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Linguistics Kiowa-Tanoan Languages
by
Daniel Harbour

Introduction

The Kiowa-Tanoan family consists of Kiowa and the Tanoan languages Tewa, Tiwa, and Towa (Jemez), many of which have dialects named after the pueblos in which they are spoken (e.g., Isleta, Picurís, Sandia, Santa Clara, San Juan, Taos). The family presents a number of grammatical phenomena that have fascinated historical, descriptive, typological, and theoretical linguists. The aim of this bibliography is to provide an overview of these strands of research and key topics within them. Research of primarily ethnolinguistic and anthropological linguistic interest has been omitted except where it enlightens other topics.

History

Despite the geographic and cultural distance between the Kiowas and members of the Tanoan branch of the family, a genetic relationship between Kiowa and Tanoan was postulated at least as early as 1910 (by John P. Harrington). The principal demonstration of the relationship is offered in Hale 1962 and Hale 1967. Hill 2008 argues against grouping Kiowa-Tanoan with Uto-Aztecan. Some comparative works with diachronic perspective are Watkins 1996, Kroskrity 1984, and Sutton 2010 (nonhistorical comparative works are discussed at various points in the article).

  • Hale, Kenneth. 1962. Jemez and Kiowa correspondences in reference to Kiowa-Tanoan. International Journal of American Linguistics 28:1–8.

    DOI: 10.1086/464664Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    One of two key works establishing the relationship between Kiowa and the Tanoan languages.

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  • Hale, Kenneth. 1967. Toward a reconstruction of Kiowa-Tanoan phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics 33:112–120.

    DOI: 10.1086/464948Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The second of Hale’s two key works establishing the relationship between Kiowa and the Tanoan languages.

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  • Hill, Jane H. 2008. Northern Uto-Aztecan and Kiowa-Tanoan: Evidence of contact between the proto-languages? International Journal of American Linguistics 74:155–188.

    DOI: 10.1086/587703Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues against the long-standing hypothesis relating Kiowa-Tanoan and Northern Uto-Aztecan. Suggests borrowing between the protolanguages.

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  • Kroskrity, Paul V. 1984. Negation and subordination in Arizona Tewa: Discourse pragmatics influencing syntax. International Journal of American Linguistics 50:94–104.

    DOI: 10.1086/465817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    On negation and subordination in Tewa and Tiwa with some historical discussion.

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  • Sutton, Logan. 2010. Noun class and number in Kiowa-Tanoan: Comparative-historical research and respecting speakers’ rights in fieldwork. In Fieldwork and linguistic analysis in indigenous languages of the Americas. Edited by Andrea L. Berez, Jean Mulder, and Daisy Rosenblum, 57–89. Manoa: Univ. of Hawaii Press.

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    On noun class and number in Kiowa-Tanoan with some historical hypotheses.

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  • Watkins, Laurel J. 1996. Reconstructing person and voice in Kiowa-Tanoan: Pit-falls and progress. In Special session on historical issues in Native American languages. Edited by David Librik and Roxane Beeler, 139–152. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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    Some historical decomposition of the complex Kiowa-Tanoan agreement prefix as well as discussion of “passives.”

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Description and Documentation

Description and documentation of members of the Kiowa-Tanoan family differ in format (articles, books, chapters), focus (general grammar, specific grammatical properties, general lexis, topic-specific lexis, texts), and of course quality. This section lists the best works in each domain (though the quality of these “best” works varies). Naturally, many theoretical works contain significant amounts of descriptive material too, and these are discussed in other sections.

Grammatical Description

In terms of general grammars, prime mention must be given to Watkins 1984: although comparatively slim, it is rich in information, excellently written, and accurate in almost every detail. Even if Kiowa is, in some measure (especially as concerns passives and incorporation), the grammatical outlier of the family, a serious student of any member of the family would be well advised to use Watkins’s work to gain a general understanding of the key aspects of Kiowa-Tanoan grammar. Besides descriptive grammars, a number of more focused works, generally articles and chapters, describe specific aspects of the grammar of Kiowa-Tanoan languages. See Textual Documentation for discussion of the texts that the grammars in this section contain.

