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359
BANTU LANGUAGES

(9) The dialects of the Comoro Islands, between the East African coast and Madagascar, are styled Hi-nzua or Anzuani and Shi-ngazija. They are somewhat closely related to Swahili.

(10) The archaic Makonde or Mabiha of the lower Ruvuma, and the coast between Lindi and Ibo; this might conceivably be attached to the Swahili branch.

(11) The Nyamwezi group includes all the dialects of the Nyamwezi country west of Ugogo as far north as the Victoria Nyanza (where the tongues melt into group No. l), and bounded on the south by the Upper Ruaha river, and on the west by the eastern borderlands of Tanganyika. The Nyamwezi genus penetrates south-west to within a short distance of Lake Rukwa. A language of this group was at one time a good deal spoken in the southern part of the Belgian Congo, having been imported there by traders who made themselves chiefs.

(12) The Tanganyika languages (Ki-rega, Kabwari, Kiguha, &c). These dialects are chiefly spoken in the regions west-north-west, and perhaps north and east of Tanganyika, from the vicinity of Lake Albert Edward on the north and the Lukuga outlet of Tanganyika on the south. On the west they are bounded by the Congo Forest and the Manyema genus (No. 13). The languages on the east coast of Tanganyika (Ki-rundi, Kigeye, &c.) seem to be more nearly connected with those of group No. 1 (Uganda-Unyoro), yet perhaps they are more conveniently included here.

(13) The Manyema (Baenya) group includes most of the corrupt Bantu dialects between the western watershed of Tanganyika and the main stream of the Luapula-Congo, extending also still farther north, and comprising (seemingly) the languages of the Aruwimi basin, such as Yalulema, Soko, Lokele, Kusu, Tu-rumbu, &c. On the west the Manyema group is bounded by the languages of the Lomami valley, which belong to groups Nos. 15 and 16; on the east the Manyema genus merges into the much purer Bantu dialects of groups Nos. 1 and 12. An examination of the Lihuku-Kuamba section (No. 2) shows these tongues to be connected with the Manyema group. The Kibira dialects of the north-eastern Congo Forest (Ituri district) may perhaps be placed in this section.[1]

(14) The Rua-Luba-Lunda-Marungu group (in which are included Kanyoka, Lulua and Ki-tabwa) occupies a good deal of the south central basin of the Congo, between the south-west coast-line of Tanganyika on the east and the main streams of the Kasai and Kwango on the west, between the Bakuba country on the north and the Zambezi watershed on the south.

(15) The Bakuba assemblage of Central Congo dialects (Songe, Shilange, Babuma, &c.) probably includes all the Bantu languages between the Lomami river on the east and the Kwa-Kasai and Upper Kwilu on the west. Its boundary on the north is perhaps the Sankuru river.

(16) The Balolo group consists of all the languages of the Northern Congo bend (bounded on the north, east and west by the main stream of the Congo), and perhaps the corrupt dialects of the Northern Kasai, Kwilu and Kwango (Babuma, Bahuana, Bambala, Ba-yaka, Bakutu, &c.), where these are not nearer allied to Teke (No. 18) or to Bakuba.

(17) The Bangala-Bobangi-Liboko group comprises the commercial languages of the Upper Congo (Ngala, Bangi, Liboko, Poto, Ngombe, Yanzi, &c.) and all the known Congo dialects along and to the north and sometimes south of the main stream, from as far west as the junction of the Sanga to as far east as the Rubi and Lomami rivers, and those between the Congo and the Lower Ubangi river and up the Ubangi, as far north as the limits of the Bantu domain (about 3° 30′ N.). Allied to these perhaps are the scarcely-known forms of speech in the basin of the Sanga river, besides the "Ba-yanzi" dialects of Lakes Mantumba and Leopold II.

(18) The Bateke (Batio) group. This may be taken roughly to include most of the Bantu dialects west of the Sanga river, northwest of the Lower Congo, south of the Upper Ogowe and Ngoko rivers and east of the Atlantic coast-lands.

(19) The Di-Kele and Benga dialects of Spanish Guinea and the Batanga coast of German Cameroon.

(20) The Fañ or Pangwe forms of speech (so corrupt as to be only just recognizable as Bantu), which occupy the little-known interior of German Cameroon and French Gabun, down to the Ogowe, and as far east and north as the Sañga, Sanagá and Mbam rivers, and the immediate hinterland of the "Duala" Cameroon.

(21) The Duala group, which on the other hand is of a much purer Bantu type, includes the languages spoken on the estuary and delta of the Cameroon river.

(22) The Isubu-Bakwiri group of the coast-lands north of Cameroon delta (Ambas Bay), and on the west slopes of Cameroon Mts.

(23) The Bantu dialects of Fernando Pô (Ediya, Bateti, Bani, &c.) distantly allied to Nos 24, 2 and 13.

(24) The Barondo-Bakundu group, which begins on the north at the Rio del Rey on the extremity of the Bantu field, near the estuary of the Cross river. This group may also include Barombi and Basā, Boñkeñ, Abo, Nkosi and other much-debased dialects, which are spoken on the eastern slopes of the Cameroon mountains and on the Cameroon river (Magombe), and thence to the Sanagá and Nyong rivers. Eastwards and north-eastwards of this group, the languages (such as Mbe, Bati, Nki, Mbudikum, Bafut, Bayoñ) may be described as "semi-Bantu," and evincing affinities with the forms of speech in the basin of the Central Benue river and also with the Fañ (No. 20).

