The Celebic languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages spoken on the island of Sulawesi, formerly called Celebes. Almost all of the languages spoken in the provinces of Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi belong to the Celebic group. A few Celebic languages (e.g. Wotu, Bonerate) are located in South Sulawesi province. By number of languages (but not by number of speakers), Celebic is the largest subgroup of Austronesian languages on Sulawesi.
David Mead (2003a:125) classifies the Celebic languages as follows.
More recently, Zobel (2020) proposed that Kaili–Pamona and Wotu–Wolio form a Kaili–Wolio group, which Zobel places as a primary subgroup of Celebic. Furthermore, in Zobel's (2020) classification, Kaili–Wolio is placed as a sister to group to Tominic–Eastern Celebic, which contains Mead's (2003) Tomini–Tolitoli and Eastern Celebic groups.
At the current state of research, the Celebic languages are considered to make up a primary branch of the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup within the Austronesian language family.
|Reconstruction of||Celebic languages|
David Mead (2003a:125) lists the following sound changes for Proto-Celebic and its subgroups.
1. Proto-Malayo-Polynesian to Proto-Celebic
2. Proto-Celebic to Proto-Eastern Celebic
3. Proto-Eastern Celebic to Proto-Saluan–Banggai
4. Proto-Eastern Celebic to Proto-Southeastern Celebic
5. Proto-Southeastern Celebic to Proto-Bungku–Tolaki
6. Proto-Southeastern Celebic to Proto-Muna–Buton