Murut, Tahol


A language of Malaysia

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

20,000 in Malaysia (2015 L. Murang), decreasing. Ethnic population: 200,000 (2015 L. Murang). Largest Murutic group in Sabah (Harris 1991; Brewis 2004: 43). Total users in all countries: 22,000.


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

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


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 young people, all adults. 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], Kolod Murut [kqv], Paluan Murut [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. Literature. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 1998. Agency: Sabah Murut Cultural Association, Kadazandusun Language Foundation (KLF).


Latin script [Latn], developed in about 1987.

Other Comments


Also spoken in:

Expand All
Collapse All
Page Views Left: