17,200 (2000). Largest language in west Seram.
Maluku Province. West Seram island, Seram Barat district, Kairatu, Taniwel districts, 27 villages.
Central East Alune (Buriah-Weth-Laturake), Central West Alune (Niniari-Piru-Riring-Lumoli), Kairatu, North Coastal Alune (Nikulkan-Murnaten-Wakolo), South Alune (Rambatu-Manussa-Rumberu). Rambatu dialect reportedly prestigious. Kawe [kgb] may be a dialect. Related to Naka’ela [nae] and Lisabata-Nuniali [lcs]. Lexical similarity: 77%–91% among dialects, 64% with Lisabata-Nuniali [lcs], 63% with Hulung [huk] and Naka’ela [nae].
People in the interior, the majority, use it daily. Coastal village usage less vigorous. Southern dialect in Kairatu village has no remaining speakers.