Minahasan languages

The Minahasan languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages spoken by the Minahasa people in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. They belong to the Philippine subgroup.

North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Linguistic classificationAustronesian

Considerable lexical influence comes from Spanish, Portuguese, and Ternate, a historical legacy of the presence of foreign powers.[1][2] The Minahasan languages are distinct from the Manado Malay (Minahasa Malay) language, which is Malayic in origin, and has been displacing the indigenous languages of the area.[3][4]


The languages are Tonsawang, Tontemboan, Tondano, Tombulu and Tonsea.[5]

The Minahasan languages are classified as a branch of the Philippine subgroup.[6]

The Bantik, Ratahan, and Ponosakan languages, although also spoken in the Minahasa region, are more distantly related, thus not covered by the term in a genealogical sense.[7][8]


Reconstruction ofMinahasan languages

Proto-Minahasan (PMin) has been reconstructed by Sneddon (1978).[9] The comparison table (a small selection from Sneddon 1978:120–183) illustrates the correspondences between the Minahasan languages, including inherited vocabulary as well as Minahasan innovations.[10]

Comparison table
Words inherited from Proto-Austronesian (PAn)
Tondano Tonsea Tombulu Tontemboan Tonsawang PMin PAn Meaning
təlu tədu təlu təlu təlu *təlu *təlu 'three'
oat oat ohat oʔat ohatᶿ *ohat *huRaC 'vein'
rui dui duhi duʔi duhi *duhi *duRi 'bone'
ədo əndo əndo əndo əndo *əndo *qaləjaw 'sun'
pate pate pate pate patᶿe *pate *paCay 'kill'
Minahasan innovations
Tondano Tonsea Tombulu Tontemboan Tonsawang PMin PAn Meaning
tələs tələs tələs tələs tələs *tələs (*bəli) 'buy'
edo endo endo indo indo *indo (*alaq) 'take'

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Watuseke, F. S. (1965), "Kata-kata Ternate dalam bahasa Melaju-Manado dan bahasa-bahasa Minahasa", Pembina Bahasa Indonesia (in Indonesian), IX: 107–110
  2. ^ Schouten, M. J. C. (1998), Leadership and social mobility in a Southeast Asian society: Minahasa, 1677–1983, Leiden: KITLV Press, pp. 39–40
  3. ^ Watupongoh, Geraldine Y. J. Manoppo (1992), Struktur bahasa Tondano (in Indonesian), Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, p. 2
  4. ^ Henley, David (1996), Nationalism and regionalism in a colonial context: Minahasa in the Dutch East Indies, Leiden: KITLV Press, p. 86
  5. ^ Sneddon (1978), p. 9.
  6. ^ Adelaar (2005), p. 16.
  7. ^ Watuseke, F. S. (1956), "Bahasa Tondano", Bahasa dan budaja (in Indonesian), 4/5: 3–14
  8. ^ Watuseke, F. S. (1977), "'Kolano' in the Tondano Language", Papers in Borneo and Western Austronesian linguistics No. 2 (PDF), Pacific Linguistics A-33, C. Court, R. A. Blust, F. S. Watuseke, Canberra: Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, pp. 123–132, doi:10.15144/PL-A33, retrieved 2022-12-24
  9. ^ Sneddon (1978).
  10. ^ Sneddon (1989), p. 85.


External linksEdit