Comanche broke off from Shoshone sometime between 1600 and 1700 CE. The languages belong to the Numic language family within which langages show close similarities. The Numic language family is part of a larger language family known as the Uto-Aztecan language family which includes well-known languages like Hopi and Nahuatl.

The basic sounds of Comanche are very easy for English speakers and even easier for speakers of Spanish. Spanish speakers correctly pronounce Comanche inital t, p and k and can pronounce the flapped r which is one of the two r sounds of Spanish. Speaker of some dialects of Spanish pronounce the letter v in the same way as the bilabial, voice fricative b of Comanche. There are some subtle non-English sounds with which our course and text will deal. At present Comanche is in danger of losing the correct pronunciation of stressed u and pre-aspirations hp and hk.

Comanche has a case system for nouns and an extensive aspect system for verbs. Its basic subject-object-verb sentence structure is disrupted by the tendency not to allow a sentence to begin with the subject unless it is marked for emphasis.