Basa Silajara
Native toIndonesia
RegionSelayar Islands, South Sulawesi
Native speakers
130,000 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3sly
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Selayar or Selayarese is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 100,000 people on the island of Selayar in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia.[2]:210



Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Vowels are lengthened when stressed and in an open syllable.


Nasalization extends from nasal consonants to the following vowels, continuing until blocked by an intonation break or a consonant other than a glottal stop:

[lamẽãĩʔĩ ãːsu] "A dog urinated on him."
[sassaʔ lamẽãĩʔĩ | ʔaːsu lataiːʔiʔi] "A lizard urinated on him, and a dog defecated on him."[2]:225–226


Bilabial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
voiceless p k ʔ
Fricative s h
Lateral l
Approximant ɹ

Of the coronals, the voiceless stop is dental, while the others are alveolar.


Selayarese intransitive verbs index pronominal arguments via an absolutive enclitic.[3][4]:162

'I jump'
'I am tired'

In transitive verbs the less agent-like argument is indexed by the absolutive enclitic.[4]:163

'I know him'


  1. ^ Selayar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne; Basri, Hasan (1986). "The Phonology of Selayarese". Oceanic Linguistics. 25 (1/2): 210–254. doi:10.2307/3623212. JSTOR 3623212.
  3. ^ Basri, Hasan (1999). Phonological and syntactic reflections of the morphological structure of Selayarese (Ph.D. dissertation). State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  4. ^ a b Mithun, Marianne (1991), "The role of motivation in the emergence of grammatical categories: The grammaticization of subjects", in Traugott, Elizabeth; Heine, Bernd (eds.), Approaches to Grammaticization, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 159–185, ISBN 9781556194023