Talk:Cia-Cia language

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It would appear that the simple hangul consonants are used for voiced stops ("bahasa" for bahasa), doubled hangul for tenuis stops ("jjiajjia" for ci'aci'a, "ttellefisi" for telefisi), doubled rieul for /l/ and single rieul for /r/. Not clear how /l/ and /r/ are distinguished word-initially. It would also appear that ieung is being used for glottal stop. The aspirate consonant series is also used. The compound vowel letter e is common, but I can't find simple eo, and I've only found eu before and after r, so I assume this is for Cr sequences like sri and coda r as opposed to coda l.[1] kwami (talk) 00:32, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

This blog[2] suggests that ㅸ is [v], and that for [f] ㆄ would be needed. But that may be OR; he appears to be assuming that the Middle Korean values hold. "Television" could be either telefisi or televisi, so that does not decide the issue, though assuming a Malay loan would suggest televisi.

One of the video interviews shows a page from the textbook listing the iotated vowels "ya", "ye", "yo", "yu". and also "wa", spelt as 야, 예, 요, 유 and 화 respectively. Also, if word initial "ng" occurs, it would more than likely be spelt "응아", indeed the textbook shows that word initial prenasalised stops are also spelt this way, with 은다무 "ndamu" given as an example. Runic code (talk) 13:28, 15 September 2009 (UTC)


This source gives a population statistic radically different from Ethnologue's. Mo-Al (talk) 07:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Is there any reason to think they're more reliable? kwami (talk) 07:17, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
On inspection it seems likely that there was some plagiarism of Joshua Project on Cia-Cia. It's possible that that number is the copier's typo, assuming the borrowing was in that direction. Mo-Al (talk) 07:22, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
However, note IDRAP : Cia-Cia People, which repeats the 17,000 statistic along with tons of other shared material. Mo-Al (talk) 07:24, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Cia-Cia is strong enough locally that it is pushing smaller languages to extinction, and it's the language of a town, so the larger figure would seem reasonable. kwami (talk) 10:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
That seems likely, assuming you buy Ethnologue's description of the language's use as "vigorous". (By the way, do you have a source backing up the claim that it's pushing smaller languages to extinction? That would be a good detail for the article.) But adding to the confusion, I would imagine Wolio would have at least as many speakers given its local dominance (though perhaps excluding L2 speakers weakens this argument), and while Ethnologue gives it a L1 population of 65,000, which I guess is basically consistent with the Cia-Cia statistic off 65,000, this source states that "the total number of Wolio speakers does not surpass 25,000." It's possible that this just is another case of a language becoming a common second language but a less common first language, but this seems indicative of a bigger problem with population statistics on Buton. Mo-Al (talk) 20:09, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


Anyone know how "Cia-Cia" is pronounced? Judging by the comment on August 6, 2009, 8:46 pmhere (saying that in some books it was written "Ssia-Ssia"), I would imagine it's something like [sja sja]...but anyway, if anyone can find a reliable source on this, it would be a useful addition. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 19:15, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Oops...below that comment is "찌아찌아, so 'Jjiajjia'?". rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 19:16, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Well without actually looking at a real source for Cia-Cia, the closest related language which Wikipedia appears to give phonological info on seems to be Tukang Besi. The article is unclear on whether /dʒ/ is a phoneme, but this source says that /tʃ, dʒ/ are found only in loanwords. I don't know if this sheds any light on the issue. Mo-Al (talk) 20:14, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Plus, I highly doubt that Cia-Cia has anything like the "fortis" consonants of Korean. However, I have no idea how Malayo-Polynesian languages use gemination, if at all. Mo-Al (talk) 20:18, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Seeing what Kwamikagami suggests above, the "doubled" consonants are probably being used for tenuis stops. This might imply that Cia-Cia has a voiceless-voiced-aspirated distinction. Mo-Al (talk) 20:26, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I imagine Cia-Cia is either [ˈtʃi.aˈtʃi.a] or [ˈtʃiʔaˈtʃiʔa], but that's just a guess. It's quite possible that the hangul orthography is defective: there may (I'm just guessing) not be an /l/-/r/ distinction word-initially, and perhaps not a hiatus–glottal stop distinction medially. Also, if Cia-Cia has word-initial /ŋ/, that would also pose a problem. All of these could be solved by resurrecting more obsolete jamo, of course, but they aren't supported by many hangul fonts or word processors, which would make typography a problem. For example, it looks like sri is spelled seuri; although hangul is perfectly capable of being written with an sr initial, that wouldn't be supported by computer fonts or by unicode. The solution in my mind would be to do away with the unicode syllabic blocks and encode everything alphabetically, and leave it to the font to assemble the string into blocks. Then you would just need a Cia-Cia OTF, without needing any modifications to unicode. It wouldn't be difficult to pull off, but it looks like the actual Cia-Cia orthography might be more faithful to Korean than to Cia-Cia. (An efficient use of hangul would utilize ㅓ for /e/, for example, but they went the koreophone route of ㅔ.) kwami (talk) 01:04, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Hey look, there is an ᄰ initial for /sr/, and also an ᄙ for /l/, as well as ㆆ for /ʔ/ and ㆁ for initial /ŋ/. But they're useless, of course, without unicode blocks that contain them, unless the encoding goes alphabetic.
I've written to the institute to ask what the orthography is, but they haven't replied. kwami (talk) 01:12, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you know if the institute has a website? If so, it might make sense to consider suggesting to them that they make the information publicly available, assuming you succeed in contacting them. Mo-Al (talk) 03:05, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
It's the 훈민정음학회. I haven't found a website, but did run across this interview,[3] which suggests there may be implosives. (I don't speak Korean.) kwami (talk) 13:39, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Word structure section[edit]

