Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
(180,000 cited 1995)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ski

The Sika language or Sikanese, also known as Sikka,[2] is spoken by around 180,000 people of the Sika ethnic group on Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is a member of the Central Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.

Sika is notable for being one of the few languages which contain a non-allophonic labiodental flap. Like many other languages in eastern Indonesia, it shows evidence of having a Papuan (non-Austronesian) substratum, but in the case of Sika, this includes extreme morphological simplification and about 20% lexical replacement in basic vocabulary. It has been hypothesized that the Austronesian languages in that area could be descendants of a creole language, resulting from the intrusion of Austronesian languages into eastern Indonesia.[3]

Sika has at least three recognized dialects:



Sika has the following consonant phonemes:[2]

Bilabials Dentals Dorsals Glottals
Palatals Velars
Plosive Voiceless p t k ʔ
Voiced b d g
Fricative Voiceless s h
Voiced β
Affricate d͡ʒ
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Trill r


  1. ^ Sika at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Lewis, Ε. D.; Grimes, Charles E. (1995). "Sika". In Tryon, Darrell T. (ed.). Comparative Austronesian Dictionary: An Introduction to Austronesian Studies. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-1108-8401-1.
  3. ^ Gil, David (2015). "The Mekong-Mamberamo linguistic area". In N. J. Enfield; Bernard Comrie (eds.). Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia: The State of the Art. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 334. ISBN 978-1-5015-0168-5.