A survey in the early 1990s reported relatively vigorous language use, and that children were still learning the language (Himmelmann 2001:44). Lacking more recent information from the field, however, we follow UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger (Moseley 2010) and rate Boano as 4/Vulnerable. At the same time, we note the need for the Boano area to be revisited, to assess the current degree of language vitality of the Boano language.
What Others Have Written
The Boano … only inhabit one village, Bolano, in the centre of the Tialo area. To understand this phenomenon, one must refer to the geography. The Boano have settled at the foot of a fairly large mountain that divides the Tialo area (at Ongka), at the edge of a swampy area. Here sago abounds, but (drinking) water is scarce. The area is also separated from Lambunu, the next village to the east, by a small hill.
Lauje, Tialo, Tajio and Boano on the East Coast are still very much the languages of everyday communication in their central areas. The younger generation appears to have a reasonably full command of these languages.
Their village has no space for new migrants to settle there, and Boano is the daily language used there. However, their children receive their primary school instruction in Indonesian, and Boano has to be regarded as potentially endangered.
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. (compiler.) 2001. Sourcebook on Tomini-Tolitoli languages: General information and word lists. (Pacific Linguistics, 511.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Moseley, Christopher (ed.) 2010. Atlas of the world’s languages in danger, 3rd ed., entirely revised, enlarged and updated. (Memory of Peoples Series.) Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
Wurm, Stephen A. 2007. Australasia and the Pacific. Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages, edited by Christopher Moseley, 425–577. New York: Routledge.