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Banggai language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Native speakers
130,000 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bgz

The Banggai language is the main language spoken by the inhabitants of the Banggai Archipelago off the island of Sulawesi. It belongs to the Saluan–Banggai branch of the Celebic subgroup.

Historically, Banggai was a spoken language without a long literary history. The earliest surviving manuscript in the Banggai language comes from the 19th century, the account of a Banggai fisherman who was sold into slavery by Maguindanaoan raiders in the 1860s-70s before escaping.[2]



Labial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
prenasal vl. ᵐp ⁿt ᵑk
prenasal vd. ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
Fricative s h
Rhotic r
Lateral l
Approximant w j
  • /s/ may also be heard as prenasal [ⁿs] when after nasal sounds.
  • Other sounds like [tʃ, dʒ, ɲ] are heard in loanwords from neighboring languages.


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a
  • Vowels /e, o/ can also be heard as [ɛ, ɔ] in closed syllables.[3]


  1. ^ Banggai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Velthoen, Esther Joy. "Contested Coastlines: Diasporas, Trade, and Colonial Expansion in Eastern Sulawesi, 1680-1905." pg. 212. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Australia: Murdoch University. Available online also at: https://www.oxis.org/theses/velthoen-2002.pdf [accessed in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia: August 10, 2018] (2002).
  3. ^ van den Bergh, J. D. (1953). Spraakkunst van het Banggais. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.


  • Moseley, Christopher and E. R. Asher, ed. Atlas of the World's Languages (New York: Routelege, 1994) p. 122