A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Batu, Niha
Li Nias

770,000 (2000 census). Ethnic population: 1,042,000 (2011 census).


North Sumatra province: Batu, Nias and Mursala islands. Alasa, Sirombu and Mandrehe (Northwest dialect); Gomo, and south in Teluk Dalam and Batu islands (Central dialect).

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


North Nias (Gunung Sitoli), South Nias (Nias Selatan), West Nias, Northwest Nias, Central Nias.


VOS; prepositions; noun head initial; classifiers with numerals; no articles; verb affixes mark person and number; modal expressions; causative prefix; 22 consonants (including bilabial trill) and 6 vowels; stress on the penultimate syllable; inclusive/exclusive pronouns.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, Community; Mixed use: Religion, Work, Education. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Indonesian [ind], but with limited proficiency.

Language Development

Literature. Grammar. Bible: 1911.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

North dialect (particularly Gunung Sitoli) has high prestige and is a lingua franca in Nias. The South dialect (particularly Teluk Dalam variety) has lower prestige, especially in northern Nias, and is considered by many Nias speakers from other areas as unrefined. Christian.

Page Views Left: