a tool to help students hear a native speaker of Nahuatl (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronounce words and phrases. None of the files on this page or the rest of the site should be used without prior consent, and can never be used for commercial purposes.

Esta página fue creada para uso académico solamente con el fin de que los estudiantes del náhuatl puedan escuchar a una nativo hablante (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronunciar palabras y frases. Ninguna parte de esta página o sitio se puede usar sin consentimiento previo y expreso. Ninguna parte se podrá usar para propósitos comerciales.

 

Salutations and the Basics

The words contained in these recordings were done in the conventions of la Huasteca Veracruzana. Other dialects of Nahuatl might use different words, please keep that in mind. The pronunciation also follows the style of la Huasteca Veracruzana.


No

      axtlen

Yes – Si

      quena

 


Problem – Problema

      cualantli

It is good/okay – Esta bien

      cualtitoc

Salutation (used among women) – Saludo (usado entre mujeres)

      hoo

Good, okay, very well (denotes approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, or acknowledgment) – Bueno (denota aprobación)

      huenoh

I salute (greet) you (used among Macehualmeh) – Saludo (usado entre macehualmeh)

      nimitztlahpaloz

Salutation – Saludo

      niyohua

Salutation (used for coyomeh) – Saludo (para coyomeh)

      piyali

See you later – Nos vemos

      timoittazceh

See you soon – Nos vemos pronto


      timoittazcehyoc

Salutation (Used among men) – Salud0 (Usado entre hombres)

      timomelahuah

Thank you – Gracias

      tlazcamati

What’s up? – ¿Que paso? (Saludo)

      tlempanoc

Forgive me / Sorry – Perdon/ Lo Siento

      xinechtlapopolhui

There isn’t any – No hay

      axoncah
A Few Animals in Nahuatl from the Huasteca Veracruzana

A Few Animals in Nahuatl from the Huasteca Veracruzana

This page is intended for academic use as a tool to help students hear a native speaker of Nahuatl (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronounce words and phrases. None of the files on this page or the rest of the site should be used without prior consent, and can never be used for commercial purposes.

Esta página fue creada para uso académico solamente con el fin de que los estudiantes del náhuatl puedan escuchar a una nativo hablante (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronunciar palabras y frases. Ninguna parte de esta página o sitio se puede usar sin consentimiento previo y expreso. Ninguna parte se podrá usar para propósitos comerciales.

 

Animals/Animales

The names for animals contained in these recordings were done in the conventions of la Huasteca Veracruzana. Some animals have different names in other Nahuatl speaking areas, please keep that in mind. The pronunciation also follows the style of la Huasteca Veracruzana.


 Armadillo

      calolo

Dog – Perro 

      chichi

Scorpion – Escorpión

      colotl

Tick – Garrapata

      conchura

Coyote

      coyotl

Leaf-Cutter Ant – Hormiga Corta Hoja

      cuacihuapil

Boar – Jabalí

      cuapitzotl

Rabbit – Conejo

      cuatochin

Skunk – Zorillo

      epatl

Blood Engorged Tick – Garrpata llena de sangre

      ezpolon

Ant  – Hormiga

      ixcanelin

Raccoon – Mapache

      mapachin

Deer – Venado

      mazatl

Mosquito/Zancudo

      moyotl

Fox  – Zorro

      oztotl

Flea – Pulga

      tecpin

Badger – Tejón

      tehon

Possum – Tlacuache

      tlacuachin

Iguana 

      tlacuaquilotl

Spider – Araña 

      tocatl

Squirrel – Ardilla

      tocomahtli

Argentine Ant – Hormiga Argentina

      totochin

Bird – Pájaro

      tototl

Mole – Topo

      tozan

Fire Ant – Hormiga brava

      tzicatl

Mountain lion / Wildcat – Gato montés

      zacamiztli

Mites (Scabies) – Ácaro (Sarna)

      zahuatl

Fly – Mosca

      zayolin

Louse – Piojo

      atimitl
A Video From the Vault: Riverside Newman Center 2012

A Video From the Vault: Riverside Newman Center 2012

I made this video for “Ethnographic Field Methods,” a course in the department of Anthropology at UC Riverside in 2012. I spent three months at the Newman Center conducting ethnographic research. In this video you hear clips of an interview I conducted with Pepsai regarding the Holy Spirit and the Host.

Short Term Research in Mexico and Spain

Short Term Research in Mexico and Spain

I have a post for long-term research in Mexico on a Fulbright, and I imagine it might be useful to some if I posted information regarding a short-term trip. My experience is in Spain and Mexico in historical archives, but I imagine that this information might help people going to the same countries doing non-historical research and perhaps for people going to other countries as well.

VISA:

You essentially do not need a visa for short trips if you do not plan on being employed.

Spain:

You can enter Spain visa-free for up to three months. I did a two month stay without any issues. Here is a link for Spain.

Mexico:

You can enter visa-free for up to six months. I have stayed as long as two months without a visa without any issues.

What You Need for Archives:

Spain:

  • I would say that almost all Spanish archives do not allow the usage of cameras, leaving the DSLR at home might cut down on weight since you won’t use it for work anyway.

Mexico:

  • Most Mexican archives do allow photography thus bringing your best camera is always a good idea.
  • Research Kit

Both Countries:

  • First Time
    • One letter of introduction per archive. I always show up with an original on letterhead.
    • Passport (original and a copy)
    • Driver’s license and university ID (I would suggest that you always bring these to the archive)
  • Daily grind
    • USB Flash drive or external HDD. You never know who you might bump into and they might offer catalogs, photos of documents, search guides, or other things of interest.
    • Business cards. Again, you never know who you might see and you might want to hand out a few cards
    • Laptop with charger
    • Cellphone charger or power bank

 

In sum, it is relatively simple to get into archives as long as you have a rough idea of what you are looking for and the proper documentation to get access. Short trips are great because you do not need a visa, which saves you time and money.