Bali

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Alternate Names
Baali, Dhibali, Kibaali, Kibala, Kibali, Libaali, Southeast Bwa
Population

42,000 (1987 UBS). 2,100 monolinguals.

Location

Tshopo province: Bafwasende territory; Tshopo river south to Ituri river north, and Ituri river north bank.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Bemili, Bakundumu, Bafwandaka, Bekeni. The Bemili dialect is central linguistically and geographically. Lexical similarity: 52% with Lika [lik]; 40%–45% with Bwa [bww] and Pagibete [pae]; 46% with Komo [kmw]; 40% with Bhele [bhy], Bila [bip], and Bera [brf]; 30% with Budu [buu] and Ndaka [ndk]; 25% with Lega languages and Lingala [lin].

Typology

SVO; prepositions, genitives before nouns; articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after nouns; question word sentence final; 1–3 prefixes; 1–5 suffixes; word order distinguishes role; affixes mark person, number of subject and object in one noun group; active, passive, reflexive; 2 causatives; aspect; comparatives; tonal, 3 tones; stress; 9 vowels.

Language Use

Some also use Lingala [lin], mainly those who travel or have been in military service. A few also use French [fra], primarily those with secondary school education. Also use Congo Swahili [swc], especially leaders, nearly all youth and men in most domains, most women and older men with less proficiency, and many older women and young children with low proficiency. Used as L2 by Kango [kzy].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–2%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%–40% in Congo Swahili [swc].
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

‘Kibali’ is the official name.

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