Mobisala Hulontalo
Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
1 million (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2gor
ISO 639-3gor
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The Gorontalo language (also called Hulontalo) is a language spoken in Gorontalo Province, Sulawesi, Indonesia by the Gorontalo people.[2]

Considerable lexical influence comes from Malay, Arabic, Portuguese, Dutch,[3] and the North Halmahera languages.[3][4] Gorontalo Malay, a derivative variation of Manado Malay, and Indonesian is also spoken in the area.[3][5]


Musa Kasim et al. (1981) give five main dialects of Gorontalo: east Gorontalo, Limboto, Gorontolo City, west Gorontalo, and Tilamuta.



Gorontalo consonants
labial alveolar palatal velar glottal
nasal m n ɲ ŋ
plosive voiceless p t c k ʔ
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
implosive ɓ ɗ
sonorant plain w r j h
lateral l

Consonant sequences include NC (homorganic nasal–plosive), where C may be /b d t ɟ ɡ k/. Elsewhere, /b d/ are relatively rare and only occur before high vowels. /d̠/, written ⟨ḓ⟩ in the literature, is a laminal post-alveolar coronal stop that is indeterminate as to voicing. The phonemic status of [ʔ] is unclear; if [VʔV] is interpreted as vowel sequences /VV/, then this contrasts with long vowels (where the two V's are the same) and vowel sequences separated by linking glides (where the two V's are different).


Gorontalo has five vowels.[6]

Gorontalo vowels
front central back
high i u
mid e o
low a


  1. ^ Gorontalo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "The Gorontalo Language". The linguist list. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Little (1995), p. 521
  4. ^ Henley (1996), p. 28
  5. ^ Zakariya, Ulfa; Lustyantie, Ninuk; Emzir (2021). "The Gorontalo Language in Professional Communication: its Maintenance and Native Speakers' Attitudes". Professional Discourse & Communication. 3 (3): 39–51. doi:10.24833/2687-0126-2021-3-3-39-51. ISSN 2687-0126.
  6. ^ Little (1995), p. 523


  • Steinhauer, H. (1991). "Problems of Gorontalese Phonology". In Poeze, H. A.; Schoorl, P. (eds.). Excursies in Celebes: Een Bundel Bijdragen bij het Afscheid van J. Noorduyn als Directeur-Secretaris van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkendkunde. KITLV Uitgeverij. pp. 325–338.
  • Little, John A. Jr. (1995). "Gorontalo". In Tryon, Darrell T. (ed.). Comparative Austronesian Dictionary: An Introduction to Austronesian Studies. Vol. 1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 521–527. doi:10.1515/9783110884012.1.521. ISBN 978-3-11-088401-2. OCLC 868970232.
  • Kasim, M. Musa; Wahidji, Habu; Pateda, Mansoer; Junus, Husain; Hasan, Kartin; Koem, A. P. (1981). Geografi Dialek Bahasa Gorontalo (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa – via repositori.kemdikbud.go.id.
  • Joest, Wilhelm (1883). Das Holontalo: Glossar und grammatische Skizze (in German). Berlin: A. Asher & Company – via archive.org.
  • Henley, David (1996). Nationalism and regionalism in a colonial context: Minahasa in the Dutch East Indies. Leiden: KITLV Press. doi:10.1163/9789004486928. ISBN 9789067180801. OCLC 35113123.