A Kemi-Mesoamerican Language

Charles William Johnson

Science in Ancient Artwork
Extract Nš. 44

A Kemi-Mesoamerican Language
(Metlatl and Met At)

Charles William Johnson

We have observed a linguistic correspondence between the ancient Egyptian (kemi) language and the maya system of languages, as well as, a similar linguistic correspondence between ancient Egyptian and nahuatl. At times, it would appear as though these three bodies of languages were descendants from a Kemi-Mesoamerican mother tongue. Because of the fact that the ancient Egyptian culture is generally considered to be much older, than the Mesoamerican cultures that spoke maya or nahuatl, it may be thought that any linguistic correspondence among these languages would mean that maya and nahuatl came from the ancient kemi language. However, we are not so certain that the observed linguistic correspondence among these obviously distinct language can be so easily accounted for by simply using the apparent historical record for our criterion in determining which language preceded another.

As we observe some of the more obvious examples of linguistic correspondence between ancient Egyptian and nahuatl, for example, one could draw opposing conclusions, depending upon the chosen law of linguistic analysis and comparative philology. One example of linguistic correspondence deals with the nahuatl word metlatl, which refers to a grinding stone, which was used mainly for grinding corn in ancient Mesoamerica. In an earlier essay, (Cfr., Earth/matriX Essay No. 113), we observed that one may eliminate the letter "L" from the nahuatl words whereby words then appear which are extremely similar in sound and meaning to ancient Egyptian. By eliminating the letter "L" in the metlatl word, we obtain the modified sounding word-concept met-at.

Now, in consulting E.A.W.Budge's, An Ancient Hieroglyphic Dictionary, we find that met [page 336a] means to strike, and at [97a] means corn, or grist. One can easily visualize the ancient Egyptian construction of met-at, and an almost exact meaning appears in relation to the nahuatl word metlatl [a grinding stone for corn].

Furthermore, the words in nahuatl are pronounced in Spanish, the predominant language in Mexico today, without the letter "L", whereby metlatl becomes metate. The contemporary Spanish rendition of metate resembles the ancient Egyptian version of a similarly meaning word construction (met at).

Fact: metlatl [ancient nahuatl]

Fact: met, at [linguistic correspondence of ancient Egyptian]

Fact: metate [contemporary Spanish rendition of ancient nahuatl word-concept]

These three very obvious facts of linguistic relationships among three languages suggest a development in direction whereby the letter "L" may be considered to be dropped as a natural development of linguistic construction. In other words, the common practice of dropping the letter "L" while going from a nahuatl word-concept to one in Spanish, could be reflective of say going from a nahuatl word-concept to one in ancient Egyptian as well. Met-at may have been a single ancient Egyptian word.

metlatl metate
mertlatl met-at

On the other hand, one could easily visualize the ancient Egyptian word-concepts as having served as the root word-concepts for the nahuatl word-concept:

met,at metlatl

In this particular case, one might consider the addition of the letter "L" as serving the function of some kind of conjunction joining the two ancient Egyptian word-concepts. While the final letter "L" may have served as an identifier of "a thing" as it is taught in nahuatl grammar textbooks. In other words, one could visualize a hesitant construction of searching for words, in pronouncing met -"l"- at -"l".

From the foregoing, in order to discern the possible direction of the development of the linguistic correspondence between these languages, one could use the known direction of nahuatl-to-Spanish in order to argue one direction, while one could visualize another direction of ancient Egyptian-to-nahuatl based on the addition of sounds.

A third alternative might exist in that both ancient Egyptian and ancient nahuatl came from yet another more ancient language, of which we have no knowledge. In other words, they both might come from some kind of proto-lingua, a kind of Kemi-Mesoamerican mother tongue, similar to the conceived Indo-European mother tongue.

In fact, when one considers the opposing characteristics of ancient Egyptian and ancient nahuatl, it would appear as though these languages had been created out of a single design. In other words, they did not come about simply out of everyday usage, with linguistic correspondence coming out of contact between these languages, but were each created in their origin in a very conscious manner. Nahuatl reflects a profuse employment of the letter "L" throughout its word-construction. Ancient Egyptian reveals the fact that it hardly has any words with the letter "L" in them. In other words, nahuatl reflects a design based on the extreme presence of the letter "L", while ancient Egyptian reveals a design based on an almost absolute absence of the letter "L". It is this very obvius and contradictory fact that has kept linguists from perceiving any possible relationship between the Meso-american languages and ancient Egyptian over the years.

Nonetheless, one may either remove the letter "L" from the ancient nahuatl word-cocnept in order to obtain the ancient Egyptian word-concept. Or, in an opposing manner, one may simply add the letter "L" to the ancient Egyptian word-concept in order to obtain the nahuatl word concept. Both directions are viable in word-construction. Let us continue with our example of the nahuatl word metlatl.

metlatl met,at
met,at metlatl [add the letter "L" to the ancient Egyptian words]

Now, consider another ancient Egyptian word, shut, [732b] and the nahuatl word, xolotl, which both mean "servant".

xolotl xo-ot [eliminate the letter "L" from the nahuatl word; "x" is pronounced as "sh", therefore, shoot or shut]
shut slultl similarly xolotl [add the letter "L" to the ancient Egyptian word)

One may visualize these two languages as having been created almost by conscious design, and not simply as a spontaneous practice, either as generative construction of adding the letter "L", or as a degenerative construction of dropping the letter "L". As we stated, while nahuatl reveals one or various letters of "L" in almost every word, ancient Egyptian has almost no words with the letter "L" in them. The maya system of languages lies between these two languages with a moderate use of the letter "L".

Some examples similarly conceived of the maya system of languages might be as follows:

mu-ti [294b] (the maya word means "alliance", and the ancient Egyptian word means
"two mother cultures", which had a similar meaning to the word "alliance")
mui- [293a] (muyal means "cloud" and mui means "water")
waybil uab-t [156a] (waybil means "resting place, sacred place in temples where gods and ancestors
resided; and, uab-t means "the chamber in a temple, in which the ceremonies symbolic
of the mummification of Osiris were performed")

For a more complete analysis of the maya words that are related to ancient Egyptian, not only those concerning the letter "L", one may consult our above-mentioned essay. For now, we have simply posited the idea that these languages may have originated from some kind of Kemi-Mesoamerican source language or mother tongue.


©1999-2005 Copyrighted by Charles William Johnson. All rights reserved.
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated:


Science in Ancient Artwork
Extract Nš44
A Kemi-Mesoamerican Language
14 March 1999
©1999-2003 Copyrighted by Charles William Johnson.
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

P.O. Box 231126 New Orleans,USA
LA 70183-1126;
Tel/Fax 504-733-9291

Home Books Forum Reviews