Kiowa language

Kiowa language

region= southwestern Oklahoma
speakers=1,000+ (2000 census)

Kiowa is a Kiowa-Tanoan language spoken by the Kiowa Tribe in southwestern Oklahoma in primarily Caddo, Kiowa, and Comanche counties. The Kiowa tribal center is located in Carnegie. Like most North American languages, Kiowa is an endangered language.


Laurel Watkins noted in 1984 based on Parker McKenzie's estimates that only about 400 people (mostly over the age of 50) could speak Kiowa and that only rarely were children learning language. A more recent figure from McKenzie is 300 adult speakers of "varying degrees of fluency" reported by Mithun (1999) out of a 12,242 Kiowa tribal membership (US Census 2000).


Genealogical relations


The 23 consonants of Kiowa:


Kiowa has phonemic "oral", "nasal", "short", and "long" vowels. Kiowa also has four diphthongs of the form "vowel" + IPA|/j/.


Kiowa orthography was developed by native speaker Parker McKenzie had worked with J. P. Harrington and later with other linguists. The development of the orthography is detailed in Meadows & McKenzie (2001). The tables below show each orthographic symbol used in the Kiowa writing system and its corresponding phonetic value (written IPA).


Mithun (1999:445) gives as an example "unicode|chē̂" "horse/two horses" (Class I) made plural with the addition of "-gau": "unicode|chē̂gau" "horses". On the other hand, the Class II noun "unicode|t" "bones/two bones" is made singular by suffixing "-gau": "unicode|tsègau" "bone."


Kiowa verbs consist of verb stems that can be preceded by prefixes, followed by suffixes, and incorporate other lexical stems into the verb complex. Kiowa verb have a complex active-stative pronominal system expressed via prefixes. These prefixes can be followed by incorporated nouns, verbs, or adverbs. Following the main verb stem are suffixes that indicate tense/aspect and mode. A final group of suffixes that pertain to clausal relations can follow the tense-aspect-modal suffixes. These syntactic suffixes include relativizers, subordinating conjunctions, and switch-reference indicators. A skeletal representation of the Kiowa verb structure can be represented as the following:





See also

* Kiowa
* Kiowa phonology
* Kiowa-Tanoan languages


* Adger, David; & Harbour, Daniel. (2005). The syntax and syncretisms of the person-case constraint. In K. Hiraiwa & J. Sabbagh (Eds.), "MIT working papers in linguistics" (No. 50).
* Campbell, Lyle. (1997). "American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America". New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
* Crowell, Edith. (1949). A preliminary report on Kiowa structure. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "15", 163-167.
* Hale, Kenneth. (1962). Jemez and Kiowa correspondences in reference to Kiowa-Tanoan. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "28", 1-5.
* Harbour, Daniel. (2003). The Kiowa case for feature insertion.
* Harrington, John P. (1928). "Vocabulary of the Kiowa language". Bureau of American Ethnology bulletin (No. 84). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
* Harrington, John P. (1947). Three Kiowa texts. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "12", 237-242.
* Hickerson, Nancy P. (1985). Some Kiowa terms for currency and financial transactions. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "51", 446-449.
* McKenzie, Parker; & Harrington, John P. (1948). "Popular account of the Kiowa Indian language". Santa Fe: University of New Mexico Press.
* Meadows, William C.; & McKenzie, Parker P. (2001). The Parker P. McKenzie Kiowa orthography: How written Kiowa came into being. "Plains Anthropologist", "46" (176), 233-248.
* Merrill, William; Hansson, Marian; Greene, Candace; & Reuss, Frederick. (1997). "A guide to the Kiowa collections at the Smithsonian Institution". Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology 40.
* Merrifield, William R. (1959). The Kiowa verb prefix. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "25", 168-176.
* Merrifield, William R. (1959). Classification of Kiowa nouns. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "25", 269-271.
* Miller, Wick R. (1959). A note on Kiowa linguistic affiliations. "American Anthropologist", "61", 102-105.
* Mithun, Marianne. (1999). "The languages of Native North America". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
* Palmer, Jr., Gus (Pánthâidè). (2004). "Telling stories the Kiowa way".
* Sivertsen, Eva. (1956). "Pitch problems in Kiowa." "International Journal of American Linguistics", "22", 117-30.
* Takahashi, Junichi. (1984). Case marking in Kiowa. CUNY. (Doctoral dissertation).
* Trager, George L.; & Trager, Edith. (1959). Kiowa and Tanoan. "American Anthropologist", "61", 1078-1083.
* Trager, Edith C. (1960). The Kiowa language: A grammatical study. University of Pennsylvania. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania).
* Trager-Johnson, Edith C. (1972). Kiowa and English pronouns: Contrastive morphosemantics. In L. M. Davis (Ed.), "Studies in linguistics, in honor of Raven I. McDavid". University of Alabama Press.
* Watkins, Laurel J. (1976). Position in grammar: Sit, stand, and lie. In "Kansas working papers in linguistics" (Vol. 1). Lawrence.
* Watkins, Laurel J. (1990). Noun phrase versus zero in Kiowa discourse. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "56", 410-426.
* Watkins, Laurel J. (1993). The discourse functions of Kiowa switch-reference. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "59", 137-164.
*Watkins, Laurel J.; & McKenzie, Parker. (1984). "A grammar of Kiowa". Studies in the anthropology of North American Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-4727-3.
* Wonderly, William; Gibson, Lornia; & Kirk, Paul. (1954). Number in Kiowa: Nouns, demonstratives, and adjectives. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "20", 1-7.

External links

* [ Kiowa] (from Andrew McKenzie's site)
* [ The Power of Kiowa Song: A Collaborative Ethnography]

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