Wetarese language

Native to East Timor, Indonesia
Region Wetar Island, Atauro Island, Laclo
Native speakers
(11,000 cited 1990–2010)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
apx  Aputai
ilu  Ili'uun
wet  Parai
tzn  Tugun
adb  Adabe (mistakenly identified as Papuan)
Glottolog weta1245[2]

Wetarese is a language of Wetar, an island in the south Maluku, Indonesia, and of the nearby islands Liran and Atauro, the latter in East Timor north of Dili.[3] The four principal varieties of Wetarese on Wetar are distinct enough they may be considered different languages.

Half of Wetarese speakers live on the island of Atauro in East Timor, where four very similar dialects of Wetarese (presumably of Ili'uun) are spoken: Rahesuk in the center, Resuk in the southeast, Raklungu in the southwest,[3] and Dadu'a in the north. About half the Dadu'a population has moved to Timor, on the coast of Manatuto district, where it has undergone influence from Galoli.[4]

Wetarese is closely related to Galoli, spoken on the north coast of East Timor and by an immigrant community on the south coast of Wetar.

Adabe "language"

The Raklungu dialect of Atauro, or Klu'un Hahan Adabe, was mistaken for a Papuan language by Antonio de Almeida (1966) and reported as "Adabe" in Wurm & Hattori (1981). Many subsequent sources propagated this error, showing a Papuan language on Atauro Island.[5] Geoffrey Hull, director of research for the Instituto Nacional de Linguística in East Timor, describes only Wetarese being spoken on Ataúro Island.[3]


  1. Aputai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Ili'uun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Parai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Tugun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Adabe (mistakenly identified as Papuan) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wetar". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 3 Geoffrey Hull: The Languages of East Timor. Some Basic Facts, Instituto Nacional de Linguística, Universidade Nacional de Timor Lorosa'e (PDF-Datei; 203 kB)
  4. Ethnologue (2013), for example, shows "Adabe" being spoken on central Atauro, in the area of Raklungu, and lists the population and all three dialects of Atauro Wetarese as being Papuan Adabe.

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