Wurung Balantak
Native toIndonesia
EthnicityBalantak people
Native speakers
30,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3blz
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Balantak is an Austronesian language spoken at the head of the eastern peninsula of Sulawesi. It is classified as a member of the Saluan-Banggai branch of the Celebic subgroup. The Balantak language is the primary language of the Balantak people. Although 90% of the population are also proficient in Indonesian, the vernacular is still vigorously used in everyday contexts, and most children only speak Balantak before entering school.[2]


Balantak has the following phoneme inventory:[3]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ ⟨ng⟩
Plosive voiceless p t t͡ʃ ⟨c⟩[a] k ʔ ⟨'⟩
voiced b d d͡ʒ ⟨j⟩[a] g
Fricative s h[a]
Lateral l
Trill r
Approximant w j ⟨y⟩
  1. ^ a b c Only occur in loanwords
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid ɛ ⟨e⟩ ɔ ⟨o⟩
Low a

Sequences of like vowels are phonetically realized as long vowels, e.g. toop [tɔ:p] 'cigarette', nuur [nu:r] 'coconut'.


  1. ^ Balantak at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ van den Berg & Busenitz (2012), p. 4
  3. ^ van den Berg & Busenitz (2012)

Further reading

  • Busenitz, Robert L.; Busenitz, Marilyn J. (1991). "Balantak Phonology and Morphophonemics" (PDF). In Sneddon, James N. (ed.). Studies in Sulawesi Linguistics, Part II. NUSA 33. Jakarta: Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. pp. 29–47.
  • van den Berg, René; Busenitz, Robert L. (2012). A Grammar of Balantak: A Language of Eastern Sulawesi. SIL e‑Books 40. Dallas: SIL International.