Saturday, September 12, 2015

Quote from The Flower and the Scorpion #3

"While the flower will remain partially unknowable, knowable, an entity that exceeds our ability to understand Nahua discourse course in a foreign cultural framework, I will show that it primarily related lated to intimate connections with others and itself signified fertility in all of its forms.
From the root xoch:
Xochitl. flower
Xochtia. to utter witticisms or make people laugh
Xochuia. to enchant, bewitch, or seduce a woman"

This one is just a quick linguistic note, one of two I've found in the text so far that points at a group of words related by stem as a way of getting at what might be called a subverbal meaning complex (I'm certain there's a better technical term for this), or a "root meaning".  It seems that "xoch" doesn't just mean "flower", despite the -itl suffix just meaning, essentially, "this is a noun".  The -tia suffix, for example, is causative, so xochtia means "to make people xoch, to cause xoch-ing".  The idea and the image of a flower doesn't just mean that thing in the garden with the pretty petals.  It's a much larger associative symbol-set.

Like any and all languages, of course, including English and Spanish.

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