Location and Dialects
Aralle-Tabulahan is a language of interior West Sulawesi. It comprises three dialects: Aralle, Mambi and Tabulahan. Oral traditions point to Tabulahan as the original homeland from which the others migrated. Tabulahan, today principally a Christian area, is located on the Bone Hau, a northward-flowing watercourse which eventually joins the Karama River. Aralle and Mambi on the other hand are Muslim communities located on separate tributaries of the southward-flowing Maloso River. For locations, see maps in George (1996:29) and Strømme (1987:21).
On solid evidence, Aralle-Tabulahan is classified as a member of the Pitu Ulunna Salu subgroup within the South Sulawesi stock of languages. From a lexicostatistical perspective, the Mambi dialect is transitional between Aralle-Tabulahan and Bambam, and could be regarded as a dialect of either (Strømme 1987:25, 27).
A 1984 survey estimated 12,000 speakers of Aralle-Tabulahan or, broken down by dialect, Aralle 5,500, Mambi 4,000, and Tabulahan 2,500 (Strømme 1987:29).
George, Kenneth M. 1996. Showing signs of violence: The cultural politics of a twentieth-century headhunting ritual. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Strømme, Kåre J. 1987. Kabupaten Polewali Mamasa, west-central section. UNHAS-SIL South Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1983–1987 (Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures, 5), edited by Timothy Friberg, 17–40. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.