Ahuacatlan (Mdz39r)

Ahuacatlan (Mdz39r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Ahuacatla consists of an avocado (ahuacatl) tree with imbedded teeth (tlantli), the latter providing the phonetic value for the locative suffix, -tlan (place, by, among). The tree has a leader and two additional branches, plus some extra leaves, and red curly roots. The tree appears to provide a frontal view. The teeth are white, and the mouth--which is in profile facing to the viewer's right--is slightly open.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The locative suffix, as given in the gloss for the place name, is -tla (or -tlah, if we show the glottal stop), which suggests a place where avocados are abundant. But, given the teeth, the final (-n) was probably inadvertently omitted, and the locative suffix is -tlan. As Gordon Whittaker has discovered, the full mouth of teeth can often imply the locative suffix -tlan with a ligature -ti-, resulting in the post-position -titlan. But this is an exception and the ligature does not appear in this place name.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

ahuacatla. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Ahuacatlan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

avocados, trees, roots, teeth, dientes, aguacates, árboles, raíces

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 

ahuaca(tl), avocado, avocado tree, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/ahuacatl
tlan(tli), tooth/teeth, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tlantli
-tlan (locative suffix), by, near, among, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Avocado Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"By the Avocados" (Whittaker, 2021, 101); "Where There are Many Avocados" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 169))

Whittaker's Transliteration: 


Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Lugar de Aguacates"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)