L1 users: 80,000 (2007). Total users in all countries: 85,000.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Sulu and Basilan provinces; Zamboanga Peninsula region: coast peninsula, islands. Central Luzon region: White Beach near Subic bay (Northern Sama dialect); Zamboanga Peninsula region: Zamboanga Sibugay province, Olutangga island (Lutangan dialect).
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.