A language of Palau

Alternate Names
Sonsorol, Sonsorol-Tobi

360 (2007 R. Dongosaro). About 60 on the outer islands (Sonsoral 30, Pulo Anna 10, Merir 3) and 300 in Koror town, Echang village.


Sonsorol state: Merir, Pulo Anna, and Sonsorol islands.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Recognized language (1979, Constitution, Article 13(1)).


Sonsorolese, Pulo Anna, Merir. Significant linguistic differences between Tobian [tox] and Sonsorolese; similar to or greater than differences between, e.g., Puluwatese [puw] and Namonuito [nmt]. 50% intelligibility of Woleaian [woe], less with the remainder of the Trukic continuum. The Merir dialect reportedly has no remaining speakers. Lexical similarity: 69% with Ulithian [uli].

Language Use

Young Sonsorolese are reported to speak their native language with many English [eng] admixtures. Consequently, their speech is very different from the Sonsorolese of the elder generation, in which there are currently less than 20 speakers over 60 years old. Some of all ages. Most also use Palauan [pau]. Also use English [eng].

Language Development

Dictionary. Grammar.


Latin script [Latn].

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