Burumbi is made to sound how Anglophones think "African" languages sound. As I am rather unlearned when it comes to linguistics the result is likely to be sketchy and uninspiring to others, but it is mainly for generating names and short phrases.



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive p b (p b) t d (t d) k g (k g)
Affricate ts (t͡s)
Fricative s z (s z)
Nasal m (m) n (n) ny (ɲ) ng (ŋ)
Approximant r l (ɹ l) y (j) w (w)


Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u /u/
Mid é /ə/
Open mid e /ɛ/
Open a /ɑ/

In addition to these vowels the diphthong o () is used.



Syllables can take the following forms:

  • V(ŋ)
  • CV(ŋ)
  • NSV(ŋ)
  • SwV(ŋ)

where V = vowel, C = consonant, N = the nasal vowels /m n/, and S = a stop or the consonants /s z ts/. Stress always falls on the penultimate syllable except in the case of é, in which case it falls on the following one.



Nouns are inflected for plurality and case. There are two forms of plurality: -du, indicating a few, and -mè indicating many. The cases are:

  • Nominative - unmarked, the subject of a sentence
  • Accusative - the direct object of a sentence
  • Genetive - signifies a relation to the direct object
  • Possessive - signifies that the noun is the possessor of something else
case suffix
Nominative Ø
Accusative -lè
Genetive -de
Possessive -do

Compound words are connected by dropping any final -V(ŋ) and adding the -o- infix. Inflections only fall on the end of the compound word. For example, the word for seaweed: reng mbila (water+leaf) → reng-o-mbila → rombila → rombiladu, etc. Burumbi also has a large number of prefixes for word formation, such as oubo- (indicating largeness and roundness) + reng: ouboreng "lake".


Nouns are automatically definite. An indefinite article, nka, is used to signify non-particularity. Nka can take on the plural -du.


Adjectives follow their nouns agree with them in case only. The nominative, genetive, and possessive are identical, -de. The accusative -lè.


There are a large number of prefixes for verbs describing movement in great detail. They address directionality, but also specific kinds of movement. In addition, they can be compounded. For example, the compound prefix mzondè- (mzo- + dè) signifies a splitting and encirclement. Words like mzondèmanda, describing a group splitting up and encircling something by walking, are formed this way.