Selayar language

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Bahasa Selayar
Native to Indonesia
Region Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi
Native speakers
130,000 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sly
Glottolog sela1260[2]
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Selayar or Selayarese is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 100,000 people on the island of Selayar in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia.[3]:210



Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Vowels are lengthened when stressed and in an open syllable.


Nasalization extends from nasal consonants to the following vowels, continuing until blocked by an intonation break or a consonant other than a glottal stop:

[lamẽãĩʔĩ ãːsu] "A dog urinated on him."
[sassaʔ lamẽãĩʔĩ | ʔaːsu lataiːʔiʔi] "A lizard urinated on him, and a dog defecated on him."[3]:225–226


Bilabial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
voiceless p k ʔ
Fricative s h
Lateral l
Approximant ɹ

Of the coronals, the voiceless stop is dental, while the others are alveolar.


Selayarese intransitive verbs index pronominal arguments via an absolutive enclitic.[4][5]:162

'I jump'
'I am tired'

In transitive verbs the less agent-like argument is indexed by the absolutive enclitic.[5]:163

'I know him'


  1. ^ Selayar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Selayar". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne; Basri, Hasan (1986). "The Phonology of Selayarese". Oceanic Linguistics. 25 (1/2): 210–254. doi:10.2307/3623212. JSTOR 3623212. 
  4. ^ Basri, Hasan (1999). Phonological and syntactic reflections of the morphological structure of Selayarese (Ph.D. dissertation). State University of New York at Stony Brook. 
  5. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne (1991), "The role of motivation in the emergence of grammatical categories: The grammaticization of subjects", in Traugott, Elizabeth; Heine, Bernd, Approaches to Grammaticization, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 159–185, ISBN 9781556194023