Barito languages

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Greater Barito
southern Borneo, Madagascar
Linguistic classification: Austronesian
Glottolog: grea1283[1]

The Barito languages are a score of Dayak (Austronesian) languages of Borneo, and most famously Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar. They are named after the Barito River.

The Barito family is sometimes split up into its constituent components, East Barito, West Barito, and Mahakam (Barito–Mahakam), given the possibility that their similarities may be due to a Sprachbund. For example, Adelaar (2005) rejects Barito as a valid group despite accepting less traditional groups such as North Bornean and Malayo-Sumbawan.

Blust (2006) proposes that the Sama-Bajaw languages also derive from the Barito lexical region, though not from any established group,[2] and Ethnologue has followed, calling the resulting group 'Greater Barito'.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Greater Barito". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Blust, Robert. 2006. 'The linguistic macrohistory of the Philippines'. In Liao & Rubino, eds, Current Issues in Philippine Linguistics and Anthropology. pp 31–68.