Ahuatzitzinco (Mdz40r)

Ahuatzitzinco (Mdz40r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound sign for the place name Ahuatzitzinco has three principal elements: the oak tree (ahuatl) is the focus, with the turquoise-painted water (atl) flowing from the two-tone green foliage at the ends of the two branches and providing the phonetic start to the tree name. The water is painted in a standard way, with lines to show currents and shells and droplets (or beads, such as local jade beads) splashing off the streams. Without the water, this tree looks much like a simple cuahuitl. Merging with the tree, on its left, is the lower half of a male body in profile (which would be facing to our right), referring to buttocks (tzintli), a phonetic indicator for the locative suffix -tzinco. The -tzin- is thus visual but the -co is not.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The water provides a phonetic indicator that this tree name starts with "a." A literal reading of the place name might translate something like "At the Little Oaks." But Frances Karttunen proposes that -tzinco refers to a spin-off community. Since the original town was Ahuatzinco, the -tzinco has a reduplication, -tzitzinco. The locative -tzinco is what Gordon Whittaker calls a "secondary logogram." Sometimes, I suspect the diagonal black lines (tlilcuahuitl) are a phonetic indicator that the tree is a cuahuitl, but this is an exception, because it is an oak tree (ahuatl or āhuatl, with the diacritics).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

ahuaçiçinco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Ahuatzitzinco, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or 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): 

oaks, oak trees, ahuatl, bodies, bottoms, buttocks, rear ends, loincloths, water, little, lower, robles, encinos

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"New Ahuatzinco" -- this is based on the interpretation of -tzinco as a locative suffix that refers to a spin-off community. [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Very Small Oak Trees" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 170)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Nuevo Acatzinco"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 40 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 90 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).