Sawabantu languages

Sawabantu languages
Linguistic classification: Niger–Congo
  • Atlantic–Congo
    • Benue–Congo
      • Bantoid
        • Bantu (Zone A.20–30)
          • Sawabantu

The Sawabantu languages are a clade of Bantu languages coded Zone A.20–30 or perhaps A.10–30 in Guthrie's classification. According to Nurse & Philippson (2003), the A.20 and A.30 languages apart from Bube form a valid node. They are:

(A.20) Duala, Su (Isuwu), Bubia (Bobe), Kpwe (Mokpwe, Bakweri) – Mboko (Bomboko, Wumboko) – Kole (Bakole), Limba (Malimba); (A.30) Batanga, Yasa, Kombe, Benga. For example, speakers of Limba (A.26), report some degree of mutual comprehension with Batanga (A.32) which they call "old Malimba" [1].

In addition, the (A.10) languages apart from the Manenguba cluster may also belong, but this is uncertain as they are poorly documented:

(A.10) Oroko. According to Lisa and Dan Friesen : "Despite the geographical proximity and linguistic classification of these groups, Oroko actually seems to share more similarities with A.20 languages like Duala (Jacquot and Richardson 1956:20-23, Richardson 1955:7-28)" [2]. Oroko dialects seem to be particularily close to Kpwe (A22) with which mutual intelligibility might be possible to some extent[citation needed] . On the other hand, a linguistic survey is needed to tell whether other "non-Manenguba" A.10 languages (Bonkeng, Nkongho, Bafaw-Balong...) are genetically related to the Sawabantu group.


  1. ^ M. Lamberty - A rapid appraisal survey of Malimba in Cameroon
  2. ^ L. Friesen - Valence change and Oroko verb morphology


  • Nurse & Philippson (2003), The Bantu Languages.

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