Balantak is an Austronesian language spoken at the head of the eastern peninsula of Sulawesi. It is classified as a member of the Saluan-Banggai branch of the Celebic subgroup. The Balantak language is the primary language of the Balantak people. Although 90% of the population are also proficient in Indonesian, the vernacular is still vigorously used in everyday contexts, and most children only speak Balantak before entering school.
Balantak has the following phoneme inventory:
- /ŋ/ is written ⟨ng⟩
- /j/ is written ⟨y⟩
- /ʔ/ is written ⟨'⟩
- /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/ are written ⟨c⟩ and ⟨j⟩, and only occur in loanwords.
- /h/ only occurs in loanwords
Sequences of like vowels are phonetically realized as long vowels, e.g. toop [tɔ:p] 'cigarette', nuur [nu:r] 'coconut'.
- Busenitz, Robert L.; Busenitz, Marilyn J. (1991). "Balantak Phonology and Morphophonemics" (PDF). In Sneddon, James N. (ed.). Studies in Sulawesi Linguistics, Part II. NUSA 33. Jakarta: Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. pp. 29–47.
- van den Berg, René; Busenitz, Robert L. (2012). A Grammar of Balantak: A Language of Eastern Sulawesi. SIL e‑Books 40. Dallas: SIL International.