Indonesian Bajau (East Lombok)

Diana Archangeli, Jonathan Yip, Suki Yiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bajau is spoken as the primary language from the Philippines to Borneo to eastern Indonesia, by both nomadic and settled communities. It is also known as Badjaw, Badjo, Bajao, Bajo, Bayo, Gaj, Indonesian Bajaw, Orang Laut, Sama, and Terijene; see Simons & Fennig 2017. lists 'Indonesian Bajau' as a language spoken on the south-eastern coast of Sulawesi, glottocode indo1317 and ISO 639-3 bdl. Clifton (2010) claims the population of Bajau speakers is 700,000-900,000, with around 150,000-230,000 in eastern Indonesia (Sather 1997) and 92,000 in Sulawesi (Mead & Lee 2007). There are also Bajau-speaking populations in the Philippines and Borneo (Jun 2005); see Figure 1. Bajau is classified as a threatened Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian language (Simons & Fennig 2017). It has been proposed that the language originated in the Zamboanga-Basilan area in southern Philippines (Jun 2005 citing Pallesen 1985).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-332
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the International Phonetic Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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