Other important languages include Makua and Thonga, Bemba, Shona, Kikuyu, Ruanda, Rundi, Kongo, Mbundu, Angola and Lingala. In Zulu, for instance, the lexical function is shown in the contrast between íyàngà ‘doctor’ and íyāngá ‘moon’ or yālá ‘refuse’ and yālà ‘begin.’ The grammatical function is illustrated in ūmúntù ‘person’ and ùmúntù ‘it is a person’ or ngīhlānzā ‘I wash’ and ngīhlánzà ‘I washing’ (the participial form). The Bantu verb consists of a root that can be accompanied by affixes with various lexical and grammatical functions. Zulu muntu “person”, abantu “people”). Created by This is Africa. Northwest Bantu is more divergent internally than Central Bantu, and perhaps less conservative due to contact with non-Bantu Niger-Congo languages; Central Bantu is likely the innovative line cladistically.

Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Nevertheless, it is worth to note that the number of Bantu languages have to be considered as general but not absolute validity. In Bantu itself, the term for languages is formed with the ki- noun class(Nguni ísi-), as in Kiswahili “coast-language” and isiZulu “Zulu language”. Ancient Confession Found: “We Invented Jesus Christ... Ntsiki Mazwai’s open letter to black people.

Archaeologists are divided over whether all these cultural and economic attributes arrived with a single group of new immigrants speaking a new language or resulted from a more piecemeal development of different skills and the adoption of new techniques by indigenous hunter-gatherers, as…, …divided into three language groups: Bantu, Nilo-Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic. Glottolog has incorporated many of these into their classification. In a few cases, prefixes are used to distinguish languages from the same root in their name, such as Tshiluba and Kiluba (both Luba), Umbundu and Kimbundu (both Mbundu). Archaeologists are divided over whether all these cultural and economic attributes arrived with a single group of new immigrants speaking... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. (see list of Bantu peoples). This Bantu expansion came to dominate Sub-Saharan Africa east of Cameroon, an area where Bantu peoples now constitute nearly the entire population. Computational phylogenetic analyses of Bantu include Currie, et al. The Jarawan languages are spoken in Nigeria. The languages that share Dahl’s law may also form a valid group, Northeast Bantu. There are about 120 million Bantu speakers who can be found in the Congo Basin, Angola, the Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya. Not only does the word kintu exist, meaning “thing” with no relation to the concept of “language”, it was also reported by delegates at the African Languages Association of Southern Africa conference in 1984 that in some Bantu languages, the term ‘Kintu’ has a derogatory significance, that is, kintu refers to “things” and is used as a dehumanizing term of people who have lost their dignity. The prefix ba- in Bantu specifically refers to people, not language. In addition, Kintu is a figure in some Bantu mythologies. Piron 1995, Williamson & Blench 2000, Blench 2011), but the term is still widely used. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website.

We can confirm this in the biblical names and Hebrew Nurse & Philippson (2006) evaluate many proposals for low-level groups of Bantu languages, but the result is not a complete portrayal of the family. Muganda), whose language is Luganda. Bleek’s coinage was inspired by the anthropological observation of groups self-identifying as “people” or “the true people” (as is indeed the case, for example, with the Khoikhoi of South Africa). But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The group of Bantu languages is made up of about 500 languages of the Bantoid subgroup of the Bueno-Kongo branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Lega (D25)23. Kilimanjaro Bantu (E60 and E74)25. The Kikuyu, Kamba, Meru, and Nyika peoples occupy the fertile Central Rift highlands, while the Luhya….

Updates? Twelve Bantu languages are spoken by more than five million people, including Rundi, Rwanda , Shona, Xhosa , and Zulu . The bare (prefixless) form typically does not occur in the language itself but is the basis for other words based on the ethnicity. The Bantu Languages of the Forest20. The development of a rigorous genealogical classification of many branches of Niger-Congo, not just Bantu, is hampered by insufficient data. Apparently inspired by this pattern, there was a suggestion in South Africa to refer to Bantu languages as “Kintu” in the 1980s.

The term ‘narrow Bantu’ was coined by the Benue–Congo Working Group to distinguish Bantu as recognized by Guthrie, from the Bantoid languages not recognized as Bantu by Guthrie.