Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Supplementary Issue Back Number > No.38 (2008)
AUX SOURCES DU LINGÁLA: Cas du Mbenga de Mankaza — Nouvel Anvers

André MOTINGEA Mangulu, BONZOI Mwamakasa


pp. 1-93

AUX SOURCES DU LINGÁLA: Cas du Mbenga de Mankaza — Nouvel Anvers

André MOTINGEA Mangulu, BONZOI Mwamakasa
Université Pédagogique Nationale de Kinshasa
BONZOI Mwamakasa
Institut Superieur Pédagogique de Mbandaka

ABSTRACT
    This study deals with the language of the Mbenga, a small tribe dwelling in the hinterland of the former State Station of New Antwerpen (Mankanza). The aim is to revisit the quest of the origin of Lingala by taking as a starting point one of the languages of the supposed area of its emergence. This study also provides a good quantity of materials on Mbenga itself, which today may be consedered as an endangered language or almost an extinct language. The conclusion is that the past of Lingala is still a matter of future research. Its vocabulary, phonology and grammar are not linked to a single language, but to several languages located in the upper and lower Ubangi, in Lake Tumba and Lake Inongo area, in the lower Lualaba and Lomame, and in the Wele Plateau. This suggests that Lingala is a very ancient lingua franca as it was already pointed by Meeussen (1980: 598). The origin and the development of Lingala appear therefore as a very important phenomenon not only from the point of view of Bantu and general linguistics but also as a real bridge for the understanding of precolonial history of the Congo basin as a whole.

Key Words: Congo basin; Lingala; Mbenga; Lingua Franca; Waterways Trade.

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