Helong

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A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Helon, Kupang, Semau
Population

14,000 (Grimes et al. 1997). Ethnic population: 15,000.

Location

East Nusa Tenggara Province. Semau island off of Timor island, western tip of Timor, and Kupang city. Interspersed with Amarasi [aaz] and other languages.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Funai (Land Helong), Helong Darat (Bolok), Helong Pulau (Island Helong, Semau).

Typology

Unlike many surrounding languages, does not inflect V-initial verb roots for person or number; has long and short vowels; glottal stop, metathesis.

Language Use

Helong Darat shifting to Kupang Malay [mkn]. Funai dialect endangered through intermarriage and urban contact. Home, community, traditional ceremonies. Also use Dengka [dnk], Dhao [nfa], Hawu [hvn], Indonesian [ind], Kupang Malay [mkn], Uab Meto [aoz].

Language Development
Dictionary. NT: 2011.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.