Zuni Language Bibliography

Zuni Language


The Zuni, or Shiwi language, is now generally considered a language isolate. The Encyclopedia Britannica categorizes it as a Penutian language, and Bertha Dutton once posed the hypothetical that according to the Swadesh list, "If the Zuni language is a member of the Penutian language family, then it is a distant relative of the Tanoan languages (Tewi)." The Penutian hypothesis was advanced by Alfred Kroeber and Roland B. Dixon, and later refined by Edward Sapir, and was an attempt to reduce the number of unrelated language families in a culturally diverse area that was centered in California's central coast. While this theory was plausible for some of the languages, the problem of verification of this theory was that to find any evidence of any cognates between the California languages and Zuni, one would possibly have to trace the languages' lineage by as much as 3000-5000 years or more.

Listed below is a bibliography of books and articles concerned with the Zuni language. Some of these items deal with syntax and semantics, as does Zuni Curtis D. Cook's article. Others, such as Ruth Bunzel's Pueblo Pottery and Jane M. Young's book on Rock Art, may seem out of place on this list, but are important in the study of pragmatics and the Zuni World View as it corresponds with the Zuni language. The Zuni worldview may properly be considered as a study in orthology. The form and function of design images and pictographic rock art images and their interpretation according to Zuni mythology or cosmology sufficed as a form of communication prior to the appearance of a written language.

The Zuni Enigma, by Nancy Yaw Davis offers a comparative of cognates between the Zuni language and another language isolate; the Japanese language. While speculative [Zuni Enigma (Listen to the controversy in RealAudio)], it demonstrates a likeness between the Zuni and Japanese languages that may be more compelling than that of the Penutian Hypothesis. The article by Dell Hymes offers information on California languages where one can form a comparative of certain Zuni words to the languages of California, e.g. Wintu, Maidu, Miwok , and may have relevance to studies of the Pueblo Peoples , the Pecos Classification , and the Hohokam . The importance of the books on and by Frank Hamilton Cushing goes without saying. He was the first anthropologist to undertake studies by means of the method of participant observation, and was a member of the Priesthood of the Bow. Of special interest in regard to the Zuni language is his correspondences edited by Jesse Green, and their relevance to the Zuni language as it reflects their world view.

Select Bibliography

Bunzel, Ruth L. The Pueblo Potter: A Study of Creative Imagination in Primitive Art. New York: Dover, 1929. ISBN 0486228754

Bunzel, Ruth L. Introduction to Zuni Ceremonialism. Intro. by Nancy Pareto. University of New Mexico Press, 1992. ISBN 0826313760

Bunzel, Ruth L. Zuni Texts. Publications of the American Ethnological Society, 15. New York: G.E. Steckert & Co., 1933. ISBN 040458165X

Condie, Carol.  "Problems of a Chomskyan Analysis of Zuni Transitivity".  International Journal of American Linguistics.  39: 207-223, 1973. ISBN B00073EKSS

Cook, Curtis D. "Nucleus and Margin of Zuni Clause Types." Linguistics. 13: 5-37, 1975.

Davis, Irvine. The Kiowa-Tanoan, Keresan, and Zuni languages. In Lyle Campbell and Marianne Mithun (eds.), The languages of Native America: Historical and Comparative Assessment , pp. 390-443. Austin: University of Texas, 1979. ISBN 0292746245

Davis, Nancy Yaw. The Zuni Enigma. Norton, 2000. ISBN 0393047881

Dutton, Bertha P.  American Indians of the Southwest.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1983. ISBN 0826307043

Green, Jesse, ed.  Zuni: Selected Writings of Frank Hamilton Cushing.  Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1979. ISBN 0803270070

Green, Jesse. Cushing at Zuni: The Correspondence and Journals of Frank Hamilton Cushing, 1879-1884.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990. ISBN 0826311725

Hickerson, Nancy P.  "Two Studies of Color: Implications for Cross-Cultural Comparability of Semantic Categories".  In Linguistics and Anthropology: In honor of C.F. Voegelin. Pp. 317-330. Ed. By M. Dale Kinkade, Kenneth Hale, and Oswald Werner.  The Peter De Ridder Press, 1975.

Hieb, Louis A. "Meaning and Mismeaning: Toward an Understanding of the Ritual Clowns".  New Perspectives on the Pueblos.  Ed. by Alfonso Ortiz.  Pp. 163-195.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972. ISBN 0826302289

Hymes, Dell H. "Some Penutian Elements and the Penutian Hypothesis".  Southwestern Journal of Anthropology.  13:69-87, 1957.

Miner, Kenneth L. "Noun Stripping and Loose Incorporation in Zuni".  International Journal of American Linguistics. 52: 242-254, 1986.

Newman, Stanley. "Vocabulary Levels: Zuni Sacred and Slang Usage."Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. 11: 345-354, 1955.

Newman, Stanley. Zuni Dictionary. Indiana University Research Center Publication Six. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1958. ISBN B0007F3L0Y

Newman, Stanley. "The Zuni Verb 'To Be'"Foundations of Language, Supplemental Series. Vol. 1. Ed. by John W. Verhaar., The Humanities Press, 1967. ISBN 902770032X

Ortiz, Alfonso, ed. "Zuni". Handbook of North American Indians, Southwest. Vol.9. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979. ISBN 0160045797

Smith, Watson and John Roberts. Zuni Law: A Field of Values. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 43. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum, 1954. ISBN B0006VZKY4, also ISBN 0527013129

Walker, Willard.  "Inflection and Taxonomic Structure in Zuni".  International Journal of American Linguistics.  32(3): 217-227, 1966.

Walker Willard. "Toward a Sound Pattern of the Zuni".  International Journal of American Linguistics.  38(4): 240-259, 1968.

Young, M. Jane.  Signs from the Ancestors: Zuni Cultural Symbolism and Perceptions in Rock Art.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988. ISBN 0826312039

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