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see NahuatlanNahuatlan
, group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock of North and Central America. A Nahuatlan language of great historical importance is Nahuatl, or Aztec.
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; Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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the Indian name for a group of linguistically related tribes of the Uto-Aztecan group that lived in the territory of Mexico and some regions of Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, and Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

The Nahuatl had arrived from the north (from the southwestern regions of North America). Their migration had apparently taken place over the course of many centuries, beginning at about the turn of the Common Era. The Aztec were the last to enter the valley of Mexico (12th century). The Nahuatl were divided into two large subgroups: the Nahuat (the more ancient group), in Central America, and the Nahuatl (Tepanec, Acolhua, Chalca, Tlascaltec, Aztec) in Mexico. Some Nahuatl later lost their own languages and adopted Spanish; others merged into a single nationality speaking the Aztec language.

The conventional use of the term “Nahuatl” for the collective designation of the Indian tribes mentioned above and “Nahuatlan” for the designation of their language group has been adopted in modern scholarly literature.

References in periodicals archive ?
Mazatlan, meaning "land of the deer" in the ancient Nahuatl language, offers 10 miles of breath-taking, sandy beaches, attracting over one million visitors annually.
Those with a more linguistic bent (not necessarily professional linguists) may profit from "Some Unfashionable Ideas on the History of the Nahuatl Language.
Working within the theoretical framework of Fishman's (1991) model of language shift and revitalization, I present a positive review of these recent initiatives mixed with some specific additional recommendations for Nahuatl language revitalization.
Specifically, he worried that switching between languages, especially within a single sentence, means that a speaker's Nahuatl proficiency is weak, and that such switching signaled the inability of the speaker to pass on the Nahuatl language to childre n.
This gentle, unassuming man expressed his eagerness to teach Spanish to Nahuatl-speaking children without requiring them to give up their Nahuatl language.
The census data, combined with the low opinions of Nahuati expressed by members of several Nahuatl communities, support the conclusion that the Nahuatl language is on the decline in contemporary Mexico, and that a pattern of increasing language shift has begun.
The dark-haired Virgin Mary is said to have spoken softly to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language, insisting Mexico's Indians were among her children, and the simple peasant her chosen messenger.
In 1980, having been divorced twice, Roa Bastos married Iris Gimenez, a fellow professor at the university and specialist in the Nahuatl language and ancient cultures of Mexico.
The word "Temazcal" itself comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs -- "temaz" meaning bath and "calli" meaning house.