A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
T’boli, Tiboli, “Tagabili” (pej.)

87,200 (2005 UNSD). 10,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 100,000.


Soccsksargen region: Sarangani province, Katabau west to provincial border on Celebes seacoast; South Cotabato province, Mount Busa area and west; Sultan Kudarat province, Bagumbayan municipality and Kraun area.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Central Tboli, Western Tboli, Southern Tboli.


VSO; articles, adjectives, numerals all before and after noun heads; question word in sentence-initial position; maximum number of affixes: 1 prefix, 1 suffix; word order distinguishes subject, object and direct objects, given and new information, topic and comment; affixes indicate case of noun phrase; passives; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CCV, CCVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Speak Tboli to each other freely in buses, surrounding towns, etc. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Filipino [fil], Hiligaynon [hil]. Used as L2 by Koronadal Blaan [bpr], Sarangani Blaan [bps].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: Perhaps 50%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: Perhaps 50%–60%. Literacy program in previously unreached coastal mountain range. They operate their own government school. Literature. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 2007.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

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