Saaroa language

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Native to Taiwan
Region west central Mountains of Taiwan, south and southeast of Minchuan, along the Laonung River
Ethnicity 300 (2000)[1]
Native speakers
10  (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sxr
Glottolog saar1237[2]

Saaroa or Hla'alua is a Southern Tsouic language is spoken by the Saaroa (Hla'alua) people, a tribe of indigenous people on Taiwan (see Taiwanese aborigines). It is a Formosan language of the Austronesian family.

The Saaroa live in the two villages of Taoyuan and Kaochung in Taoyuan District (Taoyuan Township), Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (Zeitoun & Teng 2014). [3]

Language evolution[edit]

In 1990, Saaroa was nearly extinct. Few children speak the language. The Bunun language is becoming the main language of the Saaroa people, and many of the elders in the tribe speak Taiwanese. The shift to the Bunun language occurred when the Bunun tribe migrated into the area inhabited by the Saaroa people.

Saaroa has heavily borrowed from Mantauran Rukai, since the Saaroa and Rukai peoples are geographically adjacent to each other.[4]



  1. ^ a b Saaroa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Saaroa". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2001. "The Dispersal of the Formosan Aborigines in Taiwan." Languages and Linguistics 2.1:271-278, 2001.