(25) Turning southwards again from the north-westernmost limit of the Bantu, we meet with another group, the Mpongwe-Orungu and Aduma languages of French Gabun, and the tongues of the Lower Ogowe and Fernan Vaz promontory.

(26) These again shade on the south into the group of Kakongo dialects of the Loango and Sete Kama coast—such as Ba-kama, Ba-nyanga, Ma-yombe, Ba-vili, Ba-kamba and Ka-kongo (Kabinda).

(27) The Kongo language group comprises the dialects along the lower course of the Congo from its mouth to Stanley Pool; also the territory of the old kingdom of Congo, lying to the south of that river (and north of the river Loje) from the coast eastwards to the watershed of the river Kwango (and the longitude, more or less, of Stanley Pool).

(28) In the south the Kongo dialects melt imperceptibly into the closely-allied Angola language. This group may be styled in a general way Mbundu, and it includes the languages of Central Angola, such as Ki-mbundu, Mbamba, Ki-sama, Songo, U-mbangala. The boundary of this genus on the east is probably the Kwango river, beyond which the Lunda languages begin (No. 14). On the north, the river Loje to some extent serves as a frontier between the Kongo and Mbundu tongues. On the south the boundary of group No. 28 is approximately the 11th degree of south latitude.

(29) Very distinct from the Ki-mbundu speech (though with connecting forms) is the Oci-herero group, which includes the Herero language of Damaraland, the Umbundu of the Bihe highlands of south Angola, the Nano of the Benguela coast, and Si-ndonga, Ku-anyama and Oci-mbo of the southern regions of Portuguese Angola and the northern half of German South-West Africa. The languages of group No. 29 probably extend as far inland as the Kwito and Kubango rivers, in short, to the Zambezi watershed. On the south they are confronted with the Hottentot languages. The Haukoin or Hill Damaras—a Negro race of unexplained affinities and apparently speaking a Hottentot language—occupy an enclave in the area of Herero speech.

(30) What may be called the Kiboko or Kibokwe (also Kioko) family of eastern Angola is a language-group which seems to offer affinities to the languages of the Upper Zambezi and to those of groups Nos. 28 and 29. It extends eastwards into the south-western portion of the Belgian Congo, and includes the Lubale of northern Barotseland and the sources of the river Zambezi, and possibly the Gangela of south-western Angola.

(31) Southwards of group No. 30 is that of the Barotseland languages, of which the best-known form—almost the only one that is effectively illustrated—is Si-luyi. To Si-luyi may be related the Mabunda of Western Barotseland. The dialects of the Ambwela, A-mbwe, Ma-bukushu and A-kwamashi are probably closely related.

(32) Next is a group which might be styled the Subiya-Tonga-Ila, though some authorities think that Tonga and Ila deserve to be ranked as an independent group. There is, however, a close alliance in structure between the languages of each of the two subsections. The Tonga subgroup would include the dialects of the Ba-tetela, the Ba-ila (Mashukulumbwe) and of all Central Zambezia. Ci-subiya is the dominant language of South-West Zambezia, along a portion of the Zambezi river south of Barotseland, and in the lands lying between the Zambezi and the Chobe-Linyante river. Subiya is one of the most archaic of Bantu languages, more so than Tonga. Both are without any strong affinity to Oci-herero, and only evince a slight relationship with the Zulu group (No. 44).

(33) The Bisa or Wisa family includes the languages of Iramba, Bausi, Lukinga, in the southernmost projection of the Belgian Congo, and the dialects of Lubisa and Ilala between the Chambezi river and Lake Bangweulu on the north, and the Luangwa river on the east and south; perhaps also some of the languages along the course of the Upper Luapula river.

(34) With it is closely allied that of the Bemba or Emba dialects. This interesting genus occupies the ground between the south-west and south coasts of Tanganyika, Lake Mweru, and the Upper Chambezi river. The Ki-bemba domain may be taken to include the locally-modified Ki-lungu and Ki-mambwe of South and South-East Tanganyika.

(35) What may be called the North Nyasa or Nkonde group comprises all the dialects of the north-west and north coasts of Lake Nyasa (such as Ici-wandia and Iki-nyikiusa) and Ishi-nyiχa of the Nyasa-Tanganyika plateau, and extends perhaps as far north west as the Fipa country (Iki-fipa), and the shores of Lake Rukwa (Ici-wungu) in the vicinity of the Nyamwezi domain (No. 11). Iki-fipa, however, has some affinities to the Tanganyika and western Victoria-Nyanza languages (groups Nos. 1 and 12).

  1. It is an important and recently discovered fact (delineated in the work of the Baptist missionaries and of the Austrian traveller Dr Franz Thonner) that the Congo at its northern and north-eastern bend, between the Rubi river and Stanle' Falls, lies outside the Bantu field. The Bandon a and Wamanga languages are not Bantu. They are allied to the Ilibuba-Momfu of the lturi and Nepoko, and also to the Mundu of the Egyptian Sudan. The Mundu group extends westward to the Ubangi river, as far south as 3° 30’ N. See George Grenfell and the Congo, by Sir Harry Johnston; and Dans la Grande Forét de l'Afr1'gue éguatoriale, by Franz Thonner (1899).