Bala language

Bala (Lobala) is a Bantu language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to Maho (2009), it includes Boko (Iboko).[5]

Bala
Lobala
Native toDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Native speakers
60,000 Lobala (2000)[1]
21,000 Boko (no date)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
loq – Lobala
bkp – Iboko
Glottologloba1239  Lobala[3]
boko1263  Boko[4]
C16[5]

Distribution and status

Bala is spoken in the northwest corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo west of the Congo River by about 60,000 people. Most of these are not monolingual, but the language is being passed on to the next generation, especially in more remote areas. Ethnologue classifies the language as "vigorous", meaning that it is sustainable.[6]

There are four dialects of Bala: Likoka, Poko (Iboko), South Lobala, and Tanda.[6]

Negation

Like many languages in the Benue-Congo group, Bala forms negatives by adding an affix to the verbal phrase. However, Bala is unusual in that it adds two affixes to form negatives. These are added as a prefix and an suffix to the subject affix. For example,

ba-tub-aka
They sang
te-ba-ik-aka tuba
They did not sing

Here the te and the ik elements are the double affixes indicating negation, attached to the ba affix indicating third party plural. The tub element is the verb "to sing" and the aka affix indicates the past tense.[7]

moto me t-a-iká mo-phé ná baphalnágà ná ntóma
The man didn't give him money or food

In a similar way the t and iká negation elements are affixed to the verbal affix element a (indicating third person singular).[8]

References

  1. ^ Lobala at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Iboko at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Boko at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lobala". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Boko (Democratic Republic of Congo)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^ a b Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  6. ^ a b Lobala at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  7. ^ Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse, African Languages: An Introduction, p. 206, Cambridge University Press, 2000 ISBN 0521666295.
  8. ^ Lindsay J. Whaley, Introduction to Typology: The Unity and Diversity of Language, p. 4, SAGE Publications, 1996 ISBN 1506317855.
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