We have very meager evidence for reconstructing the Edomite language. In the past scholars have relied principally on seals, which bear personal names and occasionally titles. But the situation is beginning to improve. Edomite ostraca like the one found at H|orvat ‘Uza are coming to light.

Edomite belongs to a group of languages known as Northwest Semitic. These languages, indigenous to ancient Syria and Canaan, are usually divided into two subgroups: Aramaic dialects, which were apparently native to central Syria, and Canaanite languages, including Hebrew, Ugaritic, Phoenician (the language of ancient Lebanon), and Ammonite, Moabite and Edomite (the three principal languages of ancient Transjordan).

Recently discovered Edomite texts have yielded few surprises. Edomite seems to have been very close in most of its features to the languages of its nearest neighbors, Moabite, Ammonite and southern or Judahite Hebrew. A good example of the similarity involves the contraction of the diphthong aw, to ô. Analysis of this diphthong contraction is especially important for understanding variations in dialects It is well attested both in Edomite and in cognate languages. Because the name of the Edomite national god Qos contains this dipthong, we have several examples. This divine name was pronounced Qaws as late as the early sixth century B.C.E., as shown by discoveries such as those at H|orvat ‘Uza and H|orvat Qitmit. But by the end of the same century, during the reign of the Persian king Darius I (522–486 B.C.E.), the diphthong had contracted and the name had come to be pronounced Qôs, reflected in the spelling of the name in cuniform inscriptions. This same contraction occurred much earlier in more northern Canaanite languages, such as Phoenician and northern or Israelite Hebrew. The contraction had begun to occur sporadicallyin Moabite as early as the ninth-century B.C.E. Mesha inscription. But in Judahite Hebrew, as in Edomite, the uncontracted diphthong seems to have persisted into the beginning of the sixth century B.C.E.