A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names

37,000 (2000 D. Andersen), increasing. Wita Ea 23,000, Tokotu’a 14,000. Includes about 3,500 living in cities. Second or third generations in cities no longer speak Moronene. 1,850 monolinguals.


Sulawesi Tenggara Province, Bombana regency. Southeast mainland, Rumbia mountains area. Kabaena island, Tokotu’a village; on the mainland portion opposite Kabaena; Wita Ea village. Wita Ea dialect: Rumbia, Poleang, and Poleang Timur subdistricts. Also Kolaka regency, Watubangga subdistrict.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Tokotu’a (Kabaena), Wita Ea (Poleang, Rumbia). Lexical similarity: Wita Ea dialect 80% with Tokotu’a dialect; 68% with Menui dialect of Wawonii [wow], 66% with Kulisusu [vkl], 65% with Taloki [tlk], Koroni [xkq], Tulambatu dialect of Bungku [bkz], 64% with Bungku [bkz], and 57% with Tolaki [lbw].

Language Use

Vigorous in many villages. Occasional oral use in church, letter writing. All ages. Positive attitudes. In Poleang many also use Bugis [bug]. In some villages, some parents speak Indonesian [ind] to their children; some children are not proficient in Moronene.

Language Development
Taught as an oral and written subject in both elementary and secondary schools. Radio programs. NT: 2013.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Formerly a kingdom. Muslim.