|(180,000 cited 1995)|
The Sika language or Sikanese, also known as Sikka, is spoken by around 180,000 people of the Sika ethnic group on Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is a member of the Central Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.
Sika is notable for being one of the few languages which contain a non-allophonic labiodental flap. Like many other languages in eastern Indonesia, it shows evidence of having a Papuan (non-Austronesian) substratum. It has been hypothesized that the Austronesian languages in that area could be descendants of a creole language, resulting from the intrusion of Austronesian languages into eastern Indonesia.
Sika has at least three recognized dialects:
- Sikka Natar, which is generally perceived in the region to be the most refined and most prestigious of the Sika speech varieties.
- Sara Krowe, spoken in the central hills of Sika speaking people.
- Ata Tana 'Ai or Sara Tana 'Ai, used by both outsiders and insiders to refer to the people and language of the region and it is also used as a ritual language.
- Sika at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Tryon, Darrell T. (1995). Comparative Austronesian Dictionary: An Introduction to Austronesian Studies. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-1108-8401-1.
- Gil, David (2015). "The Mekong-Mamberamo linguistic area". In N. J. Enfield; Bernard Comrie (eds.). Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia: The State of the Art. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 334. ISBN 978-1-5015-0168-5.