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Los nahuatlismos en el español de México
Vol. XII/2010/2, pp. 599-612
Keywords: Nahuatl, Mexican Spanish, vocabulary, survey
This paper deals with Nahuatl, a minority language, spoken by 1.5 million people from North Mexico to Central America. One of the main characteristics of Spanish spoken in Mexico is its vocabulary, much of which originates from Nahuatl. The first Nahuatl words appeared in Spanish when the first conquerors arrived in the New World and tried to denominate plants, animals and other typical objects of the area. In the 16–17th centuries some words of this type were used in Spanish and Mexican literature. In the first half of the 20th century the influence of Native American languages on Spanish was overestimated and it was only in 1960s that it was rectified by Lope Blanch, who made a survey on words of Native American languages in Mexico City. The survey concludes that only 0.07 % of the vocabulary is of Nahuatl origin. Taking this survey as a starting point, in 2006 I also made a survey with a remarkably different conclusion.