Bantu language


The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large
family of languages In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members an ...
spoken by the
Bantu peoples Bantu peoples are the speakers of Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large Language family, family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The total number of Bantu lang ...
sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories in ...

sub-Saharan Africa
. The total number of Bantu languages ranges in the hundreds, depending on the definition of "language" versus "dialect", and is estimated at between 440 and 680 distinct languages."Guthrie (1967-71) names some 440 Bantu 'varieties', Grimes (2000) has 501 (minus a few 'extinct' or 'almost extinct', Bastin ''et al.'' (1999) have 542, Maho (this volume) has some 660, and Mann ''et al.'' (1987) have ''c.'' 680." Derek Nurse, 2006, "Bantu Languages", in the ''Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics'', p. 2
:Ethnologue report for Southern Bantoid"
lists a total of 535 languages. The count includes 13 Mbam languages, which are not always included under "Narrow Bantu".
For Bantuic, Linguasphere (Part 2, Transafrican phylosector, phylozone 99) has 260 outer languages (which are equivalent to languages, inner languages being dialects). John McWhorter, McWhorter points out, using a comparison of 16 languages from Bangi-Moi, Bangi-Ntamba, Koyo-Mboshi, Likwala-Sangha, Ngondi-Ngiri and Northern Mozambiqean, mostly from Guthrie Zone C, that many varieties are mutually intelligible. The total number of Bantu speakers is in the hundreds of millions, estimated around 350 million in the mid-2010s (roughly 30% of the total Demographics of Africa, population of Africa or roughly 5% of world population). Bantu languages are largely spoken southeast of Cameroon, throughout Central Africa, Southeast Africa and Southern Africa. About one-sixth of the Bantu speakers, and about one-third of Bantu languages, are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone (c. 60 million speakers as of 2015). See list of Bantu peoples. The Bantu language with the largest total number of speakers is Swahili language, Swahili; however, the majority of its speakers use it as a second language (L1: c. 16 million, L2: 80 million, as of 2015). Other major Bantu languages include Zulu language, Zulu, with Zulu people, 12 million speakers ; Tiv language, Tiv with over 7 million speakers, mostly in Nigeria and some in Cameroon; and Shona language, Shona with about 15 million speakers (if Manyika dialect, Manyika and Ndau dialect, Ndau are included). ''Ethnologue'' separates the largely mutually intelligible Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, which, if grouped together, have 20 million speakers.


The similarity among dispersed Bantu languages had been observed as early as the 17th century. The term ''Bantu'' as a name for the group was coined (as ''Bâ-ntu'') by Wilhelm Bleek in 1857 or 1858, and popularised in his ''Comparative Grammar'' of 1862.Raymond O. Silverstein, "A note on the term 'Bantu' as first used by W. H. I. Bleek", ''African Studies'' 27 (1968), 211–212
He coined the term to represent the word for 'people' in loosely reconstructed Proto-Bantu, from the plural noun class prefix '':wikt:Appendix:Swahili noun classes#M-wa class, *ba-'' categorizing 'people', and the root (linguistics), root ''*ntʊ̀-'' 'some (entity), any' (e.g. Zulu ''umuntu'' 'person', ''abantu'' 'people'). There is no indigenous term for the group, as Bantu-speaking populations refer to themselves by their endonyms, but did not have a concept for the larger ethno-linguistic phylum. Bleek's coinage was inspired by the anthropological observation of groups frequently self-identifying as 'people' or 'the true people' (as is the case, for example, with the term ''Khoekhoe'', but this is a ''kare'' 'praise address' and not an ethnic name). The term ''narrow Bantu'', excluding those languages classified as Bantoid by Guthrie (1948), was introduced in the 1960s.''Studies in African Linguistics'': Supplement, Issues 3-4, Department of Linguistics and the African Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles (1969), p. 7. The prefix ''ba-'' specifically refers to people. Endonymically, the term for cultural objects, including language, is formed with the :wikt:Appendix:Swahili noun classes#Ki-vi class, ''ki-'' noun class (Nguni '':wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Nguni/ísi-, ísi-''), as in ''Kiswahili,'' 'coast language and culture,' and ''isiZulu,'' 'Zulu language and culture'. In the 1980s, South African linguists suggested referring to these languages as ''KiNtu.'' The word ''kintu'' exists in some places, but it means 'thing', with no relation to the concept of 'language'. In addition, delegates at the African Languages Association of Southern Africa conference in 1984 reported that, in some places, the term ''Kintu'' has a derogatory significance. This is because ''kintu'' refers to 'things' and is used as a dehumanizing term for people who have lost their dignity. In addition, ''Kintu'' is a figure in some mythologies. In the 1990s, the term ''Kintu'' was still occasionally used by South African in Noverino N. Canonici, ''A Manual of Comparative Kintu Studies'', Zulu Language and Literature, University of Natal (1994). But in contemporary decolonial South African linguistics, the term ''Ntu languages'' is used.


