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Caddo is a Caddoan language of the Southern Plains, spoken by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. Few native speakers remain, but the tribe is working to teach the language to the youngest generation again.

The Alphabet


ch', k', t', and ts' are pronounced by raising the adam’s apple and then letting go.


  • Long vowels are marked with a colon, as in i:ʔ "potato".
  • High-pitched vowels are shown with an acute accent mark, as in dáshkat "bread".
  • Falling-pitched vowels are shown with a grave accent mark, as in dì:tamah "horse".

The Verb

All Caddo verbs are inflected for person, case, reality, and (with exceptions) TAM.

The Caddo verb is a polysynthetic complex, i.e., they are composed of many morphemes. The minimal verb structure can be represented in the following way:

  • TAM = Tense-aspect-mood proclitics
  • PER = person class; person, case, and reality disctinctions
  • T/A = Tense and aspect suffixes

Tense, Aspect, and Mood

There are 123 identified TAM (Tense, Aspect, Mood) markers.

  • Tenses: Past, Future, Past and future combined
  • Aspects: Perfect, Imperfective, Inchoative, Intentive, Andative, Habitual, Iterative, Durative, Continuative, Prioritive, Resultative, Diminutive
  • Moods: Indicative, Interrogative, Imperative, Conditional, Contrastive, Veritive, Simulative, Mirative, Desiderative, Possibility, Potential, Belief, Quotative,

External links


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