The article attempts to provide some sociolinguistic information about the former Hunter-Gatherers of the Central Congo Basin in the hope that they could arouse the same scientific interest as that which was carried out on the Bambuti Pygmies of Ituri and Aka of the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Southern Cameroon. It emerges that all the questions raised and discussed so far in relation to the status of the languages spoken by these latter Pygmy tribes, their structure and their genetic affiliation also apply to the Pygmies of the Central Congo Basin. Thus, the article addresses, first and foremost, the problem of their near and distant origins and their current sociolinguistic situation, before going on to review the current state of linguistic research. A subclassification is then sketched based on common phonetic, morphosyntactic, and lexical characteristics to their languages as well as the traditions collected by the colonial administration.
[Central Congo Basin, Pygmies, contact and evolution of languages, linguistic insecurity, mixed language]