Keresan languages
Keresan k, also Keres ˈ, is a group of seven related language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

s spoken by Keres Pueblo people
Pueblo people
The Pueblo people are a Native American people in the Southwestern United States. Their traditional economy is based on agriculture and trade. When first encountered by the Spanish in the 16th century, they were living in villages that the Spanish called pueblos, meaning "towns". Of the 21...

s in New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, U.S.A.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Each is mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. There is significant diversity between the Western and Eastern groups.

Family division

  • Eastern varieties: total of 4,580 speakers (1990 census)
    • Cochiti Pueblo: 384 speakers (1990 census)
    • San Felipe – Santo Domingo: San Felipe Pueblo: 1,560 speakers (1990 census), Santo Domingo Pueblo: 1,880 speakers (1990 census)
    • Zia–Santa Ana: Zia Pueblo: 463 speakers (1990 census), Santa Ana Pueblo: 229 speakers (1990 census)
  • Western varieties: total of 3,391 speakers (1990 census)
    • Acoma Pueblo
      Acoma Pueblo
      Acoma Pueblo is a Native American pueblo approximately 60 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. Three reservations make up Acoma Pueblo: Sky City , Acomita, and McCartys. The Acoma Pueblo tribe is a federally recognized tribal entity...

      : 1,696 speakers (1980 census)
    • Laguna Pueblo
      Laguna, New Mexico
      Laguna is a census-designated place in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 423 at the 2000 census. Located west of Albuquerque, Laguna is a former Indian Pueblo village...

      : 1,695 speakers (1990 census)

Genetic relationships

Keres is a language isolate spoken by several Pueblo peoples in the American Southwest. Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics....

 grouped it together with a Hokan
Hokan languages
The Hokan language family is a hypothetical grouping of a dozen small language families spoken in California, Arizona and Mexico. In nearly a century since Edward Sapir first proposed the "Hokan" hypothesis, little additional evidence has been found that these families were related to each other...

-Siouan stock. Morris Swadesh
Morris Swadesh
Morris Swadesh was an influential and controversial American linguist. In his work, he applied basic concepts in historical linguistics to the Indigenous languages of the Americas...

 suggested a connection with Wichita
Wichita language
Wichita is a moribund Caddoan language spoken in Oklahoma by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. Only one fluent speaker remains, Doris McLemore, although in 2007 there were only three first language learners still alive...

. Joseph Greenberg
Joseph Greenberg
Joseph Harold Greenberg was a prominent and controversial American linguist, principally known for his work in two areas, linguistic typology and the genetic classification of languages.- Early life and career :...

 grouped Keres with Siouan, Yuchi
Yuchi language
The Yuchi language is the language of the Yuchi people living in the southeastern United States, including eastern Tennessee, western Carolinas, northern Georgia and Alabama, in the period of early European colonization. However, speakers of the Yuchi language were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma...

, Caddoan, and Iroquoian families into a super-stock called Keresiouan. None of these proposals has gained the consensus of mainstream linguists.

Historical phonology

The chart below contains the reconstructed consonants of the proto
A proto-language in the tree model of historical linguistics is the common ancestor of the languages that form a language family. Occasionally, the German term Ursprache is used instead.Often the proto-language is not known directly...

-Keresan (or pre-Keresan) as reconstructed by Miller & Davis (1963) based on a comparison of Acoma, Santa Ana, and Santo Domingo.
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Dental Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Retroflex consonant
A retroflex consonant is a coronal consonant where the tongue has a flat, concave, or even curled shape, and is articulated between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate. They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants, especially in Indology...

Dental/Palatal Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Plosive unaspirated
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

Sonorant plain
plain, nasal
glottalized, nasal

The consonant } only surfaces as an alternate form of underlying } or }.

Morphophonemic alternations:
Basic form Aspirated Glottalized Fronted


External links

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