Ndunga-le: a poorly known Mbaic (Ubangi) linguistic enclave in the CongUbangi watershed

01 February 2024 → 31 January 2028
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • African languages
    • Grammar
    • Historical linguistics
    • Linguistic typology
linguistic typology language description historical linguistics
Project description

Central Africa’s Congo-Ubangi watershed is a major hotbed of linguistic, cultural and human genetic diversity. One of the hallmarks of this region are Ubangi linguistic enclaves geographically far removed from one another and surrounded by Bantu and/or Central Sudanic speakers. Ubangi is at present a highly debated geneaological group. These isolated linguistic pockets appear to resist language shift and are often considered as remnants of the earliest migration wave into the region's debated settlement history. This project aims to document the phonology, morphology and syntax of Ndunga-le, a poorly known Ubangi enclave variety belonging to the Mbaic subgroup, through the collection and analysis of first-hand fieldwork data. The project will focus on structures likely to accrue complexity and/or irregularity, such as nominal and verbal paradigms, as well as pronominal and deictic systems.