Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Phylogenetic methods in Huasteca Nahuatl dialectology
by Garcia, John, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 81; 1526912
Abstract (Summary)

The Nahuatl language spoken by Aztec/Mexica continues to be spoken throughout Central Mexico and in the Huasteca region. Variation within the Huasteca has yet to be fully explored, and this study integrates a questionnaire published by Lastra and interviews I conducted with native speakers representing different communities. The data produced from this were used to find features that distinguish different towns and then were analyzed using cladistics, a phylogenetic method used by biologists to propose a hypothesis of the evolutionary relationships among species, and which has also been used by linguists. The output suggests there is a large split between northwest and southeast regions of the Huasteca, and that the northeast villages compose a subregion on their own. One can trace the relationships between communities on the output tree and follow a path backwards towards Central Mexico, suggesting a north-east migration.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hall, Nancy
Commitee: Carter, Ashley, Davidson, Matthew
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Native American studies
Keywords: Aztec, Endangered languages, Huasteca, Mexico, Nahuatl
Publication Number: 1526912
ISBN: 9781321277128
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