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Pagibete (Apakibeti, Pakabete) is a Bantu language of the Bua (Bwa) Bloc spoken in the northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo. This study describes the language in order to provide a basis for establishing its classification within Bantu. It is based on data collected over a two year period while the author lived among the Pagibete.
Pagibete phonology is briefly described. The bulk of the description here, however, concerns Pagibete morphology, syntax, and discourse features. Pagibete is unusual among Bantu languages in that its noun class markers include both prefixes and suffixes. Also, it lacks verbal agreement with class of the subject noun in all verbs except for one copula and a process verbal particle. The ordering of its verbal components varies from standard Bantu as well. This study concludes that until Guthrie’s classification is extensively revised, Pagibete should be classified as a C.40 language.