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Wolio language

Native speakers
65,000 (2004)[1]
Buri Wolio (Arabic script)
Language codes
ISO 639-3wlo
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Wolio is an Austronesian language spoken in and around Baubau on Buton Island, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. It belongs to the Wotu–Wolio branch of the Celebic subgroup.[3][4] Also known as Buton, it is a trade language and the former court language of the Sultan at Baubau. Today it is an official regional language; street signs are written in the Buri Wolio alphabet, based on the Arabic script.


Stress is on the penultimate syllable. The five vowels are /i e a o u/.

Labial Apical Laminal Velar Glottal
p t k ʔ
ɓ ɗ ɡ
mp nt ɲtʃ ŋk
mb nd ɲdʒ ŋɡ
m n ɲ ŋ
β s h
l, r

/b, d, f/ are found in loans, mostly from Arabic. /β/ is transcribed w, /tʃ/ c. /r/ is a trill.

See also


  1. ^ Wolio at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Wolio". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Donohue, Mark. (2004). "The pretenders to the Muna-Buton group." In Bowden, J. and Himmelmann, N. (eds.). Papers in Austronesian subgrouping and dialectology, pp. 21-36. Canberra: Australian National University. (Pacific Linguistics 563)
  4. ^ Mead, David. (2003). "Evidence for a Celebic supergroup." In Lynch, John (ed.). Issues in Austronesian historical phonology, pp. 115-141. Canberra: Australian National University. (Pacific Linguistics 550)