19th Edition



A language of Malaysia

Alternate Names
Pensiangan, Sumambu, Tagal, Tagal Murut, Tagol

20,000 in Malaysia (2015 L. Murang), decreasing. Ethnic population: 50,000 (2015 L. Rose). Total users in all countries: 22,000.


Sabah: Nabawan district, southern parts of Sipitang and Tenom districts, mainly along the Maligan, Padas (Tomani), Tolokoson, Tahol, and Salalir watersheds. Sarawak: Lawas district.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Rundum (Arundum), Tagal (North Borneo Murut, Sabah Murut, Taggal, Tagol, Tagul), Sumambu (Semambu, Semembu, Sumambuq), Tolokoson (Telekoson), Sapulot Murut (Sapulut Murut), Pensiangan Murut (Lagunan Murut, Pentjangan), Salalir (Sadalir, Saralir, Sedálir), Alumbis (Loembis, Lumbis), Tawan, Tomani (Tumaniq), Maligan (Bol Murut, Bole Murut, Mauligan, Meligan). Reportedly most similar to Paluan [plz].

Language Use

The Tahol language seems to be widely used, even among young people. Home, Friends, Religion, Work; Mixed use: Education. Some children; all adults and elderly. Positive attitudes. Most also use Sabah Malay [msi]. Some also use Standard Malay [zsm]. A few also use English [eng], Hakka Chinese [hak], Kadazan Dusun [dtp], Timugon Murut [tih]. Used as L2 by Kadazan Dusun [dtp], Keningau Murut [kxi], Kolor [kqv], Paluan [plz], Selungai Murut [slg], Timugon Murut [tih].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 80%. Literacy rate in L2: 80% in Standard Malay [zsm]. A school for older adults has been set up to teach them to read in Murut Tahol. The primary reviewers expressed the need for primary and secondary school language subjects in Tahol Murut (like Kadazan Dusun), since this is the largest Murutic language in Sabah. Poetry. New media. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1998. Agency: Sabah Murut Cultural Association, Kadazandusun Language Foundation (KLF).

Latin script [Latn], developed in about 1987.

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