Balantak language

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Wurung Balantak
Native toIndonesia
EthnicityBalantak people
Native speakers
30,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3blz

Balantak is an Austronesian language spoken at the head of the eastern peninsula of Sulawesi. It is classified as a member of the Saluan-Banggai branch of the Celebic subgroup. The Balantak language is the primary language of the Balantak people. Although 90% of the population are also proficient in Indonesian, the vernacular is still vigorously used in everyday contexts, and most children only speak Balantak before entering school.[3]


Balantak has the following phoneme inventory:[3]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d g
Fricative s (h)
Affricate (t͡ʃ)/(d͡ʒ)
Lateral l
Trill r
Approximant w j
  • /ŋ/ is written ⟨ng⟩
  • /j/ is written ⟨y⟩
  • /ʔ/ is written ⟨'⟩
  • /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/ are written ⟨c⟩ and ⟨j⟩, and only occur in loanwords.
  • /h/ only occurs in loanwords
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid ɛ ɔ
Low a
  • /ɛ/ is written ⟨o⟩
  • /ɔ/ is written ⟨e⟩

Sequences of like vowels are phonetically realized as long vowels, e.g. toop [tɔ:p] 'cigarette', nuur [nu:r] 'coconut'.


  1. ^ Balantak at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Balantak". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b René, van den Berg; Busenitz, Robert L. (2012). A grammar of Balantak: A language of eastern Sulawesi. SIL e‑Books, 40. Dallas: SIL International.

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