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Keresan languages

Region New Mexico
Ethnicity Keres
Native speakers
13,000 (2006–2010)[1]
One of the world's primary language families
East Keres
West Keres
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
kee – Eastern
kjq – Western
Glottolog kere1287[2]
Pre-contact distribution of Keresan languages

Keresan , also Keres , is a dialect cluster spoken by the Keres Pueblo people in New Mexico. The varieties of each of the seven Keres pueblos are mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. There is significant difference between the Western and Eastern groups, and these are commonly counted as separate languages.


  • Family division 1
  • Genetic relationships 2
  • Historical phonology 3
    • Consonants 3.1
    • Vowels 3.2
    • Tones 3.3
  • History and usage 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • External links 7
  • Bibliography 8

Family division

Southwestern peoples

Genetic relationships

Keres is a language isolate. Edward Sapir grouped it together with a Hokan–Siouan stock. Morris Swadesh suggested a connection with Wichita. Joseph Greenberg grouped Keres with Siouan, Yuchi, Caddoan, and Iroquoian in a super-stock called Keresiouan. None of these proposals has gained the consensus of linguists.

Historical phonology


The chart below contains the reconstructed consonants of the proto-Keresan (or pre-Keresan) as reconstructed by Miller & Davis (1963) based on a comparison of Acoma, Santa Ana, and Santo Domingo.

Labial Dental Palatal Retroflex Dental/Palatal Velar
Plosive unaspirated p t ts k
aspirated tʃʰ tʂʰ tsʰ
glottalized tʃʼ (tʂʼ) tsʼ
Fricative plain s ʃ ʂ
glottalized (sʼ) ʃʼ ʂʼ
Sonorant plain w r j
plain, nasal m n
glottalized, nasal

The consonant *tʂʼ only surfaces as an alternate form of underlying * or *tʂʰ.

Morphophonemic alternations:

Basic form Aspirated Glottalized Fronted
t t’
t’ tʃ’
k k’ ts
k’ ts’
tʂʼ t
tʂʰ tʂʰ tʂʼ tʃʰ



Acoma Keres has a relatively complex tone system.



History and usage

Keres was one of the seven languages used in the Coca-Cola commercial called "It's Beautiful" broadcast during the 2014 Super Bowl.[3]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Keresan".  
  3. ^ "Native Language Spotlighted During Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad". Indian Country Today Media Network. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 

External links

  • Nathan Romero, "Chochiti Keres: About Me and My Language: The politics of saving a vanishing language: The politics of writing", Language Documentation Training Center, University of Hawaii, Manoa (UHM)
  • John Menaul (1880). Child's catechism in English and Laguna. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 


  • Boas, Franz. (1923). "A Keresan text", International Journal of American Linguistics, 2 (3/4), 171-180.
  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Davis, Irvine. (1963). "Bibliography of Keresan linguistic sources", International Journal of American Linguistics, 29 (3), 289-293.
  • Davis, Irvine. (1964). The Language of Santa Ana Pueblo. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology bulletin (No. 191); Anthropological papers (No. 69). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  • Davis, Irvine. (1966). ["Review of Acoma grammar and texts by W. R. Miller"], American Anthropologist, 68 (3), 810-811.
  • Davis, Irvine. (1968). ["Review of Acoma grammar and texts by W. R. Miller"], Language, 44 (1), 185-189.
  • Davis, Irvine. (1974). "Keresan-Caddoan comparisons", International Journal of American Linguistics, 40 (3), 265-267.
  • Hawley, Florence. (1950). "Keresan patterns of kinship and social organization", American Anthropologist, 52 (4), 499-512.
  • Kroskrity, Paul V. (1983). "On male and female speech in the Pueblo Southwest", International Journal of American Linguistics, 49, 88-91.
  • Maring, Joel. (1975). "Speech variation in Acoma Keresan", In D. Kinkade, K. L. Hale, & O. Werner (Eds.), Linguistics and anthropology in honor of C. F. Voegelin (pp. 473–485). Lisse: Peter de Ridder.
  • Mickey, Barbara H. (1947). "Acoma kinship terms", Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 12 (2), 249-256.
  • Miller, Wick R. (1959). "Spanish loanwords in Acoma: I", International Journal of American Linguistics, 25 (3), 147-153.
  • Miller, Wick R. (1959). "Some notes on Acoma kinship terminology", Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 15 (2), 179-184.
  • Miller, Wick R. (1960). "Spanish loanwords in Acoma: II", International Journal of American Linguistics, 26 (1), 41-49.
  • Miller, Wick R. (1965). Acoma Grammar and Texts, University of California publications in linguistics (Vol. 40). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Miller, Wick R.; & Davis, Irvine. (1963). "Proto-Keresan phonology", International Journal of American Linguistics, 29 (4), 310-330.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Sims, Christine P.; & Valiquette, Hilaire. (1990). "More on male and female speech in (Acoma and Laguna) Keresan", International Journal of American Linguistics, 56 (1), 162-166.
  • Spencer, Robert F. (1946). "The phonemes of Keresan", International Journal of American Linguistics, 12 (4), 229-236.
  • Spencer, Robert F. (1947). "Spanish loanwords in Keresan", Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 3 (2), 130-146.
  • Walker, Willard. (1967). ["Review of Acoma grammar and texts by W. R. Miller"], International Journal of American Linguistics, 33 (3), 254-257.
  • White, Leslie A. (1928). "Summary report of field work at Acoma", American Anthropologist, 30 (4), 559-568.
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