A language of Malaysia

Alternate Names
Dusun Dayak, Melobong Rungus, Memagun, Memogun, Momogun, Roongas, Rungus Dusun

55,000 (2009 PCS). Ethnic population: 60,000.


Sabah, Kudat and Bengkoka peninsulas surrounding Marudu bay; Marudu district south of Marudu bay; Labuk-Sugut district southeast of Marudu bay.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Gandahon, Gonsomon, Nuluw, Pilapazan (Central Rungus, Rungus Tanga). Gonsomon and Nuluw most distinctive dialects. Gandahon is less distinct. Lexical similarity among dialects within 86%–96%.

Language Use

90% L1 speakers. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Sabah Malay [msi], Standard Malay [zsm].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: low for those over 45; much higher for those under 30. Literacy in L2: Standard Malay [zsm] literacy higher than Rungus; school language is Standard Malay [zsm]. Dictionary. Bible: 2014.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Reside on 2 peninsulas surrounding a bay and identify themselves by which side of the bay they come from. Self-identify as Momogun and have complex internal social and ethnic relationships (Appell 1965). There is a strong sense of Rungus ethnic identity across all dialect groups.