Dobel

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A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Doibel, Kobroor, Kobro’or, Sersifar Tannin
Population

5,680 (2011 SIL), increasing. L2 users: Chinese merchants and other outsiders who live in Dobel villages and residents of Lorang use it as L2.

Location

Maluku Province, southeast area, Aru islands, entire east coast of Kobror island, 1 village in southeast Wokam island, 4 villages eastern half of Barakai strait (Kobror and Koba islands), 2 villages in central Kobror island. 18 villages; many in Dobo; some in Ambon.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Northern Dobel, Southeast Dobel, Straits Dobel. At least 3 dialects. Lexical similarity: 78%–86% with Koba [kpd].

Typology

SVO; prepositions; no adjectives; noun head initial; active verbs and stative verbs; complex reduplication system; 14 consonant phonemes and 5 vowel phonemes; CVC, CV, with CiCiVC, CiCiV patterns occurring only as stressed syllable of a phonological word, when that word is reduplicated; not tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. Some Chinese merchants who speak Dobo Malay dialect of Ambonese Malay [abs] and older Hokkien [nan] learn Dobel. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Dobo Malay, a dialect of Ambonese Malay [abs]. Nearly all school-age speakers of Dobel are bilingual in Ambonese Malay. Also use Indonesian [ind], Manombai [woo]. Used as L2 by Lorang [lrn], Manombai [woo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%. Bible portions: 1991–2009.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, Muslim.