Alternate Names
Kikomo, Kikumo, Kikumu, Kikuumu, Kumo, Kumu, Kuumu

400,000 (1998 SIL).


Maniema Province, Lubutu and Punia territories; Nord-Kivu Province, Walikale; Orientale Province, Opienge territory. Lubutu is center.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


No identified dialects, but speech varieties have the following differences: up to 10% lexical differences, in comparison with the reference lexicon as found in Lubutu. Most noticeable phonological variation: lambdacism. Most noticeable relational word variation: shape of the alienable possession marker. Lexical similarity: 80% with Bhele [bhy], 70% with Bila [bip], 58% with Bera [brf], 48% with Bwa [bww], 46% with Bali [bcp], Lika [lik], and Pagibete [pae], 30% with Lingala [lin], Lega-Shabunda [lea], and Budu [buu].


SVO; prepositions; noun head followed by genitive and relative clause; question word initial; 7 prefixes; 4 suffixes; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; human-animate-inanimate contrast in plural and adjective agreement (no Bantu concord); verb affixes obligatorily mark person and number of subject and object; some ergativity in gerund phrase; middle, stative, unaccusative marked by suffix; causatives marked by suffix; comparisons; CV, V, Nasal CV, CV Nasal, Nasal; tonal

Language Use

Used by Lengola [lej] as L2. All ages except in population centers where L1 is Congo Swahili, and then it is 7 and older for boys. Those around Kisangani are more likely to know Lingala [lin] than Congo Swahili [swc] (more than 10% of the men).

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 50% older men (born before 1970), 30% younger men, less than 10% women. Poetry. Bible portions: 1991–1998.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion, Muslim.