At the end of the nineteenth century Laiyolo was spoken in eight villages on the southern part of Selayar Island. A century later the sole remaining Laiyolo community was located in Lembang Mate'ne village (see map in Laidig and Maingak 1999:47 for precise location).
Classification and Dialects
On solid linguistic evidence Barang-Barang is classified as a member of the Wotu-Wolio subgroup. Linguistic surveys conucted in the 1980s concluded that Laiyolo comprised two dialects, Laiyolo proper and Barang-Barang (Grimes and Grimes 1987:61; Friberg and Laskowske 1989:14). We follow the lead of Wyn Laidig and consider Barang-Barang to be a separate language (Laidig 1997; Laidig and Maingak 1999; Belding, Laidig and Maingak 2001).
Population and Language Decline
The Laiyolo language has been in decline for at least several decades. In 1897 a Dutch civil servant working on Selayar Island noted that Laiyolo was spoken in eight villages (G. Koopman, reported in Adriani and Kruyt 1914:273 and Stokhof 1984:199). By the late 1980s, however, only a single Laiyolo community remained, and even here it was noted that the language was threatened by the use of Selayar in the younger generation—a situation confirmed by Laidig, who encountered no children who were able to speak Laiyolo (Laidig 1997:2). From 600 reported speakers in 1988 (Friberg and Laskowske 1989:13), to 250 in 1997 (Laidig 1997:2), their numbers continued their precipitous drop to the mere ten remaining speakers mentioned by Rahmawat (2011).
Adriani, N.; and Alb. C. Kruyt. 1914. De Bare’e-sprekende Toradja’s van Midden Celebes, vol. 3: Taal- en letterkundige schets der Bare’e-taal en overzicht van het taalgebied Celebes–Zuid-Halmahera. Batavia: Landsdrukkerij.
Belding, Joanna L.; Wyn D. Laidig, and Sahabu Dg. Maingak. 2001. A preliminary description of Barang-barang morphology. Studies in Sulawesi linguistics, part 7 (NUSA: Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other Languages in Indonesia, 49), edited by Wyn D. Laidig, 1–57. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri NUSA, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v49-p1-60.pdf (accessed January 14, 2014).]
Friberg, Timothy; and Thomas V. Laskowske. 1989. South Sulawesi languages, 1989. Studies in Sulawesi linguistics, part 1 (NUSA: Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other Languages in Indonesia, 31), edited by James N. Sneddon, 1–17. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v31-p1-18.pdf (accessed January 13, 2014).]
Grimes, Charles E.; and Barbara D. Grimes. 1987. Languages of South Sulawesi. (Pacific Linguistics, D-78.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Laidig, Wyn D. 1997. Laiyolo and Barang-barang survey report. Unpublished typescript, 3 pp.
Laidig, Wyn D.; and Sahabu Dg. Maingak. 1999. Barang-barang phonology: A preliminary description. Studies in Sulawesi linguistics, part 6 (NUSA: Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other Languages in Indonesia, 46), edited by Wyn D. Laidig, 46–83. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri NUSA, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v46-p46-83.pdf (accessed January 14, 2014).]
Rahmawat, Jimey. April 14, 2011. