|central North America|
|Linguistic classification:||One of the world's primary language families|
Distribution of Tanoan languages before European contact. The pueblo languages are at the left; the nomadic Kiowa at right.
Most of the languages – Tiwa (Taos, Picuris, Southern Tiwa), Tewa, and Towa – are spoken in the Pueblos of New Mexico (with one outlier in Arizona) and were the ones first given the collective name Tanoan, while Kiowa is spoken mostly in southwestern Oklahoma.
The Tanoan language family has seven languages in four branches:
Kiowa–Towa might form an intermediate branch, as might Tiwa–Tewa.
Tanoan has long been recognized as a major family of Pueblo languages, consisting of Tiwa, Tewa and Towa. The inclusion of Kiowa into the family was at first controversial; the once-nomadic Kiowa people of the Plains are culturally quite distinct from the Tiwa, Tewa, and Towa pueblos. However, it is now accepted that a Tanoan family without Kiowa would be paraphyletic, as any ancestor of the pueblo languages would be ancestral to Kiowa as well. Indeed, Kiowa may be closer to Towa than Towa is to Tiwa–Tewa. Thus technically Tanoan and Kiowa–Tanoan are synonyms. However, because of the cultural use of the name Tanoan, the more explicit term Kiowa–Tanoan is still commonly used for the language family.
The prehistory of the Kiowa people is little known, and the history behind the separation of the members of this language family into two groups ('Puebloan' and 'Plains') with radically distinct lifestyles is obscure. There is apparently no tradition of any ancient connection. The linguistic connection is the more mysterious as the earliest traditions and historical notices of the Kiowa record them as migrating, not from nearer to their linguistic 'brethren', but from much further to the north and west, to the territory now associated with the nation (more or less the modern states of Texas and Oklahoma), which they occupied from the late 18th century.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2008)|
Labial Apical Apical
Glottal Plosive voiced *b *d *dz (*ɡ) *ɡʷ plain *p *t *ts *k *kʷ glottalized *pʼ *tʼ *tsʼ *kʼ *kʷʼ *ʔ aspirated *pʰ *tʰ *tsʰ *kʰ *kʷʰ Nasal *m *n Fricative *s *h Glide *w
The evidence for *ɡ comes from prefixes; *ɡ has not been found in stem-initial position and thus is in parentheses above. Hale also reconstructs the nasalization feature for nasal vowels. Vowel quality and prosodic features like vowel length, tone, and stress have not yet been reconstructed for the Tanoan family. However, Hale (1967) does give certain sets of vowel quality correspondences.
The following table illustrates the reconstructed initial consonants in Proto-Tanoan and its reflexes in the daughter languages.
Initial consonants in proto-language and daughter languages Proto-Tanoan Tiwa Tewa Towa Kiowa Proto-Tanoan Tiwa Tewa Towa Kiowa consonant environment *h h h ∅  h *dz j j, dʒ z d *ʔ ʔ ʔ ʔ ∅ *d before oral vowel l d d *p p p p p before nasal vowel n n n *pʼ pʼ pʼ pʼ pʼ *n n *pʰ pʰ f ɸ pʰ *w w w w j *b m m m b *ɡʷ kʷ ɡ *m m (*ɡ) k ɡ k *t t t t t *k k k *ts tʃ  ts s *kʷ kʷ kʷ ɡ *tʰ tʰ θ ʃ tʰ *kʷʼ kʷʼ kʷʼ kʼ *tsʰ s s *kʼ kʼ kʼ kʼ *s ɬ c  s *kʰ x x h kʰ *tʼ tʼ tʼ tʼ tʼ *kʷʰ xʷ xʷ *tsʼ tʃʼ  tsʼ
Cognate sets demonstrating initial consonant correspondences Tiwa Tewa Towa Kiowa meaning(s) *b mɑ̃ mãʔ mĩ́ː bɔ "to bring" *m mæ̃̀n- mãn mãté mɔ̃ː-dɔ "hand" *d (+ V) līlū- diː délʔɨː – "fowl" *d (+ Ṽ) ˈnæ̃̄m- nãn nṍː dɔ̃-m "sand" (in Taos), "ground" (in Tewa, Kiowa), "space" (in Jemez) *n næ̃̄ nãː nĩ́ː nɔ̃ː first person singular *ts ˈtʃī tsíː sé ta "eye" *t tũ̀ tṹ tɨ̃́ tõ- "to say" *tsʰ sũ̀ sũwẽ sɨ̃́ tʰõ-m "to drink" *tʰ ˈtʰɤ̄ θáː ʃó tʰa- "to break" (in Taos, Tewa, Jemez), "to sever several" (in Kiowa) *ts’ ˈtʃʼɑ̄- – – tʼɔ-l "liver" *t’ tʼɑ́- tʼon tʼaː tʼɔː "antelope" *dz jɑ̄- – zǽː dɔ "song" (in Taos, Jemez), "to sing" (in Kiowa)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kiowa–Tanoan". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- The original Americanist phonetic symbols differ from the IPA: Amer. ⟨c⟩ = IPA ⟨ts⟩, Amer ⟨ʒ⟩ = IPA ⟨dz⟩.
- The null set symbol ∅ represents the lack of a consonant, i.e. the reconstructed proto-sound was deleted in the daughter language.
- Taos (and also Picuris) /tʃ/ varies between post-alveolar [tʃ] and alveolar [ts].
