Zuni language (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: The Zuni language is spoken at Zuni Pueblo in west-central New Mexico.
The Zuni language is spoken at Zuni Pueblo in west-central New Mexico. In the early 1990's there were approximately three thousand speakers of Zuni. Unlike many native languages of North America, Zuni is still being learned by children and is highly viable. The name “Zuni” comes from the Spanish Zuñi, which in turn derives from the Keresan name Sini (“Zuni Indian”). In the Zuni language, the Zuni call themselves siwi.
In the early part of the twentieth century, a large amount of anthropological work was carried out among the Zuni. In the 1930's Ruth Bunxel, working within the ethnographic tradition, published a collection of Zuni texts and the first Zuni grammar; however, it was not until 1965, when Stanley Newman published his grammar, that there was an accurate and precise linguistic description of the language. Newman had previously published a Zuni dictionary in 1958. Later work on the Zuni language has been done by Willard Walker, Julian Granberry, and Carol Stout. Dennis Tedlock investigated Zuni poetics (1972). Overall, however, there is very little material available on the Zuni language.
Linguistic characteristics of Zuni include glottalized consonants, long versus short vowels, aspirated stop consonants, and devoicing of vowels and sonorants at the end of words. Grammatical traits...
(The entire section is 356 words.)
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