|(28,000 with Mori Atas cited 1988)|
Mori Bawah is classified as a member of the Bungku-Tolaki group of languages, and shares its closest affinities with Bungku and other languages of the eastern seaboard of Sulawesi, such as Wawonii and Kulisusu. Together, Mori Bawah and the Mori Atas language are sometimes referred to collectively by the cover term ‘Mori’.
Mori Bawah comprises several dialects. Following Esser, five dialects can be regarded as principal.
The Tinompo dialect is highest in prestige. Tinompo was the dialect spoken by the indigenous royal class, and in the first half of the twentieth century it was further promoted by colonial authorities as a standard throughout the Mori area, including for Mori Atas and Padoe.
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