Sumba–Flores languages

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Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)
Linguistic classificationAustronesian
Glottologflor1240  (Sumba–Manggarai)[1]

The Sumba–Flores languages, which correspond to the traditional Bima–Sumba subgroup minus Bima, are a proposed group of Austronesian languages (geographically Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages) spoken on and around the islands of Sumba and western–central Flores in the Lesser Sundas. The main languages are Manggarai, which has half a million speakers on the western third of Flores, and Kambera, with a quarter million speakers on the eastern half of Sumba Island.

The Hawu language of Savu Island is suspected of having a non-Austronesian substratum, but perhaps not to any greater extent than the languages of central and eastern Flores, such as Sika, or indeed of Central Malayo-Polynesian languages in general.


Blust (2008)[2] finds moderate support for linking the languages of western and central Flores with Sumba–Hawu.

The Central Flores languages form a linkage (language listed from east to west), with Nga'o being at the center of the linkage.[3]

Central Flores


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Flores–Sumba–Hawu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Blust, Robert (2008). "Is There a Bima-Sumba Subgroup?". Oceanic Linguistics. 47 (1): 45–113. doi:10.1353/ol.0.0006. JSTOR 20172340.
  3. ^ Elias, Alexander. 2019. The Central Flores Linkage. 11th International Austronesian and Papuan Languages and Linguistics Conference (APLL11), 13–15 June 2019, Leiden University.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gasser, Emily. 2014. Subgrouping in Nusa Tenggara: The case of Bima-Sumba. In Jeffrey Connor-Linton and Luke Wander Amoroso (eds.), Measured Language: Quantitative Studies of Acquisition, Assessment, and Variation, 63-78. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

External links[edit]