Piro Pueblo language

Piro is a poorly attested, extinct Tanoan language once spoken in the more than twenty Piro Pueblos near Socorro, New Mexico.[2] It has generally been classified as one of the Tiwa languages,[3] though Leap (1971) contested whether or not Piro is truly a Tanoan language at all.[4] The last known speaker, an elderly woman, was interviewed by Mooney in 1897, and by 1909 all Piro members had Mexican Spanish as their native language.[2]

Native toUnited States
RegionNew Mexico
Extinctby 1900[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pie


The corpus of Piro is limited to place names, two vocabularies and an 1860 translation of the Lord's Prayer using Spanish orthography:[2][5]

Quitatic nasaul e yapolhua to1 hby quiamgiana mi quiamnarinu Jaqui6 mu gilley nasamagui hikiey quiamsamae, mukiataxim, hikiey, hiquiqui- amo quia inae, huskilley nafoleguey, gimorey, y apol y ahulejr, quialiey, nasan e pomo llekef, quiale mahimnague yo se mahi kani rroho?, se teman quiennatehui mu killey, nani, emolley quinaroy zetasi, na san quianatehue? pemcihipompo y, qui solakuey quifollohipuca. Kuey maihua atellan, folliquitey. Amen.

The Piro-origin place names listed by Bandelier are Abo, Arti-puy, Genobey, Pataotry, Pil-abó, Qual-a-cú, Quelotetrey, Tabirá (Gran Quivira), Ten-abó, Tey-pam-á, Trenaquel and Zen-ecú (Senecú).[2]


As Piro was morphologically agglutinative, words were built from prefixes, stems and suffixes. For example, quen-lo-a-tu-ya-é ("mosquito") is glossed as "the insect that bites".

Piro was reportedly mutually intelligible with Isleta with many shared words and case stems. Of the 180 words in Bartlett's Piro vocabulary, 87% were identical or nearly so to their corresponding stems in Southern Tiwa. The vocabulary created by Harrington also contains several loanwords from Spanish, such as pipa-hem for "pipe" (from Spanish pipa).[2]


  1. ^ Piro at MultiTree on the Linguist List
  2. ^ a b c d e Harrington, John P. (12 October 1909). "Notes on the Piro Language". American Anthropologist. 11 (4): 563–594. doi:10.1525/aa.1909.11.4.02a00030.
  3. ^ Newman, Stanley (1954) "American Indian Linguistics in the Southwest" American Anthropologist New Series, 56(4): pp. 626-634, 631
  4. ^ Leap, William L. (1971) "Who Were the Piro?" Anthropological Linguistics 13: pp. 321-330
  5. ^ Bartlett, John Russell (9 July 1909). "The Language of the Piro". American Anthropologist. 11 (3): 426–433. doi:10.1525/aa.1909.11.3.02a00060. Retrieved 3 July 2022.

External ResourcesEdit