1650 map entitled 'Regna Congo et Angola' by Joannes (Johan) Jansson - Janssonium

Zephirin Pinzi, Ciwoyo language consultant, in

Jean-Pierre Basilwa, Kimanyanga language
consultant, in Luozi

Linguistic fieldwork in the DRC in 2015

In order to gather new language data for his PhD research, Sebastian Dom visited three localities in the DRC from 7 October until 8 December 2015.

During a short stay in Kinshasa after his arrival, Sebastian gave a presentation at UNIKIN titled 'Le continuum linguistique kikongo: Recherches classificatoires et grammaticales'.


Following the KongoKing linguistic fieldwork trip in 2012 as well as additional research (resulting in the publication of Dom & Bostoen 2015), a fairly exhaustive list could be drawn up of the most frequent tense/aspect markers in the KLC.

However, a solid understanding of the meaning of these verbal morphemes and the interaction between their semantics and the lexical aspect of different types of verbs was still largely lacking.

With a focus on three Kikongo varieties spoken in the Central Congo province of the DRC, i.e. Ciwoyo, Kimanyanga and Kintandu, three objectives were formulated related to Sebastian's PhD research on tense/aspect in Kikongo:

1. To obtain a comprehensive overview of the conjugational systems of Ciwoyo, Kimanyanga and Kintandu.

2. To undertake a detailed investigation of the exact meaning of tense/aspect markers.

3. To describe the system of melodic tone in Ciwoyo, Kimanyanga and Kintandu.


Different kinds of data were gathered in Boma (Ciwoyo), Luozi (Kimanyanga, Kidondo) and Kisantu (Kintandu), resulting in a total of 36 hours of recordings.

In addition to the controlled language data, natural speech was recorded for Ciwoyo (for which very little corpus material exists).

For both Kimanyanga and Kintandu books of various literary genres (theatre, popular science, education, religion) were collected.

Lastly, basic vocabulary (Swadesh-200) was elicited for Kimanyanga and Kidondo as well as cultural vocabulary for Kimanyanga.

Hosts of the Catholic Mission in Luozi

Working space in Boma

View from the Catholic Mission in Luozi

Dr. José Dianzungu dia Biniakunu

Playing foosball with the locals in Luozi

Leaving Luozi on the Congo-ferry