Yaka language (Congo–Angola)

Spoken in

  • Niger - Congo Benue - Congo Bantoid Kiyaka


Yaka is a Bantu language and in the north of Angola and in the province of Bandundu (Democratic Republic of Congo) is spoken by approximately 900,000 people.

Alternative names are Iyaka, Kiyaka and Yiyaka.

  • 4.1 Notes and references
  • 4.2 sources 4.2.1 Further reading


Kiyaka belongs to the Niger -Congo family, within which it is assigned to the branch of the Benue - Congo languages ​​, where the Bantoiden languages. The language is localized in the Guthrie - zone H31 and related inter alia Kintandu, Umbundu and Kiyombe.


Vowel inventory

Kiyaka has an inventory of five short and five long vowels.

The vowels follow a vowel harmony.

Consonant inventory

Kiyaka has simple and compound consonants in the phonemic level.

The composite sequences in the table are to be regarded rather as complex segments because as the underlying units. They are derived by phonological rules. Thus, the table shows rather represents a Phoninventar

Syllable structure

The typical ( canonical ) syllable has the shape CV in Kiyaka. (Where C = consonant and V = vowel means. )

However, there are also others syllable structures:

(Where G = glide, N = nasal and. = Syllable boundary )

V- syllables are very rare to find and especially in vocatives and interjections. Syllables that contain a glide is often caused by a phonological process of Devokalisierung, the high and posterior in the corresponding glide changes when it would before the final vowels / a /, / e / and / o / are.

Although vowel length is meaningless distinctive, enter CVV syllables ( = CV ː ) is not unpredictable, but preferred as initial stem syllables. If CVV syllables occur word- internally, which is often the result of suffixation, stem - or word- final they occur only in loanwords on (from the French ).


Kiyaka is a tonal language, that is the pitch of a vowel is significant distinctive. Phonetic three tones can be distinguished: H (high), L (low) and R (extra high, R = raised ).

Sound is both lexically grammatically distinctive. ndóòngò (HLL ) means "needle " while ndòóngò ( LHL ) " palm wine " means.


Kiyaka, like most Bantu languages ​​an " agglutinative " morphology, ie morphemes press only one grammatical category and the link is made (mostly ) konkatenativ. The existence of noun classes is also typical of Bantu languages.

References and links