Kiowa

There are no significant dialect divisions within the literature on Kiowa. Featured works include Watkins 1990 and Watkins 1993, which usefully combine grammatical description with textual analysis. Four articles pertaining to Kiowa grammar also deserve particular mention: Wonderly, et al. 1954; Sivertsen 1956; Merrifield 1959a; Merrifield 1959b. Although superseded by Watkins 1984 (and for noun classes by Harbour 2007, cited in Inverse, Noun Class, Number), they are works of major import and truly artful detail and concision—none more so than William R. Merrifield’s papers.

Tewa

Tewa covers several dialects, including Arizona Tewa, Hopi Tewa, Rio Grande Tewa, San Juan, and Santa Clara. Particular attention might be drawn to Hoijer and Dozier 1949 and Dozier 1953, as Edward P. Dozier was a native speaker of Santa Clara Tewa.

Tiwa

Tiwa is divided into Northern and Southern and includes Isletan, Picurís (also Picuris), Sandia, and Taos. Important works include Gardiner 1977, Harrington 1916, Trager 1971, Zaharlick 1977, and Zaharlick 1982. Laylin 1988 (cited in Tiwa) provides a discussion of Harrington 1920 and suggests it would reward anyone fleet enough to catch this elusive source. The Tiwan languages are described by George L. Trager and his students as having stress in addition to tone; two examples of this Trager 1946 and Leap 1970, which describe the languages of Taos and Isleta, respectively.

Towa (Jemez)

There are no dialect divisions in the literature on Jemez. The two chief works are Sprott 1992 and Yumitani 1998.

Lexical Documentation

Several descriptive works are devoted to lexis. A good number of others focus on kinship and related terminology and several on borrowings, but these more ethnological and anthropological linguistic topics have been omitted from this bibliography. Specialized domains of Kiowa lexis (including personal names, tribal names, place names, animals, and plants) were extensively documented by the native speaker and linguist Parker McKenzie, whose papers, housed at the Oklahoma Historical Society, await thorough attention. William Meadows (e.g., Meadows 2008) presents some of these data, but the field would benefit from more careful delineation of what, precisely, is McKenzie’s versus Meadows’s. Discussion of Tiwa is in Trager 1968. Other important works on this topic include Harrington 1920; Harrington 1916; Harrington 1928; Henderson and Harrington 1916; and Robbins, et al. 1916.

  • Harrington, Carobeth Tucker. 1920. Isleta language: Texts and analytical vocabulary. Washington, DC: Bureau of American Ethnology.

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    Based on the fieldwork of John P. Harrington. Difficult to obtain. Discussed in Laylin 1988 (cited in Tiwa).

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  • Harrington, John P. 1916. The ethnogeography of the Tewa Indians. In Twenty-ninth annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1907–1908. Edited by William Henry Holmes, 29–636. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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    A wrist-spraining tome with much vocabulary interspersed. No tone marking.

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  • Harrington, John P. 1928. Vocabulary of the Kiowa language. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 84. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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    Formidable lexicographic study with much morphological information. Drawbacks include lack of distinctions for length in mid vowels and that tone is mostly unmarked and when marked sometimes inaccurate.

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  • Henderson, Junius, and John P. Harrington. 1916. Ethnozoology of the Tewa Indians. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 56. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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    Slim volume with good sprinkling of vocabulary.

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  • Meadows, William. 2008. Kiowa ethnogeography. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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    Apparently makes use of McKenzie’s unpublished data with regrettably unclear acknowledgment.

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  • Robbins, Wilfred W., John P. Harrington, and Barbara Freire-Marreco. 1916. Ethnobotany of the Tewa Indians. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 55. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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    Slim volume with good sprinkling of vocabulary.

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  • Trager, Felicia Harben. 1968. Picurís Pueblo, New Mexico: An ethnolinguistic “salvage” study. PhD diss., State Univ. of New York, Buffalo.

