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Unread 04-22-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Default Historical pronunciation of Tejas/Texas

The area now Texas was originally, in Spanish, Tejas. When English-speaking settlers first arrived, how did they pronounce that? When was the spelling shift from J to X made? Why was it respelled with an X? Does anyone have any historical background on this?

(NOTE: This thread is NOT for the debate over how it should be pronounced today. It is a historical question about the change in the name, both in spelling and pronunciation.)
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Unread 04-22-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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Tejas was from an Indian word, not Spanish. I think there is another thread on when it changed pronounciations though. I'm not sure of the history of the change myself.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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As far as I understand j and x are pronounced the same way in Spanish, so in that case it is just a matter of spelling convention. Thus, I would think that the Anglo-American settlers always pronounced it "Teksas" with the x enunicated in the usual English way.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Also:

Quote:
Texians is an 1800's term used to define a settler of northern Mexico, in an area known as "Texas". The name is generally used for new immigrants from the United States and countries other than Mexico who became residents in the Tejas and Coahuila areas of Mexico, much of which later would be called Texas. Following a war for independence, several unofficial terms were used in the 19th century to denote residents of Texas, including Texasian, Texican, and Texonian.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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My understanding is that Anglo settlers were called - or called themselves - Texians, whilst the Hispanic natives were known as Tejanos ( with the j pronounced in the usual Spanish way, as in the name Jose -- same as the X is pronounced in Spanish).
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Unread 04-22-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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I always assumed the "x" came from the French. On several mid 1700 French maps, they spell it T e x a s.
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Unread 04-23-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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The best source of "authentic" information on all things to do with Texas is:

THE HANDBOOK OF TEXAS (online)

from which I excerpt the following:

Quote:
TEXAS, ORIGIN OF NAME. The word texas (tejas, tayshas, texias, thecas?, techan, teysas, techas?) had wide usage among the Indians of East Texas even before the coming of the Spanish, whose various transcriptions and interpretations gave rise to many theories about the meaning.

....Whatever the Spanish denotations of the name Texas, the state motto, "Friendship," carries the original meaning of the word as used by the Hasinai and their allied tribes, and the name of the state apparently was derived from the same source.
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Unread 04-23-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Mexico is pronounced in Spanish the same way as it would be if spelled "Mejico". Same as the alternative Spanish spellings, "Xavier" and "Javier", which are pronounced the same way. Hence, Texas and Tejas are both legitimate, phonetically equivalent spellings in Spanish.
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