Kifuliiru Language Structures

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Tim Thornes


This poster provides a preliminary description of the linguistic features of Kifuliiru, a minority language of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and of several refugee families in the Boise area. Kifuliiru is characterized as an Atlantic-Congo, Narrow Bantu language (D63) within the Niger-Congo language family, currently spoken by around 400,000 people. Over the course of a semester, our group has met with native speakers of Kifuliiru to document key phonological, semantic, morphological, and syntactic features of the language. Our analyses of these features, along with audio and video recordings, serves theoretical linguistics with new language data for analysis and anthropological linguistics with a window into Kifuliiru culture. Our project also serves the Kifuliiru community in the diaspora by providing documentation and archived recordings of the language for future generations to access. One goal for the community is to develop teaching materials to support others interested in learning the language.

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