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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Kiluba, Chiluba), the language of the Baluba; belongs to the Bantu language family. Luba is spoken in the central and southern regions of the Republic of Zaire by about 3.2 million people (1970, estimate). There are more than 20 dialects (the main dialects are Lulua, Sango, Kaonde, Hemba, Kiluba, and Tshiluba).

The phonetic structure of Luba is characterized by the presence of four distinctive musical tones, vowel harmony, and nasal sonants. The grammatical structure is characterized by concordial classes, which are marked by monosyllabic prefixes. The Luba class system includes augmentative, diminutive, and locative classes with a strictly maintained concord that is rarely observed in other Bantu languages.


Burssens, A. Manuel de Tshiluba (Kasayi, Congo Beige). Antwerp, 1946.
Clercq, A. de. Dictionnaire Luba. Leopoldville, 1936-37.
Becket, H. W. Handbook of Kiluba (Luba-Katanga). Mulongo (Katanga-Congo), 1951.
Avermaert, E. Dictionnaire Kiluba-Franæais. Tervaren, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As could be noticed, the author borrows the notion of ndumba, a linguistic term from various Bantu languages and linguistic areas, such as Lingala, Kikongo and Ciluba, which he uses liberally.