Linguistic classificationAustronesian

The Makassaric languages are a group of languages spoken in the southern part of South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, and make up one of the branches of the South Sulawesi subgroup in the Austronesian language family.[1][2] The most prominent member of this group is Makassarese, with over two million speakers in the city of Makassar and neighboring areas.

The status of the Makassaric languages other than Makassarese as distinct languages is not universally accepted. In older classifications,[3] but also in recent studies by local linguists,[4] they are considered to be dialects of the Makassarese language.



A characteristic feature of the Makassaric languages is the occurrence of echo vowels with stems ending in final /r/, /l/ or /s/. E.g. /botol/ "bottle" is realized as bótolo in Selayar and Coastal Konjo, and as bótoloʔ in Makassarese (the latter regularly adds a glottal stop to the echo vowel). This echo vowel is dropped if a suffix is added, but retained if followed by an enclitic.[5]

Makassar Selayar
base /rantas/
with suffix /rantas/ + /-aŋ/
/lambus/ + /-aŋ/
with enclitic /rantas/ + /=ak/
'I am dirty'
/lambus/ + /=a/
'I am straight'


  1. ^ Grimes, C. E. and B. E. Grimes (1987). Languages of South Sulawesi. Canberra: Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. doi:10.15144/PL-D78. ISBN 0858833522.
  2. ^ Friberg, T. and T.V. Laskowske (1989). "South Sulawesi languages". In: J.N. Sneddon (ed.), Studies in Sulawesi linguistics part 1, pp. 1-17. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa.
  3. ^ Esser, S.J. (1938). "Talen". Atlas van Tropisch Nederland. Blad 9a. Batavia: Topografische Dienst.
  4. ^ Ramlah Mappau (2017). "Konstituen Pengungkap Negasi Dalam Bahasa Makassar Dialek Lakiung dan Turatea" [Constituent of Negation Expression in Makassarese Language Dialect of Laking and Turatea]. Sawerigading (in Indonesian). 23 (1): 127–137.
  5. ^ Basri, Hasan; Broselow, Ellen; Finer, Daniel (2012). "The end of the word in Makassar languages" (PDF). In Borowsky, Toni; Kawahara, Shigeto; Sugahara, Mariko; Shinya, Takahito (eds.). Prosody Matters: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Selkirk. Advances in Optimality Theory. Sheffield & Bristol, Conn.: Equinox.