South Halmahera
Maluku Islands
Linguistic classificationAustronesian
Proto-languageProto-South Halmahera
  • East Makian – Gane
  • Buli
east2439  (East Makian–Gane)
cent2270  (Buli)

The South Halmahera languages are the branch of Austronesian languages found along the southeast coast of the island of Halmahera in the Indonesian province of North Maluku. Irarutu is spoken in the east of the Bomberai Peninsula in West Papua province.

Most of the languages are only known from short word lists, but Taba and Buli are fairly well attested.

They are not related to the North Halmahera languages, which are notable for being non-Austronesian. However, Ternatan influence is considerable, a legacy of the historical dominance of the Ternate Sultanate.[1]


The South Halmahera languages are listed below according to Glottolog 4.0's classification, with alternate names and dialects listed from Kamholz (2014: 17):[2]


  1. ^ Teljeur, Dirk (1990), The symbolic system of the Giman of South Halmahera, Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 142 (2019, e-book ed.), Dordrecht–Providence: Foris Publications, p. 17, doi:10.1515/9783111672380, ISBN 978-3-11-167238-0, OCLC 1110710205
  2. ^ Kamholz, David (2014). Austronesians in Papua: Diversification and change in South Halmahera–West New Guinea. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.