Bookkeeping: Pamona (Retired)

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: Split into Pamona [pmf] (new identifier) and Batui [zbt]

  • Change request: 2007-199
  • ISO 639-3: bcx
  • Name: Pamona
  • Reason: split
  • Effective: 2008-01-14

Excerpt from change request document:

In 1908, the Dutch administrator O. E. Goedhart visited Batui. In a somewhat odd-seeming practice today, he named the people’s speech the ‘Baha language’ after their negative term. In this he was partly in error, because the word for ‘no’ in Batui is actually mbaha’. In 1914, the Dutch linguist N. Adriani further compounded the error by surmising that Baha must be a dialect of the nearby Pamona language. Adriani's basis was (a) geographical proximity, and (b) that the negative term "baha" superficially resembled "bare'e" of the Pamona language.

Sadly, no one bothered to check things out further. Instead, as the years passed, the claim was repeated on language atlases and other writings about Sulawesi languages. People forgot about the shaky foundation upon which it had been built, and thus error had become "linguistic fact".

In 2006 we collected (in fact, became the first to collect) first-hand information on the Batui language, and discovered that Batui is not even closely related to Pamona at all, but shares its greatest affinities with the Saluan-Banggai languages to the east. Including Batui (or Baha) as a dialect of Pamona was nothing other than an egregious error.

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