The Bantu languages descend from a common Proto-Bantu language, which is believed to have been spoken in what is now Cameroon in Central Africa.Philip J. Adler, Randall L. Pouwels, ''World Civilizations: To 1700 Volume 1 of World Civilizations'', (Cengage Learning: 2007), p.169. An estimated 2,500–3,000 years ago (1000 BC to 500 BC), speakers of the Proto-Bantu language began a series of migrations eastward and southward, carrying agriculture with them. This Bantu expansion came to dominate Sub-Saharan Africa east of Cameroon, an area where
Bantu peoples Bantu peoples are the speakers of Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large Language family, family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The total number of Bantu lang ...
now constitute nearly the entire population.Toyin Falola, Aribidesi Adisa Usman, ''Movements, borders, and identities in Africa'', (University Rochester Press: 2009), p.4. Some other sources estimate the Bantu Expansion started closer to 3000 BC.Gemma Berniell-Lee et al
"Genetic and Demographic Implications of the Bantu Expansion: Insights from Human Paternal Lineages"
, Oxford Journals
The technical term Bantu, meaning "human beings" or simply "people", was first used by Wilhelm Bleek (1827–1875), as the concept is reflected in many of the languages of this group. A common characteristic of Bantu languages is that they use words such as ''muntu'' or ''mutu'' for "human being" or in simplistic terms "person", and the plural prefix for human nouns starting with ''mu-'' (class 1) in most languages is ''ba-'' (class 2), thus giving ''bantu'' for "people". Bleek, and later Carl Meinhof, pursued extensive studies comparing the grammatical structures of Bantu languages.


The most widely used classification is an alphanumeric coding system developed by Malcolm Guthrie in his 1948 classification of the Bantu languages. It is mainly geographic. 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. In recent times, the distinctiveness of Narrow Bantu as opposed to the other Southern Bantoid languages has been called into doubt (cf. Piron 1995, Williamson & Blench 2000, Blench 2011), but the term is still widely used. There is no true genealogical classification of the (Narrow) Bantu languages. Until recently most attempted classifications only considered languages that happen to fall within traditional Narrow Bantu, but there seems to be a continuum with the related languages of South Bantoid. At a broader level, the family is commonly split in two depending on the reflexes of proto-Bantu tone patterns: Many Bantuists group together parts of zones A through D (the extent depending on the author) as ''Northwest Bantu'' or ''Forest Bantu'', and the remainder as ''Central Bantu'' or ''Savanna Bantu''. The two groups have been described as having mirror-image tone systems: where Northwest Bantu has a high tone in a cognate, Central Bantu languages generally have a low tone, and vice versa. Northwest Bantu is more divergent internally than Central Bantu, and perhaps less conservative (language), conservative due to contact with non-Bantu Niger–Congo languages; Central Bantu is likely the innovative line cladistically. Northwest Bantu is clearly not a coherent family, but even for Central Bantu the evidence is lexical, with little evidence that it is a historically valid group. Another attempt at a detailed genetic classification to replace the Guthrie system is the 1999 "Tervuren" proposal of Bastin, Coupez, and Mann. However, it relies on lexicostatistics, which, because of its reliance on overall similarity rather than synapomorphy, shared innovations, may predict spurious groups of polyphyly, conservative languages that are not closely related. Meanwhile, ''Ethnologue'' has added languages to the Guthrie classification which Guthrie overlooked, while removing the Mbam languages (much of zone A), and shifting some languages between groups (much of zones D and E to a new zone J, for example, and part of zone L to K, and part of M to F) in an apparent effort at a semi-genetic, or at least semi-areal, classification. This has been criticized for sowing confusion in one of the few unambiguous ways to distinguish Bantu languages. Nurse & Philippson (2006) evaluate many proposals for low-level groups of Bantu languages, but the result is not a complete portrayal of the family. ''Glottolog'' has incorporated many of these into their classification. The languages that share Dahl's law may also form a valid group, Northeast Bantu languages, Northeast Bantu. The infobox at right lists these together with various low-level groups that are fairly uncontroversial, though they continue to be revised. The development of a rigorous genealogical classification of many branches of Niger–Congo, not just Bantu, is hampered by insufficient data. Computational phylogenetic analyses of Bantu include Currie et al. (2013), Grollemund et al. (2015), Rexova et al. 2006, Holden et al., 2016, and Whiteley et al. 2018.

