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Languages of Sulawesi
Languages of a geographic region
Map showing the distribution of the languages of Sulawesi
On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, 114 native languages are spoken, all of which belong to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian language family. With a total number of 17,200,000 inhabitants (2015 estimate, based on census data from 2010), Sulawesi displays a high linguistic diversity when compared with the most densely populated Indonesian island Java, which hosts 4-8 languages (depending on count) spoken by 145,100,000 inhabitants.
All but three of the languages of Sulawesi belong to one of the following five subgroups, which are almost exclusively[a] spoken on Sulawesi:
Some languages, like Buginese (five million speakers) and Makassarese (two million speakers), are widely distributed and vigorously used. Many of the languages with much smaller numbers of speakers are also still vigorously spoken, but some languages are almost extinct, because language use of the ethnic population has shifted to the dominant regional language, e.g. in the case of Ponosakan, with four remaining speakers.
The Sangiric languages are spoken in North Sulawesi, and in the southern Philippines on the Sarangani Islands off the southern coast of Mindanao. The following internal classification is based on Sneddon (1984):
^Noorduyn, J. (1991). "The Languages of Sulawesi". In H. Steinhauer (ed.). Papers in Austronesian linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A-81. Canberra: Australian National University.
^Mead, David (2003). "Evidence for a Celebic supergroup." In Issues in Austronesian historical phonology, John Lynch (ed.). pages 115-141. Pacific Linguistics 550. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.
^Blust, Robert (2005). "The linguistic macrohistory of the Philippines". In Liao, Hsiu-Chuan; Rubino, Carl R.Galvez (eds.). Current issues in Philippine linguistics pangaral kay Lawrence A. Reid. 2005: Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL Philippines. pp. 31-68.CS1 maint: location (link)
^Smith, Alexander D. (2017). "The Western Malayo-Polynesian Problem". Oceanic Linguistics. 56 (2): 435-490. doi:10.1353/ol.2017.0021.
^Sneddon, James N.; Usup, Hunggu Tadjuddin (1986). "Shared sound changes in the Gorontalic language group: Implications for subgrouping". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 142 (4): 407-426. JSTOR27863783.
^Sneddon, James N. (1984). Proto-Sangiric and the Sangiric languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
^Sneddon, James N. (1978). Proto-Minahasan: phonology, morphology, and wordlist. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
^Friberg, T. and T.V. Laskowske (1989). "South Sulawesi languages". In: J.N. Sneddon (ed.), Studies in Sulawesi linguistics part 1, pp. 1-17. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa.
^Lewis, M. Paul (et al., eds.) (2015). "Celebic". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (18th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
Noorduyn J. (1991). A Critical Survey of Studies on the Languages of Sulawesi. Leiden: KITLV Press.
Sneddon, J. N. (1993). "The Drift Towards Final Open Syllables in Sulawesi Languages". Oceanic Linguistics. 32 (1): 1-44. JSTOR3623095.