Nyanga–Buyi languages

Nyanga–Buyi are a pair of Bantu languages left after the languages of Zone D.40–50 in Guthrie's classification were reclassified. According to Nurse & Philippson (2003), they form a valid node.

Nyanga, Buyi
Nyanga–Buyi
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
GlottologNone

References

  • Nurse & Philippson (2003), The Bantu Languages.
Buyu language

Buyu, or Buyi, is a Bantu language of Lake Tanganyika that is closely related to Nyanga.

Guthrie classification of Bantu languages

The 250 or so "Narrow Bantu languages" are conventionally divided up into geographic zones first proposed by Malcolm Guthrie (1967–1971). These were assigned letters A–S and divided into decades (groups A10, A20, etc.); individual languages were assigned unit numbers (A11, A12, etc.), and dialects further subdivided (A11a, A11b, etc.). This coding system has become the standard for identifying Bantu languages; it was the only practical way to distinguish many ambiguously named languages before the introduction of ISO 639-3 coding, and it continues to be widely used. Only Guthrie's Zone S is (sometimes) considered to be a genealogical group. Since Guthrie's time a Zone J (made of languages formerly classified in groups D and E) has been set up as another possible genealogical group bordering the Great Lakes.

The list is first summarized, with links to articles on accepted groups of Bantu languages (bold decade headings). Following that is the complete 1948 list, as updated by Guthrie in 1971 and by J. F. Maho in 2009.

Nyanga language

The Nyanga language (native name Kinyanga) is a language spoken by the Nyanga people in Kivu province, north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Speaker estimates range from 27,000 (Biebuyck & Matheene 1970) to 150,000 (1994 census). Many of the Nyanga speak Congo Swahili, the dominant regional lingua franca, as a second language. Nyanga is a Bantu language. Most of the (scarce) linguistic research conducted on Nyanga has been based on the materials published by Biebuyck and Mateene.

Nyanga literature is best known for the tales recorded by Daniel Biebuyck in 1956 and published in 1969 and 1970, including the Mwindo epic. This epic is titled after the main hero, Mwindo, a miraculously born Pygmy-like human being who possesses not only a magical sceptre but also the power of the word. It centers around Mwindo's travels and encounters during the search for his father.

In other Nyanga tales, the dog often plays an important role as a mythical animal, reflecting the importance of hunting dogs in Nyanga society.

Languages

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