Kiowa Language

The Kiowa language has been spoken throughout the southern Plains of Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and North Texas since at least 1700. Kiowa is a member of the Kiowa-Tanoan language family. Related languages include the Southwest languages Tiwa, Tewa and Towa (Jemez). The relationship between Kiowa and the Tanoan languages was recognized in 1891 but was not definitively proven until Hale’s reconstruction in 1967. A deeper relationship has been hypothesized between the Tanoan languages and the Uto-Aztecan languages, but this theory is still under investigation.

Selected Language Information

Crowell, Edith. 1949. A Preliminary Report on Kiowa Structure. International Journal of American Linguistics Vol. 15:3. 163-167.

Harbour, Daniel. 2003. The Kiowa Case for Feature Insertion. Natural Language and Linguistic TheoryVol. 21. 543- 578.

Harrington, John P. 1928. Vocabulary of the Kiowa Language. Bureau of American Ethnology BulletinNo. 84. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Print Office.

McKenzie, Parker; & Harrington, John P. 1948. Popular Account of the Kiowa Indian Language. Santa Fe: University of New Mexico Press.

Palmer, Jr., Gus (Pánthâidè). 2004. Telling Stories the Kiowa Way. Tucson: University of Arizona.

Trager, Edith C. 1960. The Kiowa Language: A Grammatical Study. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.

Watkins, Laurel J. and Parker McKenzie. 1984. A Grammar of Kiowa. Lincoln: University of Nebraska.

Watkins, Laurel and Daniel Harbour. 2010. The Linguistic Genius of Parker McKenzie’s Kiowa Alphabet. International Journal of American Linguistics Vol. 76:3. 309-331.

Sample Archival Materials in the Native American Languages Collection


Kiowa Kids

Catalogue of Endangered Languages