Language: Kahumamahon Saluan


This entry has been retired and is featured here only for bookkeeping purposes. Either the entry has been replaced with one or more more accurate entries or it has been retired because it was based on a misunderstanding to begin with.

Retired in ISO 639-3: Merge into Saluan [loe]

  • Change request: 2007-118
  • ISO 639-3: slb
  • Name: Kahumamahon Saluan
  • Reason: merge
  • Effective: 2008-01-14

Excerpt from change request document:

Whilst in the past two "Saluan" languages have been recognized, there have been at most only two reasons for doing so, and in neither case was the reason linguistic:

(a) the Kahumamahon people in Simpang village were regarded by the Indonesian government as an exotic/isolated/primitive people (Indonesian: "suku terasing")

(b) NTM mission was proceeding with a New Testament translation in Simpang village, while concurrently the Indonesian Bible Society was proceeding with a translation in Saluan as spoken in coastal areas.

A linguistic basis for such a division, however, has never been made clear, and in fact no one has even known where to draw the border between these two supposed languages.

In 2001, I requested and obtained a 488-item word list of "Kahumamahon Saluan" from Robert Brown, then living in Simpang village and who knew the language well. A comparison of this word list with four other "Coastal Saluan" word lists which we had in hand suggested then that these were just one language. In 2006, an Indonesian colleague and I travelled the breadth of the Saluan area and collected seven additional word lists so that we could fully appraise the dialect situation. Whilst the isolect spoken in Simpang village is indeed divergent, all word lists scored above 80% in lexical similarity. Furthermore, "Kahomamahon" speakers themselves consider their language to be nothing other than a dialect of Saluan.

We are currently writng up the results of our research in a paper titled "An Initial Appreciation of the Dialect Situation in Saluan (Sulawesi, Indonesia)" (by David Mead and Edy Pasanda). Based on evidence from lexicostatistics, historical sound change and sociolinguistic interviews, we suggest that one Saluan language be recognized, which has three dialects:


  • Loinang dialect comprising three subdialects:
    • Lingketeng subdialect
    • Baloa' subdialect
    • Kohumama'on subdialect (<-- note corrected spelling)
  • Luwuk dialect
  • Kintom-Pagimana-Boalemo dialect

To this we can add:

No good cover term for the Kintom-Pagimana-Boalemo dialect emerged during the course of our visit, and perhaps each could also be considered its own subdialect.

The Loinang and Luwuk dialects are linked by the historical merger of word final -n and -l > *n, but the Luwuk and Kintom-Pagimana-Boalemo dialects are linked by higher lexical similarity.

The Luwuk dialect is spoken along the coast in the southeastern part of the Saluan language area, the Loinang dialect was formerly spoken in the interior, and the Kintom- Pagimana-Boalemo dialect elsewhere (on the coast). However, migrations of Saluan people from the interior to the coast over the past century has resulted in considerable dialect mixture in some coastal areas.


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