Language name and locationː Ndazi, DR of the Congo [Not reported on Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区恩达兹语, 刚果民主人民共和国中部开赛河流域地区


1.  ómɔtúk

21.  akúm ípé yɛ ómɔtúk

2.  ípe

22.  akúm ípé yɛ ípe

3.  ísâr

23.  akúm ípé yɛ ísâr

4.  íná

24.  akúm ípé yɛ íná

5.  ítáàn

25.  akúm ípé yɛ ítáàn

6.  ísyɛ́mɛ

26.  akúm ípé yɛ ísyɛ́mɛ

7.  ntsaamɔ̌n 

27.  akúm ípé yɛ ntsaamɔ̌n

8.  ínáána

28.  akúm ípé yɛ ínáána

9.  iwa

29.  akúm ípé yɛ iwa

10. dzǔm̀

30.  akúm ísâr

11. dzǔm yɛ ómɔtúk

40.  akúm íná

12. dzǔm yɛ ípe

50.  akúm ítáàn

13. dzǔm yɛ ísâr

60.  akúm ísyɛ́mɛ

14. dzǔm yɛ íná

70.  akúm ntsaamɔ̌n

15. dzǔm yɛ ítáàn

80.  akúm ínáána

16. dzǔm yɛ ísyɛ́mɛ

90.  akúm iwa

17. dzǔm yɛ ntsaamɔ̌n

100. ŋkám, 102.ŋkám ómɔtúk yɛ ípe

18. dzǔm yɛ ínáána

200. ŋkám ípé,  900. ŋkám íwa

19. dzǔm yɛ iwa

1000. mille ( < French )

20. akúm ípe



Linguist providing data and dateː Prof. Larry H. Hyman. Department of linguistics,

University of California, Berkeley, USA, January 26, 2012.

Reference source:  2011. Hyman, Larry M.,  Crane, Thera Marie, Tukumu, SJ, Simon Nsielanga,  University of California, Berkeley. University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd.

供资料的语言学家: Prof. Larry H. Hyman, 2012 年 1 月 26 日.


Other comments: Ndazi is a Bantu language of B 80, not mentioned in "Ethnologue".

Nzadi is a virtually unknown Bantu language spoken along the Kasai River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During the academic year 2008-2009 we were fortunate to be able to work together when the third author, a native speaker of Nzadi, was a student at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

In Fall 2008, Simon Tukumu served as a language consultant for an undergraduate field

methods course, jointly conducted by the first two authors, and attended by nine Berkeley undergraduate students and one visiting graduate student from Madrid. When the three authors originally met in the Winter of 2008 to see if Simon could serve as the language consultant for Linguistics 140, we were not only unaware of any previous work on Nzadi—or in fact, of any previous mention of the language in the literature: For example, there was (and as of June 2011 still is) no mention of Nzadi in the on-line Ethnologue ( We later discovered that a Belgian scholar, Nico Burssens, had collected word lists in the area, including Nzadi, which he had sent to the second author for inclusion in the Comparative Bantu On-Line Dictionary (CBOLD) database in the mid 1990s. That was it, the complete record on the Nzadi language.2 A Grammar of Nzadi After the course ended, with five of the original field methods students, we decided to continue our investigations as a Study Group during the Spring 2009 semester. Our goal was to add to the previously recorded and analyzed materials which could then be assembled into a grammar of this heretofore unstudied Bantu language. The current grammar is based on information obtained from elicitations as well as three narratives (Texts 1-3) spoken by Simon Tukumu, with all sessions being recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by the members of the project. While our goal was to cover as much ground as possible the resulting grammar is obviously limited by the logistics (cf. §1.4). As will be seen, the chapters which present thephonology and morphology are more comprehensive than those dealing with syntactic,semantic and pragmatic issues. Our goal has been to cover the basics in hopes that the work will be useful to Bantu scholars, general linguists, and to the speakers of Nzadi themselves. Needless to say, this is a first grammar, which we hope will be followed up by other studies.

The Nzadi Language As mentioned, Nzadi is a small Bantu language spoken by fishing communities from Kwamuntu to Ilebo along the North side of the Kasai River in Bandundu Province (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Their villages are interspersed with others consisting of speakers of different languages, particularly Dzing, Mbuun, and Lwal. Simon Tukumu was born in Bundu, shown on the following map, where he lived until the age of 13. He did his primary school in Bundu and Kikwit, secondary school in Bandundu, and subsequent studies in Bandundu and Kinshasa. He also speaks Dzing, Kikongo (Kituba) and Lingala. It is not known how many Nzadi speakers there are, but based on the number and size of the known Nzadi villages, we estimate several thousand. Since Nzadi was virtually unknown until our study, it was not indexed within Malcolm Guthrie’s Bantu zones A-S. It is clear, however, that Nzadi belongs with other languages in Guthrie’s B.80 group, shown on the following map (courtesy of Jouni Maho): Appropriately, Jouni Maho ( has since designated it as B.865. Simon Tukumu considers it most closely related to Lwal (also unstudied), then perhaps to Dzing. It is not clear and we consider it unlikely that the B.80 languages constitute a genetic subgroup. Although there has been work on some of the B.80 languages, all are in need of further study. These languages seem to have been long in contact with each other and other Bantu languages from which they have either heavily borrowed or otherwise undergone areal changes. As will be seen in the following chapters, Nzadi has undergone much more reduction than some of the surrounding languages. It has significantly shortened words, many of which are now monosyllabic (Chapter 2), and it has lost almost all noun class agreement (Chapter 5) and derivational morphology, e.g. verb extensions (Chapter 6). As a result of the considerable phonetic erosion and morphological attrition, Nzadi has developed a largely isolating syntax, with many short words and particles. Such processes are

not unknown in the Northwest Bantu area and borderland: Certain zone A Bantu languages, as well as Grassfields Bantu and other Bantoid languages in Cameroon have also lost syllables and morphemes. However, these languages are not daughters of the Proto-Bantu reconstructed by A. E. Meeussen and others, rather reconstruct to different proto languages. While the historical changes that have taken place in Nzadi definitely give it a “non-Bantu” feel, it is clear that Nzadi derives from a quite canonical Bantu type.

As seen above, the tone of the vowel prefix /ó-/ of 'one' and the /í-/ of 'two' through 'six' and 'eight' is H, making numerals different from nouns. (The vowel prefix of iwa 'nine' is L, as is the nasal prefix of ntsaamɔ̌n 'seven'.) While none of these prefixes alternate in form, dzǔm̀ 'ten' has a plural form akúm 'tens, -ty' used to express decades:

As seen, 'twenty' = 2 x 10, 'thirty' = 3 x 10, and so forth.

We did not find a word for 'thousand' in Nzadi. Instead, the French word mille is used.

 Tone marks: ( ′ ) : H(igh), ( `) : L(ow) unmarked, (  ̂) : HL falling,  (  ̌) : LH rising

̌`) : LHL rising-falling, ( ): Downstepped H.


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