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On 7 September 2017 at 11:53, Shreyas Sampat <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_from_indigenous_languages_of_the_Americas#Words_from_Nahuatl
>
> is one list.
>
> However, not every example here is equally useful for discussion because
> many of them are secondary borrowings from Spanish (achiote, avocado, etc)
> and Nahuatl /tɬ <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/Nahuatl>/s were
> reshaped in various ways at the initial borrowing into Sp.
>
> <atlatl> is maybe the most interesting one from that list but it's a pretty
> restricted use word and most times I've heard it in English it sounds like
> it syllabifies /at.la.tl=/ which clearly breaks up the tɬ
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/Nahuatl> sequences.
>
> other examples I dug up from a search on OneLook (also pretty restricted in
> use) include the proper nouns Tlingit and Tlaloc, some Nahuatl placenames
> in Mexico, and a bunchload of other proper nouns from all over the world.
> I've seen people trip over Tlingit and Tlaloc often enough to believe that
> English speakers are resistant to that sequence in initial position for
> phonological reasons and not simply because of a historically motivated but
> otherwise accidental gap in the lexicon.

In particular, the standard pronunciation of "Tlingit" up in Alaska
seems to be "klinkit", which supports the previously-explained theory
that "tl" and "kl" clusters are easily confused.

-l.