Difrasismo is a term derived from Spanish that is used in the study of certain Mesoamerican languages, to describe a particular grammatical construction in which two separate words are paired together to form a single metaphoric unit. This semantic and stylistic device was commonly employed throughout Mesoamerica, and features notably in historical works of Mesoamerican literature, in languages such as Classical Nahuatl and Classic Maya.
The term was first introduced by Ángel María Garibay K.
For example, in Nahuatl the expression cuitlapilli ahtlapalli or in cuitlapilli in ahtlapalli, literally 'the tail, the wing', is used in a metaphoric sense to mean 'the people' or 'the common folk'. The Aztecs' term in xochitl in cuicatl ['flower and song'] could refer to any artistic endeavor in general and the effect of the divine force teotl. The pair in tonan, in tota ['our mother, our father'] (which in classical Nahuatl is the only gender-neutral way to refer to a "parent") is often part of an invocation to a high god. The atl-tlachinolli ['water, burnt-earth'] or atlachinolli pairs the elemental opposites of water and fire (each a force for both life and destruction) into a single symbol of war.
- ^ Hull (2003, p.137).
- ^ See Hull (2003, p.137); Montes de Oca Vega (1997, p.31).
- ^ Maffie n.d., sec 2d,4d
- ^ Bassett 2015, pp. 97–99
- ^ Mursell, Ian (n.d.). "The Aztec symbol for war". Mexicolore. Retrieved 2022-08-09.
- Andrews, J. Richard (2003). Introduction to Classical Nahuatl (revised ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 552–556. ISBN 0-8061-3452-6. OCLC 50090230.
- Bassett, Molly H. (2015). Aztec Gods and God-Bodies. The Fate of Earthly Things. University of Texas Press. doi:10.7560/760882. ISBN 9780292760882.
- Bright, William (September 1990). "With one lip, with two lips: Parallelism in Nahuatl". Language. Washington DC: Linguistic Society of America. 66 (3): 437–452. doi:10.2307/414607. JSTOR 414607. OCLC 93070246.
- Hull, Kerry (2003). Verbal Art and Performance in Ch'orti' and Maya Hieroglyphic Writing (PhD). Austin: University of Texas. hdl:2152/1240. OCLC 56123278.
- Maffie, James (n.d.). "Aztec Philosophy". The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ISSN 2161-0002. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Montes de Oca Vega, Mercedes (1997). "Los disfrasismos en el náhuatl, un problema de traducción o de conceptualización". Amérindia: Revue d'Ethnolinguistique Amerindienne (in Spanish). Paris: Société d'Études Linguistiques et Anthropologiques de France. 22: 31–44. ISSN 0221-8852. OCLC 4199210. Archived from the original on 2007-05-28.