Tontemboan language

Native to Indonesia
Region northern Sulawesi
Native speakers
unknown (150,000 cited 1990)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tnt
Glottolog tont1239[2]
Tontemboan Bible, by M. Adriani-Gunning and J. Regar, published in 1907 by Firma P.W.M Trap, Leiden, Holland.

Tontemboan is an Austronesian language, of northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is a Minahasan language, a sub-group of the Philippine languages.[3]

Other names and dialect names are: "Makela'i-Maotow, Makelai, Matana'i-Maore', Matanai, Pakewa, Sonder, Tompakewa, Tompaso, Tountemboan."[4]


English Tontemboan Pronunciation
one esa
two rua
three tellu
four epat
five lima
six enem
seven pitu
eight wallu
nine siou
ten mapulu
north amian
south timu
west talikuran
east sendangan
water rano
shower lemele
eat kuman
work tamawoy
fire api
ear lunteng
cold utiŋ
large wangkər
I aku
you angko
know -taʔu
say nuwu


As of 2013, an estimated 100,000 people speak the language, but it is not being passed on to children. It is used in an area around Langoan, Sonder, Suluun and Amurang.[6] Documentation of the language assembled by missionaries a century ago is relatively inaccessible to Tontemboan speakers, as it is written in the Dutch language. As of 2013, the Endangered Language Alliance is organizing a series of Tontemboan language events in New York City.[7]

In 1907, Firma P.W.M Trap, Leiden, Holland published a Bible in the Tontemboan language. It was edited by M. Adriani-Gunning and J. Regar.


  1. ^ Tontemboan at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tontemboan". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Liao, 2008, p. 3.
  4. ^ OLAC resources in and about the Tontemboan language
  5. ^ Sneddon, 1970, pp. 20-26.
  6. ^ Sneddon, 1970, p. 16.
  7. ^ Bruce Wallace (Director) (2013-10-10). "When New Yorker Rose Monintja speaks her native tongue, the memories flood back". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  • Liao, Hsiu-Chan, A Typology of First Person Dual Pronouns and their Reconstructibility in Philippine Languages, Oceanic Linguistics, 47:1, pp. 1-29, 2008.
  • Sneddon, J.N, The Languages of Minahasa, North Celebes, Oceanic Linguistics, IX:1, pp. 11-36, 1970.

External links

  • OLAC resources in and about the Tontemboan language
  • Tontemboan Gospel of Mark
  • The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9)
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