- This consonant is transcribed as a palatalized [tʸ] in Hale (1967) and palatalized [kʸ] in Hale (1962).
- Taos (and also Picuris) /tʃʼ/ varies between post-alveolar [tʃʼ] and alveolar [tsʼ].
- The data here is from Hale (1967), which in turn is gathered from G. Trager's publications (for Taos), Harrington's publications (for Kiowa), Dozier in personal communication to Hale (for Tewa), and Hale's own fieldwork on Jemez.
- Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
- Cordell, Linda A. (1979). Prehistory: Eastern Anasazi. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest (Vol. 9, pp. 131–151). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Davis, Irvine. (1959). Linguistic cues to northern Rio Grande prehistory. El Palacio, 66 (3), 73-84.
- Davis, Irvine. (1979). The Kiowa–Tanoan, Keresan, and Zuni languages. In L. Campbell & M. Mithun (Eds.), The languages of native America: Historical and comparative assessment (pp. 390–443). Austin: University of North Texas.
- Dozier, Edward P. (1954). The Hopi-Tewa of Arizona. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, 44 (3), 259-376.
- Eggan, Fred. (1979). Pueblos: Introduction. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest (Vol. 9, pp. 224–235). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Ellis, Florence Hawley. (1967). Where did the Pueblo people come from? El Palacio, 74 (3), 35-43.
- Ford, Richard I.; Schroeder, Albert H.; & Peckham, Stewart L. (1972). Three perspectives on Puebloan prehistory. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), New perspectives on the Pueblos (pp. 19–39). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
- Foster, Michael K. (1999). Language and the culture history of North America. In I. Goddard (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Languages (Vol. 17, pp. 64–110). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Hale, Kenneth L. (1962). Jemez and Kiowa correspondences in reference to Kiowa–Tanoan. International Journal of American Linguistics, 28 (1), 1-5.
- Hale, Kenneth L. (1967). Toward a reconstruction of Kiowa–Tanoan phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics, 33 (2), 112-120.
- Hale, Kenneth L. (1979). Historical linguistics and archeology. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest (Vol. 9, pp. 170–177). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Harrington, J. P. (1910). On phonetic and lexic resemblances in Kiowan and Tanoan. American Anthropologist, 12 (1), 119-123.
- Harrington, J. P. (1928). Vocabulary of the Kiowa language. Bureau of American Ethnology bulletin (No. 84). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
- Hill, Jane H. (2002). Toward a linguistic prehistory of the Southwest: "Azteco-Tanoan" and the arrival of maize cultivation. Journal of Anthropological Research, 58 (4), 457-476.
- Hill, Jane H. (2008). Northern Uto-Aztecan and Kiowa–Tanoan: Evidence of contact between the proto-Languages? International Journal of American Linguistics, 74 (2), 155–188.
- Kinkade, M. Dale; & Powell, J. V. (1976). Language and prehistory of North America. World Archaeology, 8 (1), 83-100.
- Leap, William L. (1971). Who were the Piro? Anthropological Linguistics, 13 (7), 321-330.
- Miller, Wick R. (1959). A note on Kiowa linguistic affiliations. American Anthropologist, 61 (1), 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.
- Mooney, James. (1898). Calendar history of the Kiowa Indians. In 17th annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology for 1895-1896 (Part 1, pp. 129–445). Washington, D.C.
- Mooney, James. (1907). Kiowa. In F. W. Hodge (Ed.), Handbook of American Indians (Part 1, pp. 669–701). Bureau of American Ethnology bulletin (No. 30). Washington, D.C.
- Newman, Stanley S. (1954). American Indian linguistics in the Southwest. American Anthropologist, 56 (4), 626-634.
- Nichols, Lynn. (1994). Subordination and ablaut in Kiowa–Tanoan. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 13, 85-99.
- Nichols, Lynn. (1996). Toward a reconstruction of Kiowa–Tanoan ablaut. In Proceedings of the 22nd annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.
- Plog, Fred. (1979). Prehistory: Western Anasazi. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest (Vol. 9, pp. 108–130). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Reed, Erik K. (1949). Sources of upper Rio Grande Pueblo culture and population. El Palacio, 56 (6), 163-184.
- Snow, Dean R. (1976). The archaeology of North America. New York: The Viking Press.
- Trager, George L. (1942). The historical phonology of the Tiwa languages. Studies in Linguistics, 1 (5), 1-10.
- Trager, George L. (1951). Linguistic history and ethnologic history in the Southwest. Journal of the Washington Academy of Science, 41, 341-343.
- Trager, George L. (1967). The Tanoan settlement of the Rio Grande area: A possible chronology. In D. H. Hymes & W. E. Bittle (Eds.), Studies in southwestern ethnolinguistics: Meaning and history in the languages of the American Southwest (pp. 335–350). The Hague: Mouton.
- Trager, George L. (1969). Taos and Picuris: How long separated. International Journal of American Linguistics, 35 (2), 180-182.
- Trager, George L.; & Trager, Edith Crowell. (1959). Kiowa and Tanoan. American Anthropologist, 61 (6), 1078-1083.
- Wendorf, Fred. (1954). A reconstruction of northern Rio Grande prehistory. American Anthropologist, 56 (2), 200-227.
- Wendorf, Fred; & Reed, Erik K. (1955). An alternative reconstruction of northern Rio Grande prehistory. El Palacio, 62 (5/6), 131-173.