Tukang Besi South


A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Buton, Tukang-Besi, Wakatobi

130,000 (1995 SIL), increasing. 100,000 in Maluku.


Sulawesi Tenggara Province; Tukang Besi archipelago, south islands; northern Binongko and Tomea islands; South Sulawesi Province, Selayar regency, Madu, Kalaotoa, Bonerate, and Karompa islands. Maluku, Taliabu, Mongole, Sulabesi, Buru, Seram, Ambon, and Alor islands. Settlements throughout western Papua Province.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Binongko, Bonerate, Tomea (Tomia). Lexical similarity: 70%–75% with Tukang Besi North [khc], 48% with Cia-Cia [cia], 49% with Lasalimu [llm], average of 35% with other nearby languages. Lexical similarity 85% with Binongko and Tomea, 81% with Bonerate, 79% with Tomea and Bonerate.


Pronominal indexing; grammatical status of subject; morphological case; causative; Philippine and Oceanic type language features.

Language Use

Vigorous. All ages, even in communities away from the main islands. Also use Wolio [wlo]. Used as L2 by Kumbewaha [xks].

Language Development
Other Comments


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