Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
(Kongo), the language of the Bakongo people, spoken by some 3.3 million people (1970, estimate). It is the official language of the Republic of Zaire and is also widely used in the People’s Republic of the Congo and in Angola. A Bantu language, Kikongo is divided into a southern branch (Kishikongo and Kikongo) and a northern branch (Kakongo and the Yombe and Vili dialects). Kikongo has vowel harmony and tones performing semantic functions. Its grammatical structure is characterized by nominal classes (15), whose indicators are monosyllabic prefixes. There is a well-developed system of derivative suffixal verb forms, and the word order is subject-predicate-object.
REFERENCESDoke, C. M. Bantu: Modern Grammatical, Phonetical and Lexicographical Studies Since 1860. London, 1945.
Laman, K. E. Dictionnaire kikongo-français. Brussels, 1936.
Dereau, L. Course de Kikongo. Namur, 1955.