I understand deleting the Hangeul since it was unsourced, but the entire section is unsourced, so I don't see why it was more worthy of deletion. Also note that the transliteration was inferred from the deleted material itself, and is even farther removed from the source (in this case, the Korean Wikipedia apparently). Mo-Al (talk) 03:09, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

No, the romanized numerals come from a site on numerals around the world. I'll see if I can dig it up. Not terribly reliable, perhaps, but not suspicious. AFAICTell, the hangul was just made up to match, and so is most likely incorrect. The three verbs, however, come from the Korean news reports. kwami (talk) 13:23, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
(Now that it's established, I've been fighting to get the hangul numerals removed from Spanish and Mandarin WP.) kwami (talk)
I've added the source for both, but removed the transliterated buri, poga'u, baca'an since they were not present in the Korean report. Mo-Al (talk) 17:10, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


If anyone is near the following libraries,[4] you could check out "Struktur bahasa Cia-cia". Even if you don't read Malay, there's bound to be a list or chart of phonemes, or at least a romanized orthography, that would help with this article, at least with things like knowing whether there is a voiced-tenuis-asp. distinction. However, the chapter in Excursies in Celebes is more widely available,[5] (plus a couple in Germany: [6]) and is perhaps adequate. kwami (talk) 05:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

There are implosives ("bh" and "dh") which are more frequent than plain voiced /b/, /d/. kwami (talk) 06:04, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

This article[7] gives the beginning of the text as 가까나다타따라마바… Now, there's an 'aspirate' t but no 'aspirate' k, suggesting that 'aspiration' might be used for implosion? Perhaps a transliteration of Roman dh? Unfortunately the p series is incomplete. But these are supposed to be more common than the voiced plosives, whereas in the text they're rare, so it could be the reverse. kwami (talk) 22:12, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

In the video in the WSJ article, the teacher transcribes ㅌ as Malay d. That makes sense, since ㅌ is uncommon in Cia-Cia texts, and /d/ is uncommon in the Cia-Cia language. The common ㄷ, then, would be the common implosive /ɗ/. Also, the teacher consistently uses ㅐ for /e/, but that contradicts the text. Since ㅐ and ㅔ are nearly identical in Korean, maybe he just mixed them up. kwami (talk) 06:47, 14 September 2009 (UTC)


I've alerady said this in a response to Kwami's question regarding Hangul number spellings, but I feel it's important enough to be repeated here. Kwami asked where did I source the Hangul spelling's of the numbers. The Answer is basically, I didn't as such, but rather I deduced them from the Alphabet given in the main article, the transliteration of the numbers in the article, and that one of the pages from the textbooks shown in the photo slideshow (picture 3/8), shows the consonsants listed. The number five (lima 을리마) written as an example of the spelling of "l". Given the alphabet as listed in the article, and seen in one of the videos, I worked out that the numbers would be spelled thusly:

Numerals 1–10
English one two three four five six seven eight nine ten
Cia-cia 디세 루아 똘루 빠아 을리마 노오 삐쭈 활루 시우아 옴뿔루
Romanization dise rua tolu pa'a lima no'o picu walu siua ompulu

Runic code (talk) 13:28, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I fear that if this were included it would qualify as original research. Mo-Al (talk) 20:21, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, unfortunately, the phonetic values of the alphabet are already partially original research. We need something in Latin, as it is inappropriate to use untransliterated material for an English-speaking audience, but it's risky to further extrapolate to new words. kwami (talk) 03:28, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


Okay, this is weird: Abidin, the Cia-Cia teacher whose 3rd-grade class is the pilot project for hangul, has asked the hangul society to send a native Korean teacher to teach hangul, as his Korean isn't good enough. Why would you need to know Korean to teach hangul in your native tongue, any more than you'd need to know Latin to teach the Roman alphabet? Perhaps they have a Korean-language program as well, and the reports just got mixed up. kwami (talk) 20:58, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually, you can see from this slideshow[8] that Abidin is teaching Korean as well, evidently at the local high school. kwami (talk) 21:02, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


I wonder who exactly made the decision to use hangul script. The references given (from Agence France Presse and the New York Times) seem to indicate that the purpose is primarily to export the Korean script, rather than to empower the local community. In the Indonesian context where only Roman-based (and sometimes Arabic-based) scripts are used, it is difficult to believe that a local community would choose to adopt the Korean script, unless that community was encouraged to do so through foreign-based educational materials, expertise, and funds. It sounds a bit like an instance of modern-day "cultural colonialism"; does anybody have information that would show this not to be the case? --Molare (talk) 01:34, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

That's clearly the case. Several Cia have said that they hope this will lead to employment opportunities in Korea, the program includes instruction in Korean in the upper grades, and the hangul society has said they're targeting ethnicities with a significant presence in Korea, as such people are more likely to have that motivation. But the use of the roman alphabet isn't neutral either: it's part of a push by Jakarta to unify the country against potential moves for independence. Not an issue in Sulawesi at present, but it's always a concern of the govt. kwami (talk) 01:56, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like some Hangul supremacy propaganda. --Givesaved (talk) 02:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Korean Hangul?[edit]

The piece states that they will adopt Korean hangul. How many types of hangul are there? Why is the adjective required? This is sort of goofy...and certainly not encyclopedic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

In fact, this is NOT Korean hangul. This is Indonesian hangul. (talk) 02:24, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


Victor Mair has written an update on the Hangul orthography thing:

It also has links to a few recent news articles. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 03:58, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

And another update:

-- pne (talk) 13:30, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Hangul removal[edit]

Since Hangul was never adopted or even standardized, it is completely false to list it as the writing system, and there is no point in giving examples written in Hangul. So I took the stuff out.

Benwing (talk) 23:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Use of Hangul is not official, and the central government has refused to allow the use of a non-Latin script. Stating that Hangul is an official writing system would be completely WP:OR. I've reverted a few problematic IP edits for this reason. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:34, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

is this for real?[edit]

I read over the example in the orthography section, and is "뗄레ᄫᅵ시" really how to spell "televisi"? This isn't even properly formed Hangeul. If Cia-cia uses Hangeul letters but with different syllable formation rules, this is worth noting in the text. True (talk) 17:48, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd assume "ᄫᅵ" is one hangul block. It's just there is either a unicode limitation, a problem with displaying it on a computer, or the incorrect unicode codepoint is used. Per Origin of Hangul, back in the old days the (b+ng) jamo and a few other obselete jamo were initially used to represent sounds present in Chinese, but not present in Korean. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 17:54, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Upon having a closer look at Origin of hangul, it seems that "ㅸ" makes a *[f] sound, akin to the initial consonant of 非 in Middle Chinese. Perhaps in our case here, ㅸ is used to represent a "v" sound (which is close enough). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 18:00, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, since Korean hangul doesn't have anything like an /f/ or /v/, they resurrected this letter. Just follow the link. I found a road sign which uses it. — kwami (talk) 19:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)