Sika language

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Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
180,000 (1995)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ski

The Sika or Sikanese language is a member of the Central Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family, and is spoken by around 180,000 people of the Sika ethnic group on Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is notable for being one of the few languages which contain a non-allophonic labiodental flap. It shows evidence of having a Papuan (non-Austronesian) substratum.[citation needed]

The Sika language has at least three recognized dialects:

  • Sikka Natar dialect, which is generally perceived in the region to be the most refined and most prestigious of the Sika speech variety.
  • Sara Krowe dialect, spoken in the central hills of Sika speaking people.
  • Ata Tana 'Ai or Sara Tana 'Ai dialect, 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.[3]


  1. ^ Sika at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sika". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Darrell T. Tryon (1995). Comparative Austronesian Dictionary: An Introduction to Austronesian Studies. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-1108-8401-1.