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    A fair amount of ethnolinguistically interesting vocabulary plus some basic grammar, mostly subsumed by Zaharlick 1977 (cited in Tiwa).

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Textual Documentation

Texts are of use to linguists in all manner of ways, from the theoretician or typologist seeking to pass beyond the bounds of published grammatical description to the student of an individual language who wishes to see a snapshot of unreflective use of a wonderfully intricate grammatical system. The subsections are divided by language.

Kiowa

Unless otherwise stated, the texts and excerpts referred to in this subsection are midlength with glossing, translation, and sometimes notes. Texts for their own sake are in Harbour 2007, Harrington 1946, and Watkins 1984. Palmer 2003, Watkins 1984, Watkins 1990, and Watkins 1993 illustrate properties of, respectively, narrative structure, noun phrases versus their absence, and switch-reference markers.

Tewa

Texts for their own sake are in Harrington 1946, Kroskrity and Healing 1978, and Kroskrity and Healing 1980. Kroskrity 1992 illustrates a specific narrative genre and its norms.

Tiwa

Texts for their own sake are in Harrington and Roberts 1928, Laylin 1988, Leap 1970, and Zaharlick 1977. Laylin 1988 presents texts in relation to agreement, passive, and noun marking and provides data from the snarkishly elusive Harrington 1920.

Towa (Jemez)

Texts for their own sake are in Sprott 1992 and Yumitani 1998.

Theoretical Analysis

The Kiowa-Tanoan family has fed and led a surprisingly large number of debates in theoretical linguistics. Naturally, the division between theory and description is not absolute, with a number of theoretical articles reporting much novel data. No attempt has been made to quantify the level of data introduced by each work in the subsections here, however.

Tone and Phonology

Very little theoretical work appears to have been published on Kiowa-Tanoan phonology. Halle 2005 constitutes a rare exception, but the discussion is brief. The topics of tone and prosody lie almost untouched in almost all languages of the family. Sivertsen 1956 presents a rare, partly instrumental study of Kiowa tone, and Daniel Harbour has presented but not published work on Kiowa tone. As many descriptions eschew tone, tempting some researchers to assert without adequate evidence homophony between agreement prefixes, one must emphasize that Southern Tiwa and Picurís—like Kiowa, Tewa, and Jemez (Towa), languages for which there has been less of a tendency to omit tone from transcriptions—both have contrastive tone (Allen, et al. 1990; Zaharlick 1981). The Tiwan languages are described by George L. Trager and his students as having stress in addition to tone (e.g., Trager 1946 and Leap 1970, both cited in Tiwa; Trager 1968, cited in Lexical Documentation; and Zaharlick 1981).

Inverse, Noun Class, Number

One of the most typologically remarkable features of the Kiowa-Tanoan family is its system of number marking. In loose terms, one suffix, the inverse, “pluralizes” some nouns and “singularizes” others; additionally, in Jemez it “dualizes” some nouns, whereas for some Kiowa nouns it “dedualizes.” For instance, in Kiowa tógúí, “young man,” is singular/dual and tógúúdáu (tógúl-dau) plural; áá, “stick,” is dual/plural and áádau singular; and k!âun, “tomato,” is dual and k!âudau (k!âun-dau) is singular/plural. Three major questions arise from such systems. Most obvious is the semantics of the inverse: what is the meaning of a suffix that moves dual/plural to singular, singular/dual to plural, and dual to singular/plural in Kiowa or makes dual/plural from singular, singular/dual from plural, and dual from singular/plural in Jemez? It has further been observed that, within each Kiowa-Tanoan language, animates tend to be classmate—that is, to show the same patterns of marking—as do various types of inanimates (collectivity being a salient feature in both Kiowa and Jemez). This raises the question of what the connection is between a class pattern of inverse marking and the semantic characteristics of the nouns it subsumes. Further, there is more to class than nominal marking: verbal agreement reveals a more fine-grained system of classification. Thus one must also ask what, if any, connection there is between a class pattern of agreement and the semantic characteristics of the nouns it subsumes. Despite this wealth of questions and despite the inverse’s popularity of mention among typologists and the typologically inclined, thorough descriptions and actual theoretical treatments are rare (the latter being limited to Noyer 1997 and Harbour 2007. Other important resources include Speirs 1972, Speirs 1974, Sprott 1992, Trager 1946, Watkins 1984, and Yumitani 1998.

