Lingála is a Bantu language with a total of approximately 45 million native speakers and lingua franca users. It is spoken in the west and north DR Congo (including in Kinshasa), in the Republic of Congo (including in Brazzaville), and in northwest Angola. It also continues to strengthen its position as a secondary lingua franca in parts of the DRC where Kikongo, Swahili, and Tshiluba are the dominant lingua francas. In addition, it is the main medium of communication and emblem of Congolese identity among the Central African diaspora. Lingála’s origins go back to the pidginization of Bobangi in the 1880s, an episode to which it still owes a reduced system of noun class agreement as well as grammatical and lexical generalizations. This second, revised and enlarged edition offers thoroughly updated discussions of items already treated in the first edition (A Grammatical Overview of Lingála, Lincom Studies in African Linguistics 81, 2010), and especially adds new analyses of many structures that were not yet covered. It also offers much more examples, many of which were culled from corpora, to illustrate the grammatical features and analyses. The account of the sociohistorical background of Lingála has also been revised and amply extended on the basis of newly discovered sources.
Michael Meeuwis is professor of Lingála and African linguistics at the University of Ghent, Belgium.
ISBN 9783969390047(Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 81. 333pp. 2020.