BantUGent - UGent Centre for Bantu Studies

BantUGent
Department(s) 
Department of Languages and Cultures
Other institution(s) 
Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika (Tervuren)
Université du Burundi (Burundi)
Université de Kinshasa (DR Congo)
Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de la Gombe (DR Congo)
Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Kikwit (DR Congo)
Makerere University (Uganda)
University of Pretoria (South Africa)
Research Region 
Research Language 
Tags 
Bantu linguistics
Historical linguistics
Comparative linguistics
Corpus linguistics
Lexicography
Dialectology
Language technology
Language documentation and description
Transdisciplinary studies
Material culture studies
Art history
Historical anthropology
Economic anthropology

Tabgroup

Activities

LATEST NEWS

  • Lorenzo Maselli has obtained a FWO-grant for his PhD project titled "Documenting the Bantu Languages of the Last Hunter-Gatherer Communities of the Mai-Ndombe and Lower Kasai Regions (DRC): A Pioneering Phonetic and Laboratory Phonological Study". We are very happy to welcome him at BantUGent.

  • The BantuFirst project is in search of a postdoctoral researcher in African Linguistics. Applications are invited here. Deadline for applications: October 11, 2020, 23:59 CET.

PAST NEWS

  • The Flemish weekly Knack interviews Wannes Hubau (BantuFirst/BantUGent) about his research on asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests and its relevance for global warming.

  • On the occasion of 60 years of Congolese independence, Belgian Radio 1 interviewed Koen Bostoen (BantUGent) about the history of Congo/Kongo before the Belgians arrived.

  • Sara Pacchiarotti (BantUGent) has obtained a three-year FWO senior post-doc grant for a research project titled "Directionality in morphosyntactic change: West-Coastal Bantu as a historical test case for linguistic theory".

  • First published aDNA data from the DRC thanks to BantUGent excavations: A new interdisciplinary study published in the journal Science Advances reports on 20 newly sequenced ancient genomes from sub-Saharan Africa, including the first genomes from Botswana, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These last data are foremost the result of archaeological research on the ancient kingdom of the Kongo during the ERC-funded KongoKing project (BantUGent). The new study contributes to a better comprehension of how diverse African societies with a diverse linguistic and cultural background interacted with each other during the Neolithicon and Iron Age. English, French and Dutch press releases are available.

  • Sifra Van Acker (BantUGent) has obtained a grant from the Leopold III-foundation for nature research and conservation to do fieldwork on names of useful plants in West-Coastal Bantu languages spoken around Idiofa (Kwilu Province, DRC).

  • Sara Pacchiarotti (BantUGent) has a new book out titled "Bantu Applicative Constructions" in the "Stanford Monographs in African Languages" series published by The University of Chicago Press.

  • Nature published on March 5, 2020 groundbreaking research from Wannes Hubau, postdoctoral researcher within the BantuFirst project, and his former colleagues on the rates at which forests in Africa and Amazonia have taken up carbon between 1983 and 2015.

  • BantUGent welcomes post-doctoral researchers who want to join our team by applying for a Marie Skłodowska Curie (MSCA) Individual Fellowship. More info to be found here.

  • The BantuFirst project was in search of a postdoctoral researcher in African Archaeology. Applications were invited here.

  • On March 19th Dr. Louise Iles (Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield) would give a talk titled “Forests of iron: Exploring the resources used in early African iron production“. Her presentation would be followed by a BantuFirst Research Pitch by Dr. Bernard Clist on “Coastal Muanda Pottery and Social Diversification in the Early Iron Age of the Kongo Central Province (DRC)“. More info here. FOLLOWING THE UGENT CORONA MEASURES THIS EVENT WAS CANCELED AND POSTPONED TO A DATE TO BE SPECIFIED.

