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Languages of East Timor

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Democratic Republic of East Timor, Timor Timus, Timor L’este, Timor Lorosae. 1,067,000. National or official languages: Tetun, Portuguese. Literacy rate: Below 30%. Information mainly from C. Grimes, T. Therik, B. Grimes, and M. Jacob 1997. The number of individual languages listed for East Timor is 20. Of those, 19 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers.
Adabe

[adb] 1,000 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 1,000. Atauro Island, Timor Island north of Dili. Alternate names: Ataura, Atauro, Atauru, Raklu Un, Raklu-Un.  Dialects: Munaseli Pandai. Different from Galoli [gal] dialects on Atauro. No relationship to Wersing [kvw].  Classification: Trans-New Guinea, West, West Timor-Alor-Pantar, Adabe 
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Baikeno

[bkx] 20,000 (2003 UKAW). Many monolinguals. Several thousand refugees in west Timor. Ethnic population: 20,000. Oekusi enclave separated from the rest of East Timor. Kais Metan in Pantai Makasar, Oesilu districts; Tai Boko in Nitib District. The 2 dialects comprise northern two-thirds of Ambeno; Uis Tasae in Pasab District, the southern third. Alternate names: Ambeno, Ambenu, Baikenu, Biqueno, Oe Cusi, Oecussi, Oekusi, Uab Meto, Uab Pah Meto, Vaikenu, Vaikino.  Dialects: Kais Metan (East Baikeno, Bob Meto), Tai Boko (West Baikeno), Uis Tasae (South Baikeno). Baikeno is linguistically a dialect of Uab Meto [aoz], but for political reasons is treated as a separate language for vernacular literature. It is intelligible with the Uab Meto dialects of Amfo’an, northern Mollo, and Insana. Significant differences with Amarasi [aaz] block intelligibility. They see themselves as part of the wider Atoni cultural, linguistic, political, and historical network, in contrast to being Tetun, Helong, or Rote. They refer to themselves as ‘atoni’ (person), speaking ‘uab meto’ (the language of the dry). The Kais Metan dialect is most populous and most influential, being around the town of Oekusi.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, West 
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Bunak

[bfn] 50,000 in East Timor (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Population total all countries: 100,000. Ethnic population: 50,000. Central interior Timor Island, south coast. Also in Indonesia (Nusa Tenggara). Alternate names: Buna’, Bunake, Bunaq.  Dialects: Not closely related to other languages.  Classification: Trans-New Guinea, West, West Timor-Alor-Pantar, Bunak 
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Fataluku

[ddg] 30,000 (1989). Ethnic population: 30,000. East tip of Timor Island around Los Palos. Alternate names: Dagada, Dagaga, Dagoda’.  Dialects: May be related to Oirata [oia] on nearby Kisar Island. Significant dialect variation. May be several languages.  Classification: Trans-New Guinea, West, East Timor, Fataluku-Oirata 
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Galoli

[gal] 50,000 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 50,000. North coast between Mambae and Makasae, Laklo, Manatutu, Laleia, and We-Masin, Wetar Island. Alternate names: Galole.  Dialects: Na Nahek, Edi, Dadua, Galoli, Baba, Hahak. Talur [ilw] on Wetar Island in Maluku may be inherently intelligible.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, East 
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Habun

[hbu] 1,260 (2000). Northeast of Laclubar and the Idate [idt]. Alternate names: Habu.  Dialects: Many loanwords from Trans-New Guinea languages similar to Makasae [mkz], but with Austronesian structure. Related to Waima’a [wmh] and Kairui-Midiki [krd]. Classification needs further investigation.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, Central 
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Idaté

[idt] 5,000 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 5,000. Central East Timor, part of Laclubar mountains, surrounded by Mambae [mgm], Galoli [gal], Kairui [krd], and Tetun [tet]. Dialects: Most similar to Lakalei [lka], Galoli.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, East 
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Kairui-Midiki

[krd] 2,000 (2001). Ethnic population: 2,000. Central small mountainous area surrounded by Makasai [mkz], Waima’a [wmh], Tetun [tet], Galoli [grd]. Alternate names: Cairui, Midiki.  Dialects: Kairui, Midiki (Midik). Vocabulary is predominantly Trans-New Guinea, structure is Austronesian. Related to Waima’a and Habu [hbu]. Classification needs further investigation. May be co-dialect with Waima’a.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, East 
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Kemak

