Native toPhilippines, Sabah
Native speakers
(6,700 in the Philippines cited 1990)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pwm

Molbog is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines and Sabah, Malaysia. The majority of speakers are concentrated at the southernmost tip of the Philippine province of Palawan, specifically the municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac. Both municipalities are considered as bastions for environmental conservation in the province. The majority of Molbog speakers are Muslims.

The classification of Molbog is controversial.[2] Thiessen (1981) groups Molbog with the Palawanic languages, based on shared phonological and lexical innovations.[3] This classification is supported by Smith (2017).[4] An alternative view is taken by Lobel (2013), who puts Molbog together with Bonggi in a Molbog-Bonggi subgroup.[5]



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d () ɡ
Nasal m n (ɲ) ŋ
Fricative s h
Flap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid o
Open a


  1. ^ Molbog at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Blust, Robert (2010). "The Greater North Borneo Hypothesis". Oceanic Linguistics. 49 (1): 44–118. doi:10.1353/ol.0.0060. JSTOR 40783586. S2CID 145459318.
  3. ^ Thiessen, Henry Arnold (1981). Phonological reconstruction of Proto Palawan. Anthropological Papers, no. 10. Manila: National Museum of the Philippines.
  4. ^ Smith, Alexander (2017). The Languages of Borneo: A Comprehensive Classification (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
  5. ^ Lobel, Jason William (2013). "Southwest Sabah Revisited". Oceanic Linguistics. 52 (1): 36–68. doi:10.1353/ol.2013.0013. JSTOR 43286760. S2CID 142990330.
  6. ^ Zorc, R. David; Thiessen, H. Arnold (1995). Molbog: introduction and wordlist. Darrell T. Tryon (ed.), Comparative Austronesian dictionary: an introduction to Austronesian studies: Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 359–362.