Selayar Language
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Selayar Language
Basa Silajara
Native toIndonesia
RegionSelayar Islands, South Sulawesi
Native speakers
130,000 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
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Selayar or Selayarese is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 100,000 people on the island of Selayar in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia.[3]:210



Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Vowels are lengthened when stressed and in an open syllable.


Nasalization extends from nasal consonants to the following vowels, continuing until blocked by an intonation break or a consonant other than a glottal stop:

[lam?ã ã:su] "A dog urinated on him."
[sassa? lam?ã | ?a:su latai:?i?i] "A lizard urinated on him, and a dog defecated on him."[3]:225-226


Of the coronals, the voiceless stop is dental, while the others are alveolar.


Selayarese intransitive verbs index pronominal arguments via an absolutive enclitic.[4][5]:162

'I jump'
'I am tired'

In transitive verbs the less agent-like argument is indexed by the absolutive enclitic.[5]:163

'I know him'


  1. ^ Selayar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Selayar". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne; Basri, Hasan (1986). "The Phonology of Selayarese". Oceanic Linguistics. 25 (1/2): 210-254. doi:10.2307/3623212. JSTOR 3623212.
  4. ^ Basri, Hasan (1999). Phonological and syntactic reflections of the morphological structure of Selayarese (Ph.D. dissertation). State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  5. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne (1991), "The role of motivation in the emergence of grammatical categories: The grammaticization of subjects", in Traugott, Elizabeth; Heine, Bernd (eds.), Approaches to Grammaticization, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 159-185, ISBN 9781556194023

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