Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Tim Thornes


This poster provides a preliminary description of the linguistic features of Tshiluba (also known as Luba-Kasai), a major language spoken in the south-central, Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and by several refugee families in the Boise area. Tshiluba is characterized as an Atlantic-Congo, Narrow Bantu, Central language (L31) within the Niger-Congo language family and, although it is spoken by over 6 million people and enjoys national language status in DRC, it has not received extensive recent attention in the linguistic literature. Over the course of a semester, our group has met with native speakers of Tshiluba to document the phonological, morphological, and syntactic features of the language as well as several semantic domains of interest. The analysis of these features, along with recordings made by our group, serves the greater linguistic community by providing theoretical linguists with new language data to support their research. It will also serve the Tshiluba community in the diaspora by providing documentation and archived recordings of this language for future generations to access. One goal in the community is to encourage the development of teaching materials to support others interested in learning the language.

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