  • On February 18th Dr. Noemie Arazi (Groundworks & ULB) gave a talk titled “Kasongo (im)material: new insights into Swahili-Arab history and heritage in the DRC“. Her presentation was followed by a BantuFirst Research Pitch by Igor Matonda, Léon Mundeke, Sara Pacchiarotti & Koen Bostoen on “Joint archaeological, linguistic and genetic research in the vicinity of the West-Coastal Bantu homeland: the 2019 BantuFirst fieldwork campaign“. More info can be found here.
  • On December 12 at 10am Prof. Ceri Ashley (British Museum, London) gave a talk on "Pathways through the Forest? Reflecting on the Archaeology of Early Farming Communities in Great Lakes Africa". Her talk was followed by a BantuFirst research pitch on "The New West-Coastal Bantu Homeland: An Archaeological Assessment" by Sara Pacchiarotti & Dirk Seidensticker. More info can be found here.
  • On December 10 at 1pm Lorenzo Maselli (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa & LLACAN, Paris) gave a talk titled "The importance of integrated articulatory and acoustic analysis for consonant identification: Some preliminary data from Ethiosemitic and Jukunoid" in the Camelot room on the 3rd floor of the Blandijn building, Blandijnberg 2, Ghent. This event was co-organised by the BantUGent and ΔiaLing research groups.
  • Sara Pacchiarotti gave a talk during the interdisciplinary conference “More than just words: A celebration of southern African languages on the occasion of the UNESCO Year of the Indigenous Languages” that took place November 11-13, 2019 at the CIBIO-InBIO lab in Vairão (Portugal). More info can be found here.
  • On November 21 Lengson Ngwasi (Gothenburg University) will presented a talk titled "The non-reflexive functions of the reflexive prefix i- in the Tanzanian Bantu languages Hehe, Nilamba and Nyaturu" in the Faculty Board room (Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent). This event was co-organised by the BantUGent and ΔiaLing research groups.
  • On November 21 Dr. Louis Champion (Goethe Universität Frankfurt) gave a talk on the "Domestication of Pearl Millet in Africa: Potential Origins and Diffusion". His talk was followed by a BantuFirst research pitch on "Bananas in Early Bantu Speech Communities: Reconsidering Linguistic Evidence" by Sifra Van Acker. More info can be found here.
  • On Tuesday October 22,  Prof. André Motingea Mangulu from Kinshasa University gave a talk titled “Particularités des langues mongo parlées par les groupes d’anciens chasseurs-collecteurs du bassin central congolais : Une contribution à la linguistique historique et à l’histoire des migrations” as part of a BantuFirst research seminar, during which Sara Pacchiarotti will also present a research pitch on “Dorsal fricatives in West Coastal Bantu: substrate interference from extinct hunter- gatherer languages?”. More info can be found here.
  • In August and September 2019, Sara Pacchiarotti and Koen Bostoen did multidisciplinary fieldwork in the Kwilu Province of the DRC. For more info, check out the blog of the BantuFirst project website.
  • In May and June 2019 several members of our research group have contributed to two international and interdisicplinary conferences on the ancient peopling history of Africa: one in Uppsala and one in Geneva. For more info, check out the blog of the BantuFirst project website.
  • The BantuFirst research of 27 May 2019 had to be cancelled. The happening would have combined a lecture on the Bantu expansion by international expert Ceri Ashley from the British Museum, London, with a short interdisciplinary research presentation by Bernard Clist and Sara Pacchiarotti, members of the BantuFirst team, about their recent archaeological and linguistic research. For more information, see the project website.
  • On 17 May 2019 a BantuFirst research seminar took place between 10:00 and 12:00 at the UFO (Department of Archaeology, 1st floor). The happening combined a lecture on the Bantu expansion by international expert Chris Kiahtipes from the University of South Florida, Tampa, with a short interdisciplinary research presentation by Dirk Seidensticker and Wannes Hubau, members of the BantuFirst team,  who talked about uncovering the chrono-cultural and palaeoenvironmental sequences at Mukila (Kwango Province, DRC). For more information, see the project website.
  • On 17 May 2019 the book Afrikaanse Letterkunde was launched at the African Studies Centre in Leiden. Afrikaanse Letterkunde forms the sole introduction into African literatures in the Dutch language. It offers an overview of all major literary developments in oral as well as written literatures of the continent. The current edition was co-authored by Mineke Schipper, Daniela Merolla and BantUGent member Inge Brinkman and is published by Amsterdam University Press.
  • On 14 April 2019 our PhD student Heidi Goes was interviewed by the Jornal de Angola on her linguistic fieldwork in Cabinda.
  • On 1 April 2019, our centre welcomed a new member involved in the ERC-CG BantuFirst project: Wannes Hubau, who who does post-doctoral research for the project’s archaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental aspects.
  • On 21 March 2019, three of our members presented their post-doc research: Rozenn Guérois on "A typology of the passive voice in Bantu", Hilde Gunnink on "Language contact between migrating Bantu speakers and resident Khoisan speakers in southern Africa" and Minah Nabirye on "Duplication processes in Lusoga morphosyntax". The event took place in the 'Grote Vergaderzaal' (3rd floor, Blandijn) and was organised by ΔiaLing.
  • Applications were invited for a one-year renewable postdoctoral research position starting in April 2019 to coordinate and carry out anthracological and archaeobotanical research within the ERC-funded BantuFirst project led by Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen ... DEADLINE Mar 07, 2019 17:00. See the call here.
  • On 19 February 2019 the second edition of The Bantu Languages came out, with input from several BantUGent members: Maud Devos, Rozenn Guérois, Joseph Koni Muluwa, Koen Bostoen.
