Mangbetu language

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Mangbetu
Nemangbetu
Region Congo (DRC)
Ethnicity Mangbetu people
Native speakers
(660,000 cited 1985–1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
mdj – Mangbetu
lmi – Lombi
Glottolog mang1394  Mangbetu[2]
lomb1254  Lombi[3]

Mangbetu, or Nemangbetu, is one of the most populous of the Central Sudanic languages. It is spoken by the Mangbetu people of northeastern Congo. It, or its speakers, are also known as Amangbetu, Kingbetu, Mambetto. The most populous dialect, and the one most widely understood, is called Medje. Others are Aberu (Nabulu), Makere, Malele, Popoi (Mapopoi). The most divergent is Lombi; Ethnologue treats it as a distinct language. About half of the population speaks Bangala, a trade language similar to Lingala, and in southern areas some speak Swahili.

The Mangbetu live in association with the Asua Pygmies, and their languages are closely related.

Phonology[edit]

One unusual feature of Mangbetu is that it has both a voiced and a voiceless bilabial trill as well as a labial flap.[4][5]

[nóʙ̥ù] "to bring out"
[nóʙù] "to fan"
[nómʙù] "to enclose"
[nóⱱò] "to defecate"
[nóʙò] "to get fat"

The labial trills are not particularly associated with back vowels or prenasalization, pace their development in some American languages.[6]

[éʙ̥ì] "leaping like a leopard"
[nɛʙàʙá] "kind of plan"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mangbetu at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
    Lombi at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Mangbetu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lombi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Linguist Wins Symbolic Victory for 'Labiodental Flap'. NPR (2005-12-17). Retrieved on 2010-12-08.
  5. ^ LINGUIST List 8.45: Bilabial trill. Linguistlist.org. Retrieved on 2010-12-08.
  6. ^ Olson & Koogibho (2013) "Labial vibrants in Mangbetu"