Linguistic diversity and endangered languages in the Northeast of the DRC

Map Languages of the Northeastern DRC

Ricquier, Birgit, Esaie Bangwabendi Katoba, David Kopa wa Kopa, Charles Kumbatulu Sita Bangbasa, Constance Kutsch Lojenga, Jacques-Riverain Lofemba Boningoli Batita, Jacky Maniacky, Nicolas Mombaya Liwila, & Emmanuel Ngbanga Bandombele. Submitted. La diversité linguistique dans le nord-est de la République Démocratique du Congo. Unesco World Report.

The project was only one month in vigour when colleagues put my attention to the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages. If we had plans for events in this context? I was slightly embarrassed that I wasn’t aware of this international year, I was rather taken up by administrative matters to get the project started and my readings were more about the past. When I googled the UNESCO website I found a call for papers, and I immediately got enthusiastic: wouldn’t it be a great way to start the project with a sort of inventory of the languages spoken in our region of focus and to check their vulnerability and available documentation? And would it not even be better to make it a joint paper with the linguists of our scientific network? I sent them an email right away, and was happy to learn that most shared my enthusiasm. Our first paper is written, and it is a collaboration with Esaie Bangwabendi Katoba (Institut Facultaire de Missiologie de Kisangani), David Kopa wa Kopa, Charles Kumbatulu Sita Bangbasa, Jacques-Riverain Lofemba Boningoli Batita, Nicolas Mombaya Liwila and Emmanuel Ngbanga Bandombele (Université de Kisangani, Département des Lettres et Civilisations Africaines), Constance Kutsch Lojenga (Leiden University / SIL International), and Jacky Maniacky (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren).

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