  • Harbour, Daniel. 2007. Morphosemantic number: From Kiowa noun classes to UG number features. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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    Argues that “inverse” is the pronunciation of mismatching features (e.g., [+singular –singular]) that arise from copying number features from class and number heads. Evidence is adduced from morphology (difficult syncretic/allomorphic relationships of person/number) and semantics (the nexus between noun classes’ patterns of agreement and their members’ semantic traits).

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  • Noyer, Rolf. 1997. Features, positions, and affixes in autonomous morphological structure. New York: Garland.

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    Publication of Noyer’s 1992 Massachusetts Institute of Technology dissertation. Deep if dense discussion of the inverse in Kiowa, Jemez, and Tewa in the context of a typologically adequate theory of number features. First to express the key insight into Kiowa-Tanoan class and the inverse: class features are actually number features, and inverse arises when noun class number features clash with semantic number.

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  • Speirs, Anna. 1974. Classificatory verb stems in Tewa. Studies in Linguistics 24:45–74.

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    Methodologically innovative discussion of noun classes and their semantic coherence using number-sensitive suppletive verbs of position.

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  • Speirs, Randall H. 1972. Number in Tewa. In Studies in linguistics in honor of George L. Trager. Edited by M. Estellie Smith, 479–486. The Hague: Mouton.

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    Good and nicely tabulated discussion of number in Rio Grande Tewa. Comparisons with Kiowa and Taos.

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  • Sprott, Robert W. 1992. Jemez syntax. PhD diss., Univ. of Chicago.

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    Good but not richly exemplified discussion of noun class. Excellent discussion of collective versus noncollective plurality. Several points of difference from Yumitani 1998.

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  • Trager, George L. 1946. An outline of Taos grammar. Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology 6:184–221.

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    Lists a good number of nouns and pays close attention to allomorphs of the inverse and basic number suffixes. No semantic discussion.

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  • Watkins, Laurel J., with Parker McKenzie. 1984. A grammar of Kiowa. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press.

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    Thorough discussion of noun class with close attention paid to number-sensitive verb suppletion and to the semantic distinction between collective and noncollective plurality.

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  • Yumitani, Yukihiro. 1998. A phonology and morphology of Jemez Towa. PhD diss., Univ. of Kansas.

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    Good but not richly exemplified discussion of noun class, possibly resulting from (laudably but perhaps frustratingly) conservative criteria concerning elicited forms. Discussion of several points of difference from Sprott 1992.

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Argument Structure, Incorporation, Passive, Person

The other area of Kiowa-Tanoan grammar that has attracted much attention is the nexus between person restrictions in argument combinations, passives, and incorporation, especially when these last two are obligatory versus optional versus impossible. In contrast to number and noun class, much of this attention has been theoretical. Readers should be aware that the “inverse” referred to in this section is not the nominal number-marking inverse in Inverse, Noun Class, Number but the departure from standard transitive morphology when a lower argument of the verb is a highly ranked animate. The initial impetus in this research was a series of papers on Southern Tiwa (see Southern Tiwa). However, the debate has since expanded to other Kiowa-Tanoan languages and linked up with analysis of other families (Broader Empirical Perspective) and fed into other theoretical concerns (Broader Theoretical Perspective).