  • On 5 December 2018, two edited volumes which are the results of the ERC-funded KongoKing project, were announced and presented by Koen Bostoen, Pierre de Maret, Inge Brinkman and Bernard Clist. The writer Wilfried N'Sondé was invited to talk about the Kongo kingdom and his conceptualization of its history in the novel 'Un océan, deux mers, trois continents'. For the KongoKing books, see here and here; for the launch, see here.
  • On 27 November 2018, Sebastian Dom successfully defended his PhD thesis "Bantu verbal derivation and tense/aspect from a historical-comparative perspective: The Kikongo Language Cluster and beyond". The research was supervised by Prof. Koen Bostoen and Prof. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver.
  • Together with the Royal Museum for Central Africa we organised a workshop on "Reconstructing Proto-Bantu Grammar", which took place from 19 till 23 November 2018, in Ghent with an excursion mid-week to Tervuren.
  • On 1 October 2018, Dr. Minah Nabirye started a BOF-funded post-doctoral project in Bantu corpus linguistics entitled "Duplication processes in Lusoga morphosyntax" (supervisor: Prof. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver).
  • On 1 October 2018, Dr. Hilde Gunnink started an FWO-funded post-doctoral project in Bantu-Khoisan contact linguistics entitled "Language contact between migrating Bantu speakers and resident Khoisan speakers in southern Africa" (supervisor: Prof. Koen Bostoen).
  • On 27 June 2018, Manoah-Joël Misago successfully defended his PhD thesis "Les verbes de mouvement et l’expression du lieu en Kirundi (bantou, JD62) : une étude linguistique basée sur un corpus". The research was supervised by Prof. Koen Bostoen and Prof. Maud Devos.
  • On 14 June 2018, Dr. Sara Pacchiarotti gave a talk on "Bantu applicative construction types involving Proto-Bantu *-ɪd: Form, functions and diachrony", in the 'Grote Vergaderzaal' (3rd floor, Blandijn). This event was co-organised with ΔiaLing.
  • On 14 May 2018, Sifra Van Acker started an ERC-funded PhD project in historical Bantu linguistics entitled "Reconstructing the Subsistence Strategies of the First Bantu Speakers South of the Central-African Rainforest: A Historical-Linguistic Approach to Plant and Animal Names in West-Coastal Bantu" under the co-supervision of Prof. Koen Bostoen and Dr. Sara Pacchiarotti as part of the BantuFirst project.
  • On 4 April 2018, Dr. Rozenn Guérois started a BOF-funded post-doctoral project in comparative Bantu linguistics entitled "A Typology of Passive Voice in Bantu" (supervisor: Prof. Koen Bostoen).
  • On 22 March 2018, Dr. Gastor Mapunda (University of Dar es Salaam) presented a talk entitled "A Comparative Study of Language Attitudes in the Context of Contact: Examples of Sukuma and Ngoni of Tanzania" in room C.01.27 of the Rozier-Plateau building (African Languages and Cultures Section). This lecture was part of an Internationalisation@Home activity organized by the UGent African Studies Program.
  • Applications were invited for a two-year PhD student position, starting as soon as possible and renewable once, to carry out historical-comparative linguistic research on West-Coastal Bantu languages within the ERC-funded BantuFirst project, led by Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen ... DEADLINE March 15, 2018 12:00. See the call here.
  • On 9 March 2018, Hilde Gunnink successfully defended her PhD thesis "A Grammar of Fwe, a Bantu Language of Zambia and Namibia". The research was supervised by Prof. Michael Meeuwis and Prof. Koen Bostoen.
  • On 1 March 2018, Jutta De Nul started a BOF-funded PhD project on Swahili lexicography under the supervision of Prof. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver (who obtained the starting grant) and Prof. Koen Bostoen.
  • Early January 2018, our centre welcomed two new members who are involved in the ERC-CG BantuFirst project: Dirk Seidensticker, who does post-doctoral research in African Archaeology on the first village settlements south of the rainforest, and Sara Pacchiarotti, who does post-doctoral research in African Linguistics on the West-Coastal Bantu languages.
  • Bernard Clist, visiting professor at our centre and collaborator of our former KongoKing project, gave four public lectures on African archaeology at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris (France) in November-December 2017. More info is to be found here.
  • On 23 November 2017, Deo Kawalya successfully defended his PhD thesis "A Corpus-driven Study of the Expression of Modality in Luganda (Bantu, JE15)". The research was supervised by Prof. Koen Bostoen and Prof. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver.
  • Applications were invited for a one-year postdoctoral research position, starting in January 2018 and renewable twice with another year, to carry out historical-comparative linguistic research on West-Coastal Bantu languages within the ERC-funded BantuFirst project, led by Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen ... DEADLINE Nov 27, 2017 12:00. See the call here.
  • Applications were invited for a one-year postdoctoral research position, starting in January 2018 and renewable twice with another year, to coordinate and carry out archaeological research within the ERC-funded BantuFirst project, led by Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen ... DEADLINE Oct 31, 2017 12:00. See the call here.
  • 2017-06-21, 10:30-11:30 / Prof. Carina Schlebusch (University of Uppsala) presented a talk on "The Bantu Expansions: A Genetic Perspective". [Ghent University, Faculty of Arts, Blandijnberg 2, room 110.037].
  • 2017-04-27, 16:00-18:00 / Monsieur Igor Matonda Sakala a présenté et défendu publiquement une dissertation originale intitulée Le bassin de l'Inkisi à l'époque du royaume Kongo : Confrontation des données historiques, archéologiques et linguistiques [Université libre de Bruxelles, Campus du Solbosch, Avenue Jeanne 44, bâtiment S, Salle Henri Janne (15e étage)] More info.
  • 2017-03-31, 09:00-18:00 / SOAS-BantUGent Workshop on Parametric approaches to morphosyntactic variation in Bantu [Ghent University, Faculty of Arts, Blandijnberg 2, Council Room] Programme
About