Grollemund (2012)

Simplified phylogeny of northwestern branches of Bantu by Grollemund (2012):

Language structure

Guthrie reconstructed both the phonemic inventory and the vocabulary of Proto-Bantu. The most prominent Grammar, grammatical characteristic of Bantu languages is the extensive use of affixes (see Sotho grammar and Luganda#Noun classes, Ganda noun classes for detailed discussions of these affixes). Each noun belongs to a noun class, class, and each language may have several numbered classes, somewhat like grammatical gender in European languages. The class is indicated by a prefix that is part of the noun, as well as agreement markers on verb and qualificative roots connected with the noun. Plural is indicated by a change of class, with a resulting change of prefix. All Bantu languages are agglutinative. The verb has a number of prefixes, though in the western languages these are often treated as independent words. In Swahili language, Swahili, for example, ''Kitoto kidogo kimekisoma'' (for comparison, ''Kamwana kadoko kariverenga'' in Shona language) means 'The small child has read it [a book]'. ''Kitoto'' 'child' governs the adjective prefix ''ki-'' (representing the diminutive form of the word) and the verb subject prefix ''a-''. Then comes perfect tense ''-me-'' and an object marker ''-ki-'' agreeing with implicit ''kitabu'' 'book' (from Arabic ''kitab''). Pluralizing to 'children' gives ''Vitoto vidogo vimekisoma'' (''Vana vadoko variverenga'' in Shona), and pluralizing to 'books' (''vitabu'') gives ''Watoto wadogo wamevisoma''. Bantu words are typically made up of Syllable#Coda, open syllables of the type CV (consonant-vowel) with most languages having syllables exclusively of this type. The Bushong language recorded by Jan Vansina, Vansina, however, has final consonants, while slurring of the final syllable (though written) is reported as common among the Tonga (Nyasa) language, Tonga of Malawi. The morphological shape of Bantu words is typically CV, VCV, CVCV, VCVCV, etc.; that is, any combination of CV (with possibly a V- syllable at the start). In other words, a strong claim for this language family is that almost all words end in a vowel, precisely because closed syllables (CVC) are not permissible in most of the documented languages, as far as is understood. This tendency to avoid consonant clusters in some positions is important when words are imported from English language, English or other non-Bantu languages. An example from Chewa language, Chewa: the word "school", borrowed from English, and then transformed to fit the sound patterns of this language, is ''sukulu''. That is, ''sk-'' has been broken up by inserting an epenthesis, epenthetic ''-u-''; ''-u'' has also been added at the end of the word. Another example is ''buledi'' for "bread". Similar effects are seen in loanwords for other non-African CV languages like Japanese language, Japanese. However, a clustering of sounds at the beginning of a syllable can be readily observed in such languages as Shona, and the Makua languages. With few exceptions, notably Swahili language, Swahili, Bantu languages are Tone (linguistics), tonal and have two to four register tones.


Reduplication is a common morphological phenomenon in Bantu languages and is usually used to indicate frequency or intensity of the action signalled by the (unreduplicated) verb stem.Abdulaziz Lodhi,
Verbal extensions in Bantu (the case of Swahili and Nyamwezi)
. ''Africa & Asia,'' 2002, 2:4–26, Göteborg University
*Example: in Swahili ''piga'' means "strike", ''pigapiga'' means "strike repeatedly". Well-known words and names that have reduplication include: *South Africa national football team, Bafana Bafana, a football team *Zambia national football team, Chipolopolo, a football team *Eric Djemba-Djemba, a footballer *Lomana LuaLua, a footballer *Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ngorongoro, a conservation area Repetition emphasizes the repeated word in the context that it is used. For instance, "Mwenda pole hajikwai," while, "Pole pole ndio mwendo," has two to emphasize the consistency of slowness of the pace. The meaning of the former in translation is, "He who goes slowly doesn't trip," and that of the latter is, "A slow but steady pace wins the race." Haraka haraka would mean hurrying just for the sake of hurrying, reckless hurry, as in "Njoo! Haraka haraka" [come here! Hurry, hurry]. In contrast, there are some words in some of the languages in which reduplication has the opposite meaning. It usually denotes short durations, and or lower intensity of the action and also means a few repetitions or a little bit more. *Example 1: In XiTsonga language, tsonga and Shona language, (Chi)Shona, ''famba'' means "walk" while ''famba-famba'' means "walk around". *Example 2: in Zulu language, isiZulu and SiSwazi language, Swati ''hamba'' means "go", ''hambahamba'' means "go a little bit, but not much". *Example 3: in both of the above languages ''shaya'' means "strike", ''shayashaya'' means "strike a few more times lightly, but not heavy strikes and not too many times". *Example 4: In ChiShona, Shona ' means "scratch", ''Kwenyakwenya'' means "scratch excessively or a lot".

