The aims of this chapter are:

  1. a.

    To explain how Kiowa noun classes are distinguished on the basis of number agreement in verbal prefix.

  2. b.

    To argue that this methodology reveals nine classes and to present a new nomenclature for these.

  3. c.

    To show that membership of the nine classes is semantically coherent.


The later sections of the chapter treat two residual issues: whether the verbal agreement prefixes support a tenth class, as Harrington (1928) believed, and whether phonology plays a role in Kiowa's noun class system. The features that underlie the system, their semantics and their manipulation in the syntax are explored in subsequent chapters. The important issue of how Kiowa compares to other languages with rich noun class systems, such as those of Bantu, is left until Chapter 6.


Relative Clause Class Membership Semantic Characteristic Mass Noun Count Noun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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