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Batuley language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from ISO 639:bay)
Native toIndonesia
RegionAru Islands
Native speakers
3,600 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bay

Batuley (Gwatle lir) is a language spoken on the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. It is close to Mariri; Hughes (1987) estimates that around 80% of lexical items are shared. The language's name comes from the Gwatle island (Batuley in Indonesian), which the Batuley consider their homeland (Daigle (2015)).

Geographical distribution


Batuley is spoken in eastern Indonesia across seven villages that Daigle (2015) lists in his thesis. Some of them are Kabalsiang on Aduar Island, Kumul in the identically-named island, and Gwaria (Waria) in the Island of Gwari.





Batuley has a simple five-vowel system with no vowel length distinction (Daigle 2015).

  • i
  • e
  • u
  • o
  • a

[ɪ] is an allophone of /i/ and /e/ (in different environments). [e] is an allophone of /a/ when it does not receive the primary stress. Furthermore, /e/ and /i/ may both be reduced to a schwa in fast speech in certain conditions.



Daigle (2015)

Labial Alveolar
Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless t k
voiced b d ʤ ɡ
Fricative ɸ s
Rhotic r
Lateral l
Semivowel j w



Daigle (2015)

  • gwayor: water, fresh water
  • gwari: island
  • keiran: sister; branch
  • lef: big house
  • kai: wood, tree
  • ban: chest, breast
  • fol gwayer: breast milk (fol: breast, gwayer: its water)
  • kaom: scorpion
  • gwarfagfag: small fresh-water turtle
  • kudomsai: cloud
  • ror: dance (n)
  • fulan: month
  • sapato, safato: shoe (borrowing)
  • solar: diesel fuel (borrowing)
  • nol: zero (borrowing)
  • fikir: think (borrowing)
  • fuis: cat (borrowing)
  • guru: teacher (borrowing)
  • kartas: paper (borrowing)
  • kasar: crack, split (borrowing)
  • kofi: hat (borrowing)
  • tata: older sibling (borrowing)
  • tempo: year (borrowing)
  • buku: book (borrowing)


  1. ^ Batuley at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)

Further reading

  • Daigle, Benjamin T. (2015). A grammar sketch of Batuley: An Austronesian language of Aru, eastern Indonesia (PDF) (M.A. thesis). LOT (Leiden University). hdl:1887/43444. Retrieved 11 May 2019.