[kem] 50,000 in East Timor (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Population total all countries: 100,000. Ethnic population: 50,000. North central Timor Island border between East Timor and West Timor, mostly east side. Also in Indonesia (Nusa Tenggara). Alternate names: Ema.  Dialects: Nogo (Nogo-Nogo), Kemak. Close to Tetun [tet]. Most closely related to Mambae [mgm] and Tukudede [tkd]. Also related to Uab Meto [aoz]. Morris (1992) counts the Nogo dialect as separate from Kemak.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, West 
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Lakalei

[lka] 5,000 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 5,000. Central Timor Island, north of Same, northeast of Ainaro. Dialects: Similar to Idate [idt], Tetun [tet], Galoli [gal].  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, East 
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Makasae

[mkz] 70,000 (1989). Ethnic population: 70,000. Timor Island, east end around Baucau and inland, west of Fataluku, from north to south coast in a dialect chain. Alternate names: Ma’asae, Macassai, Makasai, Makassai.  Dialects: Maklere, Makasai. Not closely related to other languages. Non-Austronesian.  Classification: Trans-New Guinea, West, East Timor 
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Makuv’a

[lva] 50 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 50. Northeast tip of Timor Island, around Tutuala. Alternate names: Lovaea, Lovaia, Makua.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, East  Nearly extinct.
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Mambae

[mgm] 80,000 in East Timor (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 80,000. Central Timor mountains, around Ermera, Aileu, and Ainaro. Also in Australia. Alternate names: Mambai, Manbae.  Dialects: Damata, Lolei, Manua, Mambai.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, Central 
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Nauete

[nxa] 1,000 (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Ethnic population: 1,000. South coast, east tip of Timor Island, west of Tiomar. Uato Lari is main town. Alternate names: Naóti, Naueti, Nauhete, Nauote, Nauoti.  Dialects: Naumik, Oso Moko. Not closely related to any other language. Many loanwords from Trans-New Guinea languages like Makasae [mkz].  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, East 
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Pidgin, Timor

[tvy] Extinct. Timor Island, around Bidau, Dili, and Lifan. Alternate names: Timor Creole Portuguese.  Dialects: Português de Bidau, Macaísta.  Classification: Creole, Portuguese based 
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Portuguese

[por]   Alternate names: Português.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Portuguese-Galician 
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Tetun

[tet] 50,000 in East Timor (2004). Western East Timor, south coast from Suai to Viqueque. East of Atoni, west of Bunak (in Batagude) around Batibo, and in from the south coast around Viqueque and Soibada. Alternate names: Belo, Belu, Fehan, Teto, Tettum, Tetu, Tetum, Tetun Belu, Tetung.  Dialects: Eastern Tetun (Soibada, Natarbora, Lakluta, Tetun Loos, Tetun Los), Southern Tetun (Lia Fehan, Plain Tetun, Tasi Mane, Belu Selatan, South Belu, South Tetun), Northern Tetun (Lia Foho, Hill Tetun, Tasi Feto, Belu Utara, North Belu, Tetun Terik, Tetun Therik).  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, Central 
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Tetun Dili

[tdt] 50,000 (1995). North coast of East Timor, L1 in Dili area; L2 scattered in west part of East Timor. Alternate names: Dili Tetum, Tetum, Tetum Dili, Tetum Praça, Tetum Prasa, Tetun.  Dialects: Important differences with Tetun [tet] in grammar, morphology, functors, and much of the lexicon. Heavy Portuguese and Mambae [mgm] influence; some Indonesian [ind] or Malay [mkn] loans.  Classification: Creole, Tetun based 
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Tukudede

[tkd] 63,200 (2000). Timor Island, north coast, Maubara and Liquisa regions from Lois River banks to Dili. Alternate names: Tocod, Tokodé, Tokodede, Tukude.  Dialects: Keha (Keia), Tukudede.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Ramelaic, West 
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Waima’a

[wmh] 3,000 (2001). Ethnic population: 3,000 or more. Northeast coast Timor Island, enclave within Makasae [mkz]-speaking area. Alternate names: Uai Ma’a, Uaimo’a, Waimaha, Waimoa.  Dialects: Many Trans-New Guinea loanwords similar to Makasae. Related to Habu [hbu], Kairui-Midiki [krd]. Classification needs further investigation. May be a co-dialect with Kairui-Midiki.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Timor, Extra-Ramelaic, East 
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