A transdisciplinary approach to the past and present of Bantu languages, Bantu speech communities and their material worlds. The research starts from the data-driven study of language and/or material culture and is combined — whenever and wherever possible or needed — with methods and theoretical insights from (historical) linguistics, archaeology, (historical) anthropology, art history, (ethno)history, ethnobotany, ethnozoology, genetics, etc.

This research group aims to continue and to broaden the work undertaken within the ERC-funded KongoKing (2010-2016) and BantuFirst (2018-2022) projects, the BELSPO-funded CongoConnect (2015-2019) project, as well as associated projects within the field of Bantu Studies, and formalises the de facto research culture of about two dozen researchers who work together towards similar goals.

BantUGent  UGent Centrum voor Bantoestudies

Een transdisciplinaire benadering van het verleden en heden van Bantoetalen, Bantoetaalgemeenschappen en hun materiële omgeving. Het onderzoek start vanuit een datagedreven studie van taal en/of materiële cultuur en wordt gecombineerd — wanneer en waar mogelijk of nodig — met methoden en theoretische inzichten uit de (historische) taalkunde, archeologie, (historische) antropologie, kunstgeschiedenis, (etno)geschiedenis, etnobotanie, etnozoölogie, genetica, etc.

Deze onderzoeksgroep wil verder bouwen op het onderzoek uitgevoerd binnen de ERC-gefinancierde KongoKing (2010-2016) en BantuFirst (2018-2022) projecten, het BELSPO-gefinancierde CongoConnect (2015-2019) project, alsook diverse andere verwante projecten binnen de Bantoestudies, en formaliseert de de facto onderzoekscultuur van zo’n twee dozijn onderzoekers die samenwerken rond gelijkaardige thema’s.

 

BantUGent – Centre d’études bantoues de l’UGent, Département de langues et cultures, Université de Gand, Belgique

Une approche transdisciplinaire du passé et du présent des langues bantoues, des communautés bantouphones et de leur cadre matériel. La recherche part des données issues de la langue et/ou de la culture matérielle, tout en intégrant — quand et où c’est possible ou nécessaire — des méthodes et des considérations théoriques issues de la linguistique (historique), de l’archéologie, de l’anthropologue (historique), de l’histoire de l’art, de l’(ethno)histoire, de l’ethnobotanique, de l’ethnozoologie, de la génétique, etc.

Ce groupe de recherche a pour objectif de poursuivre et d’approfondir le travail déjà accompli dans le cadre des projets KongoKing (2010-2016) et BantuFirst (2018-2022), financés par l’ERC, du projet CongoConnect (2015-2019) financé par le BELSPO, et des projets associés au sein du domaine des études bantoues, et formalise en réalité la culture de recherche d’environ deux douzaines de chercheurs qui travaillent en synergie pour atteindre des objectifs communs.

Researchers

Members

External(s)

Ernest Nshemezimana

Université du Burundi

Manoah-Joël Misago

Université du Burundi

Joseph Koni Muluwa

Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Kikwit

Deo Kawalya

Makerere University

Igor Matonda Sakala

Université de Kinshasa

Julien Mbwangi Mbwangi

Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de la Gombe (DR Congo)

Ferdinand Mberamihigo

Université du Burundi

Jean-Pierre Donzo Yugia

Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de la Gombe

Affiliated Members

Former Members

Publications
Selected publications. For a complete list of publications, please refer to the profile pages of individual members.
Projects

Multiresearcher project

PhD research