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]



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."[4]


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.


  1. ^ Selayar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Selayar". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Mithun & Basri (1986:210)
  4. ^ Mithun & Basri (1986): pp. 225–226.


  • Mithun, Marianne; Hasan Basri (1986). "The Phonology of Selayarese". Oceanic Linguistics 25 (1/2): 210–254. doi:10.2307/3623212. JSTOR 3623212.