Wolio language

Region Sulawesi
Native speakers
65,000 (2004)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wlo
Glottolog woli1241[2]

Wolio is an Austronesian language spoken in Bau-Bau on Buton Island, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Also known as Buton, it is a trade language and the former court language of the Sultan at Baubau. Today it is an official regional language; street signs are written in Wolio using the Arabic script.


Stress is on the penultimate syllable. The five vowels are /i e a o u/.

p t k ʔ
ɓ ɗ ɡ
mp nt ɲtʃ ŋk
mb nd ɲdʒ ŋɡ
m n ɲ ŋ
β s h
l, r

/b, d, f/ are found in loans, mostly from Arabic. /β/ is transcribed w, /tʃ/ c. /r/ is a trill.

See also


  1. Wolio at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wolio". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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