Noun class

The following is a list of nominal classes in Bantu Languages:

By country

Following is an incomplete list of the principal Bantu languages of each country. Included are those languages that constitute at least 1% of the population and have at least 10% the number of speakers of the largest Bantu language in the country. An attempt at a full list of Bantu languages (with various conflations and a puzzlingly diverse nomenclature) can be found in ''The Bantu Languages of Africa'', 1959.Bryan, M.A.(compiled by), ''The Bantu Languages of Africa''. Published for the International African Institute, Oxford University Press, 1959. Most languages are best known in English without the class prefix (''Swahili'', ''Tswana'', ''Ndebele''), but are sometimes seen with the (language-specific) prefix (''Kiswahili'', ''Setswana'', ''Sindebele''). In a few cases prefixes are used to distinguish languages with the same root in their name, such as Luba-Kasai language, Tshiluba and Luba-Katanga language, Kiluba (both ''Luba''), Umbundu and Kimbundu (both ''Mbundu''). The bare (prefixless) form typically does not occur in the language itself, but is the basis for other words based on the ethnicity. So, in the country of Botswana the people are the ''Tswana people, Batswana'', one person is a ''Motswana'', and the language is ''Setswana''; and in Uganda, centred on the kingdom of ''Buganda'', the dominant ethnicity are the ''Baganda'' (sg. ''Muganda''), whose language is ''Luganda''. Lingua franca *Swahili language, Swahili (Kiswahili) (350,000; tens of millions as L2) Angola *Umbundu, South Mbundu (Umbundu) (4 million) *Kimbundu, Central North Mbundu (Kimbundu) (3 million) *kikongo, North Bakongo (Kikongo) (576,800) *Ovambo language, Ovambo (Ambo) (Oshiwambo) (500,000) *Luvale language, Luvale (Chiluvale) (500,000) *Chokwe language, Chokwe (Chichokwe) (500,000) Botswana *Tswana language, Tswana (Setswana) (1.6 million) *Kalanga language, Kalanga (Ikalanga) (150,000) Burundi *Kirundi (8.5 - 10.5 million) Cameroon *Beti language, Beti (1.7 million: 900,000 Bulu language, Bulu, 600,000 Ewondo language, Ewondo, 120,000 Fang language, Fang, 60,000 Eton language, Eton, 30,000 Bebele) *Basaa language, Basaa (230,000) *Duala language, Duala (350,000) *Manenguba languages (230,000) Central African Republic *Mbati language, Mbati (60,000) Democratic Republic of the Congo *Lingala, Lingala (Ngala) (2 million; 7 million with L2 speakers) *Luba-Kasai language, Luba-Kasai (Tshiluba) (6.5 million) *Kituba language, Kituba (4.5 million), a Bantu creole *Kongo language, Kongo (Kikongo) (3.5 million) *Luba-Katanga language, Luba-Katanga (Kiluba) (1.5+ million) *Songe language, Songe (Lusonge) (1+ million) *Nande language, Nande (Orundandi) (1 million) *Tetela language, Tetela (Otetela) (800,000) *Yaka language (Congo–Angola), Yaka (Iyaka) (700,000+) *Shi language, Shi (700,000) *Kongo language, Yombe (Kiyombe) (670,000) Equatorial Guinea *Beti language, Beti (Fang language, Fang) (300,000) *Bube language, Bube (40,000) Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) *Swati language, Swazi (Siswati) (1 million) Gabon *Baka language, Baka *Barama language, Barama *Bekwel language, Bekwel *Benga language, Benga *Bubi language, Bubi *Bwisi language, Bwisi *Duma language, Duma *Fang language, Fang (500,000) *Kande language, Kendell *Kaningi language, Kanin *Sake language, Sake *Sangu language (Gabon), Sangu *Seki language, Seki *Sighu language, Sighu *Simba language, Simba *Sira language, Sira *Northern Teke language, Northern Teke *Western Teke language, Western Teke *Tsaangi language, Tsaangi *Tsogo language, Tsogo *Vili language, Vili (3,600) *Vumbu language, Vumbu *Wandji language, Wandji *Wumbvu language, Wumbvu *Yangho language, Yangho *Yasa language, Yasa Kenya :''Swahili and English are national languages'' *Kikuyu language, Gikuyu (7 million) *Luhya language, Luhya (5.4 million) *Kamba language, Kamba (4 million) *Meru language, Meru (Kimeru) (2.7 million) *Gusii language, Gusii (2 million) *Mijikenda language, Mijikenda *Taita language, Taita *Kiembu language, Kiembu *Kimbere language, Kimbere *Kigiriama language, Giriama *Maay Maay (3 million) Lesotho *Sotho language, Sesotho (1.8 million) *Zulu language, Zulu (Isizulu) (300,000) Malawi *Chewa language, Chewa (Nyanja) (Chichewa) (7 million) *Tumbuka language, Tumbuka (1 million) *Yao language, Yao (1 million) Mozambique *Makhuwa language, Makhuwa (4 million; 7.4 million all Makua languages, Makua) *Tsonga language, Tsonga (Xitsonga) (3.1 million) *Ndau language, Shona (Ndau) (1.6 million) *Lomwe language, Lomwe (1.5 million) *Sena language, Sena (1.3 million) *Tswa language, Tswa (1.2 million) *Chuwabu language, Chuwabu (1.0 million) *Chopi language, Chopi (800,000) *Ronga language, Ronga (700,000) *Chewa language, Chewa (Nyanja) (Chichewa) (600,000) *Yao language, Yao (Chiyao) (500,000) *Nyungwe language, Nyungwe (Cinyungwe/Nhungue)(400,000) *Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga (400,000) *Makonde language, Makonde (400,000) Namibia *Ovambo language, Ovambo (Ambo, Oshiwambo) (1,500,000) *Herero language, Herero (200,000) Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) *Kituba language, Kituba (1.2+ million) [a Bantu creole] *Kongo language, Kongo (Kikongo) (1.0 million) *Teke languages (500,000) *Kongo language, Yombe (350,000) *Suundi language, Suundi (120,000) *Mboshi language, Mbosi (110,000) *Lingala (100,000; ? L2 speakers) Rwanda *Kinyarwanda (Kinyarwanda) (10 - 12 million) Somalia *Swahili language, Swahili (Chimwiini) South Africa According to the South African National Census of 2011South African National Census of 2011 *Zulu language, Zulu (Isizulu) (11,587,374) *Xhosa language, Xhosa (Isixhosa) (8,154,258) *Northern Sotho language, Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa) (4,618,576) *Tswana language, Tswana (Setswana) (4,067,248) *Sotho language, Sotho (Sesotho) (3,849,563) *Tsonga language, Tsonga (Xitsonga) (2,277,148) *Swazi language, Swazi (Siswati) (1,297,046) *Venda language, Venda (Tshivenda) (1,209,388) *Southern Ndebele language, Southern Ndebele (Transvaal Ndebele) (1,090,223) TOTAL Nguni languages, Nguni: 22,406,O49 (61.98%) TOTAL Sotho-Tswana: 13,744,775 (38.02%) TOTAL OFFICIAL INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPEAKERS: 36,150,824 (69.83%) Tanzania :''Swahili is the national language'' *Sukuma language, Sukuma (5.5 million) *Gogo language, Gogo (1.5 million) *Haya language, Haya (Kihaya) (1.3 million) *Chaga languages, Chaga (Kichaga) (1.2+ million : 600,000 Mochi, 300,000+ Machame, 300,000+ Vunjo) *Nyamwezi language, Nyamwezi (1.0 million) *Makonde language, Makonde (1.0 million) *Ha language, Ha (1.0 million) *Nyakyusa language, Nyakyusa (800,000) *Hehe language, Hehe (800,000) *Luguru language, Luguru (700,000) *Bena language, Bena (600,000) *Shambala language, Shambala (650,000) *Turu language, Nyaturu (600,000) Uganda *Luganda, Ganda (Luganda) (7.5 million) *Nkore language, Nkore-Kiga (3.5 million : 2.3 million Nkore-Kiga language, Nyankore, 1.2 million Kiga language, Kiga (Chiga)) *Soga language, Soga (Lusoga) (2 million) *Masaba language, Masaba (Lumasaba) (1.1 million) *Nyoro language, Nyoro-Tooro language, Tooro (1.1 million) *Kinyarwanda (Kinyarwanda) (750,000) *Konjo language (Bantu), Konjo (600,000) *Gwere language, Gwere (400,000) Zambia *Bemba language, Bemba (3.3 million) *Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga (1.0 million) *Chewa language, Chewa (Nyanja) (Chichewa) (800,000) *Kaonde language, Kaonde (240,000) *Lozi language, Lozi (Silozi) (600,000) *Lala-Bisa language, Lala-Bisa (600,000) *Nsenga language, Nsenga (550,000) *Tumbuka language, Tumbuka (Chitumbuka) (500,000) *Lunda language, Lunda (450,000) *Nyiha language, Nyiha (400,000+) *Mambwe-Lungu language, Mambwe-Lungu (400,000) Zimbabwe *Shona languages (12 million incl. Karanga, Zezuru, Korekore, Ndau, Manyika) *Northern Ndebele language, Northern Ndebele (IsiNdebele) (estimated 2 million) *Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga *Chewa language, Chewa/ Nyanja (Chichewa/ChiNyanja) *Venda language, Venda *Kalanga language, Kalanga

