Great Lakes Bantu languages

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The Great Lakes Bantu languages, also known as Lacustrine Bantu and Bantu zone J, are a group of Bantu languages of East Africa. They were recognized as a group by the Tervuren team, who posited them as an additional zone (zone J) to Guthrie's largely geographic classification of Bantu.[2]

Great Lakes Bantu
Bantu zone J
Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Lake Victoria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo


The languages are, according to Bastin, Coupez, & Mann (1999), with Sumbwa added per Nurse (2003):

(See also Runyakitara language, Nkore-Kiga)

The codes in parentheses are Guthrie's original geographic classification. Maho (2009) adds Yaka.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Great Lakes Bantu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Derek Nurse, 2003, The Bantu Languages