Southern Tiwa

The initial impetus in this research was a series of papers culminating in Allen, et al. 1990. This and Rosen 1990 should certainly be the starting point for those interested in this nest of topics. Other core works include Allen and Frantz 1983; Allen, et al. 1981; and Frantz 1985. Various superseded works have been omitted from this section. Others that highlight beautiful subtleties of the data or novel methodology have been included in the hope that they will receive just attention. These works include Frantz 1990, Frantz 1995, Frantz 2009, and Laylin 1988.

  • Allen, Barbara, and Donald Frantz. 1983. An impersonal passive in Southern Tiwa. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session 27:1–9.

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    A brief but deeply fascinating look at concurrence of passive with incorporation in complements to a certain class of predicates (only “be difficult” is given) when the complements lack an overt subject.

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  • Allen, Barbara, Donald Frantz, and Donna Gardiner. 1981. Phantom arcs in Southern Tiwa. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session 25:1–10.

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    Certain Southern Tiwa verbs apparently agree for objects that they never have (e.g., the plural object in “I help you” = 1sgA+2sgD+3plO). An argument is made that the object is syntactically real rather than the object agreement being the result of an ad hoc lexical diacritic.

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  • Allen, Barbara J., Donald G. Frantz, Donna B. Gardiner, and David M. Perlmutter. 1990. Verb agreement, possessor ascension, and multistratal representation in Southern Tiwa. In Studies in relational grammar 3. Edited by Paul M. Postal and Brian D. Joseph, 321–384. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    One of the best unravellings of the empirical tangle of person restrictions, passives, and incorporation and, along with Rosen 1990, the clear entry point for this literature.

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  • Frantz, Donald. 1985. Syntactic constraints on noun incorporation in Southern Tiwa. In Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Edited by Mary Niepokuj, Mary VanClay, Vassiliki Nikiforidou, and Deborah Feder, 107–116. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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    A relational grammar analysis of incorporation (of N and of (N+)V in “want”/“make” constructions) arguing that the relevant constraints must refer to initial and final strata, not to semantic or argument-structural roles. Brief comparison to a compounding-based approach and to generalized phrase structure grammar (GPSG).

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  • Frantz, Donald. 1990. Null heads and noun incorporation in Southern Tiwa. In Papers from the special session on general topics in American Indian linguistics. Edited by David J. Costa, 32–38. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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    An argument that Southern Tiwa does not wholly fall within S. Rosen’s compound/classifier dichotomization of noun incorporation but constitutes a third variety of the phenomenon.

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  • Frantz, Donald. 1995. Southern Tiwa argument structure. In Grammatical relations: Theoretical approaches to empirical questions. Edited by Clifford S. Burgess, Katarzyna Dziwirek, and Donna Gerdts, 73–95. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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    A very useful, concise discussion of Southern Tiwa post–Rosen 1990. Introduces some new facts and makes some valuable observations on conflicting data (from different speakers and sources).

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  • Frantz, Donald. 2009. Constraints on verb stacking in Southern Tiwa. In Hypothesis A/hypothesis B: Linguistic explorations in honor of David M. Perlmutter. Edited by Donna Gerdts, John Moore, and Maria Polisky, 173–181. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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    Analyzes verb-plus-object incorporation in terms of a strengthened version of the morphological visibility condition (MVC) of Mark C. Baker (the applicability of which to Kiowa is questioned in Adger, et al. 2009, cited in Broader Theoretical Perspective).

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  • Laylin, Laura. 1988. The prefix in Isleta Tiwa: A functional approach. PhD diss., American Univ.

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    An examination with textual analysis of agreement and passives. Very careful comparison of data between Allen, et al. 1981 and Carobeth Tucker Harrington.

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  • Rosen, Carol. 1990. Rethinking Southern Tiwa: The geometry of a triple agreement language. Language 66:669–713.

    DOI: 10.2307/414726Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A clear laying out and an elegant account of the empirical tangle of person restrictions, passives, and incorporation. Uses hierarchies of arguments and rules of association with syntax. Along with Allen, et al. 1990, the clear entry point for this literature.