Geographic areas

Map 1 shows Bantu languages in Africa and map 2 a magnification of the Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon area, as of July 2017.

Bantu words popularised in western cultures

A case has been made out for borrowings of many place-names and even misremembered rhymes – chiefly from one of the Luban languages, Luba varieties – in the USA. Some words from various Bantu languages have been borrowed into western languages. These include:

Writing systems

Along with the Latin script and Arabic script orthographies, there are also some modern indigenous writing systems used for Bantu languages: *The Mwangwego alphabet is an abugida created in 1979 that is sometimes used to write the Chewa language and other languages of Malawi. *The Mandombe script is an abugida that is used to write the Bantu languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mainly by the Kimbanguist movement. *The Isibheqe Sohlamvu or Ditema tsa Dinoko script is a Featural writing system, featural syllabary used to write the siNtu or Southern Bantu languages.

See also

Bantu peoples Bantu peoples are the speakers of Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large Language family, family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The total number of Bantu lang ...
*Meeussen's rule *Nguni languages *Noun class *Wiktionary:Appendix:Proto-Bantu Swadesh list, Proto-Bantu Swadesh list



*Biddulph, Joseph, ''Bantu Byways'' Pontypridd 2001. . * *Malcolm Guthrie, Guthrie, Malcolm. 1948. ''The classification of the Bantu languages.'' London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. *Guthrie, Malcolm. 1971. ''Comparative Bantu'', Vol 2. Farnborough: Gregg International. *Bernd Heine, Heine, Bernd. 1973. Zur genetische Gliederung der Bantu-Sprachen. ''Afrika und Übersee'', 56: 164–185. *Maho, Jouni F. 2001. The Bantu area: (towards clearing up) a mess
''Africa & Asia'', 1:40–49
*Maho, Jouni F. 2002
Bantu lineup: comparative overview of three Bantu classifications
Göteborg University: Department of Oriental and African Languages. *Nurse, Derek, & Gérard Philippson. 2006. ''The Bantu Languages''. Routledge. *Piron, Pascale. 1995
Identification lexicostatistique des groupes Bantoïdes stables.
''Journal of West African Languages'', 25(2): 3–39. *

External links

Arte da lingua de Angola: oeferecida [sic] a virgem Senhora N. do Rosario, mãy, Senhora dos mesmos pretos
The art of the language of Angola, by Father Pedro Dias, 1697, Lisbon, artedalinguadean
Comparative Bantu Online Dictionary, includes comprehensive bibliography. *Maho, Jouni Fili
NUGL Online. The online version of the New Updated Guthrie List, a referential classification of the Bantu languages, 4 June 2009, 120pp. Guthrie 1948 in detail, with subsequent corrections and corresponding ISO codes.
Bantu online resources, Jacky Maniacky, 7 July 2007, including (in French)
Ehret's compilation of classifications by Klieman, Bastin, himself, and others
pp 204–09,, 24 June 2012 *Contini-Morava, Ellen.
Noun Classification in Swahili
'. 1994, 529 names
Introduction to the languages of South Africa
Narrow Bantu
Journal of West African Languages {{DEFAULTSORT:Bantu languages Bantu languages, Synthetic languages Agglutinative languages Southern Bantoid languages