|Native to||United States|
|Region||previously west-central Oklahoma and eastern Texas|
|Extinct||1940, with the death of Kai Kai|
The Kitsai (also Kichai) language is an extinct member of the Caddoan language family. It was spoken in Oklahoma by the Kichai tribe and became extinct in the 1930s. It is thought to be most closely related to Pawnee. The Kichai people today are enrolled in the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi), Waco and Tawakonie), headquartered in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
Kitsai has the following consonants: Those consonants that differ from the IPA rendering are bracketed.
Kitsai has the following vowel phonemes:
Kitsai is documented in the still mostly-unpublished field notes of anthropologist Alexander Lesser, of Hofstra University. Lesser discovered five speakers of Kitsai in 1928 and 1929, none of whom spoke English. Communicating to the Kitsai speakers through Wichita/English bilingual translators, he filled 41 notebooks with Kitsai material.
Kai Kai was the last fluent speaker of Kitsai. She was born around 1849 and lived eight miles north of Anadarko. Kai Kai worked with Lesser to record vocabulary and oral history and prepare a grammar of the language.
Some Kitsai words include the following: