Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bad Linguist's Guide to Pronouncing Cat Names




Ahuacatlan: glyph for Place of Many Avocados (ahuacatli)



You aren't the first to puzzle over the tongue-twisting Mesoamerican names we've given the cats. Yes, I did have a linguistics course years ago as an undergraduate, but I didn't get far enough into the class to have to learn proper phonetic spelling. I dropped the class because I needed more time to spend on the Old Norse Literature class I was taking. So, I'll give you my version of how to pronounce the cats' formal names. And maybe a few extra words just because they are so much fun to say--or try to say. The language has a great deal of sounds that make one think the speaker is about to expectorate, but just do the best you can. For more information, go to http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=apr. Then click on "Ancient language, modern soundwaves" to hear the words pronounced. Here are the words that were in the "Avocado madness" post.











Chicxulub (Crater): Chick shoo lube


Quetzalcoatl (Stormy): Ket zal qwat ul

Huitzilopochtli (PetCat): Wheet si lo poked lee
or Tlaxcalli: Slosh col-lee

K'uk'ulcan (Pester): Kook cool khan



Tenochtitlan (Pushkin): Te noke sheet lahn
or TzinTzunTzan: zeen zoon zhan

Tz'ibilchaltun: Ze bill chal toon





tuchtli (rabbit): tooch tlee


Tuchtlan: tooch tlahn
glyph for Place of Many Rabbits








We need to give Twinkie and Pascal (Jungle Pants/Pants Man) formal names also. We are thinking of Coatlicue (co aht lee qway; Earth goddess) for Twinkie and Tlahuizcalpantechutli (tla wheetz cal pahn teh coot lee; Lord of the Dawn, god of the morning star Venus) for Pants, since "pants" is in the new name.



I certainly hope this guide is of some help to you.









photos from www.photobucket.com; glyphs images from Mexicolore.com

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