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Broader Empirical Perspective

This section includes some works offering a broader typological perspective (Klaiman 1991, Klaiman 1992, and Zúñiga 2006) as well as those extending or evaluating claims about Southern Tiwa (see Southern Tiwa) in light of other Kiowa-Tanoan languages (Kroskrity 1985, Kroskrity 2010, Watkins 1996, Zaharlick 1982). The Laylin 1988 (cited in Southern Tiwa) discussion of Harrington 1920a and Harrington 1920b suggests that these rare sources would be well worth locating.

  • Harrington, Carobeth Tucker. 1920a. Isleta language: Texts and analytical vocabulary. Washington, DC: Bureau of American Ethnology.

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    The source of much data in Laylin 1988 (cited in Southern Tiwa). Based on the fieldwork of John P. Harrington and difficult to obtain.

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  • Harrington, Carobeth Tucker. 1920b. The Isleta pronoun. Washington, DC: Bureau of American Ethnology.

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    The source of much data in Laylin 1988 (cited in Southern Tiwa). Based on the fieldwork of John P. Harrington and difficult to obtain.

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  • Klaiman, M. H. 1991. Grammatical voice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    A typological survey of voice-based inverse systems. Insightful discussion, but identification of inverse voice in Tewa represents an understandable misinterpretation, stemming from the Kroskrity 1985 presentation of only a subpart of the agreement paradigm.

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  • Klaiman, M. H. 1992. Inverse languages. Lingua 88:227–261.

    DOI: 10.1016/0024-3841(92)90043-ISave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A briefer version of Klaiman 1991.

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  • Kroskrity, Paul V. 1985. A holistic understanding of Arizona Tewa passives. Language 61:306–328.

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    A useful examination of Tewa in light of the work on Southern Tiwa arguing for two varieties of passive. Interesting discussion of animate-inanimate contrasts. Perhaps not holistic, however, as probably crucial facts about indirect object agreement are absent, as they are from the earlier version, a 1977 dissertation chapter, and from the 2010 revisiting (Kroskrity 2010). Also the discussion of Kiowa is perhaps a little shoehorned.

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  • Kroskrity, Paul V. 2010. The art of voice: Understanding the Arizona Tewa inverse in its grammatical, narrative, and language-ideological contexts. Anthropological Linguistics 52:49–79.

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    A revisiting of material addressed in Kroskrity 1985. Richer exemplication and useful textual analysis (plus much of theoretical concern to anthropologists) but full description of indirect objects still absent, and essentials remain unaltered.

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  • Watkins, Laurel J. 1996. Reconstructing person and voice in Kiowa-Tanoan: Pit-falls and progress. In Special session on historical issues in Native American languages. Edited by David Librik and Roxane Beeler, 139–152. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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    Argues, inter alia, against viewing “passives” as passives on the basis of textual occurrence. Presents useful comparative and historical data relating to Tanoan as well as Kiowa.

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  • Zaharlick, Ann Marie. 1982. Tanoan studies: Passive sentences in Picuris. Ohio State University Working Papers in Linguistics 26:34–48.

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    Clear and thorough exemplification of the relationship in Picurís between person, passive, and incorporation in light of work on Southern Tiwa.

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  • Zúñiga, Fernando. 2006. Deixis and alignment: Inverse systems in indigenous languages of the Americas. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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    Good marshaling of the data and useful comparison with other systems but with at least one mispronouncement concerning the facts (relating to Kiowa agreement). Not a substitute for the original sources.

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Broader Theoretical Perspective

Foremost within research that embeds the data in other parts of this section in wider theoretical debates are the compendious works of Mark C. Baker on incorporation (Baker 1988) and polysynthesis (Baker 1996), which provide very thought-provoking analyses of, especially, Southern Tiwa (see Southern Tiwa). For useful reaction, see also Frantz 1998 and Adger, et al. 2009. Adger and Harbour 2007 is unusual in directly addressing the composition of the agreement prefix and, though its focus is different from the Allen, et al. 1990 (cited in Southern Tiwa) program, there is clear convergence with that line of inquiry, a point brought out with particular clarity in Heck and Richards 2010.

