80,000 in Philippines (2007). Total users in all countries: 85,000.
Western Mindanao, Sulu archipelago northeast of Jolo, Zamboanga coast peninsula and islands and Basilan island. Northern Sama dialect: Luzon, White Beach near Subic bay; Lutangan dialect: Olutangga island. Possibly on Luzon and Palawan.
Lutangan (Lutango), Sibuco-Vitali (Sibuku), Sibuguey (Batuan), Balangingi, Daongdung, Kabinga’an. Most Lutangan understand Bangingih Sama, the prestige dialect. Intelligibility of Central Sama [sml] 71%, 83% of Lutangan, 85% of Sibuco-Vitali. Lexical similarity: 77% with Lutangan, 75% with Sibuco-Vitali.
SVO to introduce a topic, thereafter VSO; prepositions; gender not marked; ergative; nontonal; CVC, CV, VC; 17 consonant phonemes and 5 vowel phonemes.
Balangingi is the prestige dialect of Northern Sama. Muslim.