A language of Malaysia

Alternate Names
Momogun, Tabilong, Tebilung, Tobilang

4,000 (2015 G. Buck), decreasing. 1,500 monolinguals (2015 G. Buck). Ethnic population: 10,000 (2015 G. Buck).


Sabah: Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, and Kudat districts, Kota Kinabalu, Inanam and other towns.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Low intelligibility with Coastal Kadazan dialect of Kadazan Dusun [dtp]; moderate intelligibility with Kadazan Dusun [dtp], Kimaragang [kqr] and Rungus [drg].


VSO; prepositions; 17 consonants and 5 vowels; non-tonal language; vowel harmony (O is the neutral vowel) and neutralization.

Language Use

Stronger in villages in the interior. Half of the children are learning the language or using it at home. Mixed use: Home, Friends, Religion, Work. Some children and young adults; all older adults and elderly. Mixed attitudes. Most also use Sabah Malay [msi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%–70%. Literacy rate in L2: 60%–70% in Standard Malay [zsm]. The current spelling system is not widely known, but anyone who is literate in L2 (Standard Malay [zsm]) can learn to read and write in Tobilung within a few hours. New media. Videos. Dictionary.

Latin script [Latn], developed in about 2004.

Other Comments

Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.

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