A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
“Tagabili” (pej.), T’boli, Tiboli

95,300 (2000). 10,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 100,000.


Southwest Mindanao, South Cotabato Province, Mount Busa area and west; Sarangani Province, Celebes seacoast, Katabau west to provincial border; Sultan Kudarat Province, Kraun area and Bagumbayan minicipality.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Central Tboli, Southern Tboli, Western Tboli.


VSO; articles, adjectives, numerals all before and after noun heads; question word in sentence-initial position; maximum number of affixes: 1 prefix, 1 suffix; word order distinguishes subject, object and direct objects, given and new information, topic and comment; affixes indicate case of noun phrase; passives; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CCV, CCVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Speak Tboli to each other freely in buses, surrounding towns, etc. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Filipino [fil], Hiligaynon [hil]. Used as L2 by Koronadal Blaan [bpr], Sarangani Blaan [bps].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Perhaps 50%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: Perhaps 50%–60%. Literacy program in previously unreached coastal mountain range. They operate their own government school. Poetry. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 2007.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.