Structure of the Ebembe Language

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


English Department

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michal Temkin Martínez


This poster is an overview of the linguistic features of the Ebembe (bmb; also Kibembe) language, spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and parts of Tanzania, as well as by a number of refugees in the Boise area. Ebembe is classified as a Bantu language, part of the Atlantic-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Although the language has around 252,000 speakers, it is considerably under-documented in terms of linguistic literature. Throughout the Spring 2019 semester, 13 students in the linguistics capstone course (LING 498) met with a native speaker of Ebembe in order to document and analyze the language’s phonological (sounds), morphological (words), and syntactic (sentences) features. This analysis, accompanied by recordings from sessions with the speaker, helps to serve the linguistic community beyond Boise State by providing other linguists with a new set of data to further their research. It will also serve the Ebembe speaking community by providing well documented resources on their language and archiving such resources for future generations to have access to.

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