Other Morphology

Besides the work discussed in Inverse, Noun Class, Number, work on Kiowa-Tanoan morphology falls into two major and one minor categories: composition of the agreement prefix, agreement and suppletion, and the issue of homophone or lexical integrity (see Composition of the Agreement Prefix, Agreement and Suppletion, and Lexical Integrity). Of these, only the second has been addressed in several members of the family (primarily descriptively); the first has focused on Kiowa and the last exclusively on Tewa. Much of this work, though not overtly theoretical, is that kind of high-level description that reveals the implicit theoretical framework of the author’s pattern of thought.

Composition of the Agreement Prefix

Given the substantial amount of research into agreement restrictions in Kiowa-Tanoan, it is perhaps surprising how little attention has been given to morphological composition of the agreement prefix itself. Many descriptive works provide varying degrees of decomposition. However, if—using realizational terminology for concreteness—morphological analysis means explication of the mapping from syntactic features to phonological exponents, then given that most works use descriptive labels, such as “A,” “B,” “C,” or “dual,” “inverse” rather than features, they do not constitute theoretical proposals but preliminary marshalings of data. The two exceptions are Merrifield 1959, which offers tagmemic analysis, and Watkins 1984, which can easily be read as an analysis with keen attention to morphophonology. Works that attempt to articulate the feature-to-phoneme mapping exist only for Kiowa: Harbour 2003 and Harbour 2007. The syntax of the prefix components (not an explicandum for all approaches to morphology) is addressed in Adger and Harbour 2007 and Adger, et al. 2009. Sprott 1992 and Watkins 1996 provide valuable decomposition.

Agreement and Suppletion

Number-sensitive suppletion exists in several members of the family. Chapter 4 of Harbour 2007 analyzes the Kiowa system with emphasis on agreement-suppletion mismatches. Speirs 1974 uses such suppletion to gain insight into noun class semantics. Other more descriptive works include Speirs 1972, Watkins 1984, and Yumitani 1998. Harbour 2007 provides theoretical perspective and documents some otherwise neglected mismatches.

Lexical Integrity

When and when not to posit homophones is a recurrent issue of morphological research. Two contributions to this topic are Kroskrity 1978 and two parts of Kroskrity 1977. A separate theme explored in Kroskrity 1977 and Kroskrity 1978 is lexical integrity, that is, when grammatically distinct homophones deserve separate lexical identities versus single, abstract, unifying ones.

Other Syntax-Semantics

Although a good amount of work has been focused on Kiowa-Tanoan syntax-semantics, most of it is either descriptive (see Grammatical Description) or centered on person, passive, and incorporation (see Argument Structure, Incorporation, Passive, Person). Other works of theoretical syntax-semantics are Adger, et al. 2009; Kroskrity 1984; and McKenzie 2010.

  • Adger, David, Daniel Harbour, and Laurel J. Watkins. 2009. Mirrors and microparameters: Phrase structure beyond free word order. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511657375Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Presents three configurational properties, mirrorings of order on either side of the verb: between preverbal and postverbal arguments, preverbal particles and postverbal suffixes, and restrictions on quantification/focus at the extremities of the clause. Analyzes how configurationality can arise in a language that is classically nonconfigurational with respect to arguments.

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  • Kroskrity, Paul V. 1984. Negation and subordination in Arizona Tewa: Discourse pragmatics influencing syntax. International Journal of American Linguistics 50:94–104.

    DOI: 10.1086/465817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    On negation (and subordination) in Tewa and Tiwa with some historical discussion. Incorporates some unpublished work by William Leap.

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  • McKenzie, Andrew. 2010. Subject domain restriction and reference-tracking. Proceedings of SALT 19:1–15.

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    An insightful application of situation semantics to switch-reference in Kiowa, where, as Watkins 1993 (cited in Kiowa) observes, “same subject” versus “different subject” is insufficient.

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LAST MODIFIED: 10/28/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199772810-0073

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