Welcome to the Bantu Language Database
This database contains 4,254 lexical items from 10 Bantu languages
Each language in our database has around 430 words associated with it. These words correspond to basic items of vocabulary, such as simple verbs like 'to hear', or 'to dance', the names of body parts like brain or mouth, colors like red, numbers (1, 2, 3, 4) and kinship terms such as Wife, Grandfather and Person. The full list is here.
Warning! - This database is under construction.
1. The extended characters in this database require a modern webbrowser which understands the Unicode specification to be seen properly. We recommend the use of a standards compliant webbrowser like Firefox Mozilla, Safari, Konqueror, or Opera.
2.There are likely to be transcription errors and the cognate sets are preliminary. We would welcome assistance from professional linguists to correct any mistakes, improve the cognacy judgments and to add further languages.
Please do not cite anything in this database without the authors' permission.
Contact us by email with any queries, comments or suggestions: Simon Greenhill
Russell Gray gave a Royal Society/Radio New Zealand Darwin lecture on "What can evolution tell us about ourselves".
We'll be changing our server over to the BestGrid framework in the next few days. There may be some short downtime, so please bear with us.
A few weeks ago, we broke 400 Austronesian languages! Thank you to everyone who contributed data and corrections!
We're back after a harddrive problem, sorry about that! Please let me know if there are still any problems.