Tiwa, Southern


A language of United States


1,600 (Golla 2007), decreasing. 1,500 Isleta, 100 Sandia speakers (Golla 2007). Ethnic population: 4,500 (Golla 2007). Including 4,000 Isleta and 500 Sandia (Golla 2007).


New Mexico, Isleta and Sandia pueblos, north and south of Albuquerque.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Isleta (Isleta Pueblo), Sandia.

Language Use

Vigorous in a few families. Diminishing vigor at Isleta except among older adults. Commerce on tribal land, traditional ceremonial life. Only middle-aged or elderly are fluent but some younger people use the language and at least a few children acquire it (Golla 2007). Positive attitudes. Regret apparent demise of the language. People are apprehensive about losing their culture if the language is not revived. Range from being fluent in English [eng] to low proficiency.

Language Development
Attempt to reestablish use of Southern Tiwa at Sandia Pueblo and Ysleta del Sur, El Paso, Texas. Bible portions: 1981–1987.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.