A language of Philippines

Alternate Names

106,000 in Philippines (1990 census), increasing. 33% monolinguals. 86,900 in Basilan Province.


Sulu Archipelago, Basilan, and small surrounding islands; Sakol island; west Mindanao, Zamboanga east coast. Concentrated away from the coast. Also in Malaysia.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


VPA, VAP; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; articles before noun heads, adjectives after noun heads, numerals before and after noun heads; question word in sentence-initial position; 2 prefixes, 1 suffix; word order distinguishes subjects, objects and indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; affixes do not indicate case of noun phrase; non-obligatory verb affixes indicate number; passives; causatives; comparatives; ergativity; CV, CCV, CVC; nontonal

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Local administration, commerce, religion, oral traditional literature. Positive attitudes. Some are somewhat proficient in Tausug [tsg]. A few also use Chavacano [cbk]. The educated also use Filipino [fil] and English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 35%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1984.
Arabic script. Latin script.
Other Comments

Land division in families and increasing population pushes young people to seek employment in cities or other countries. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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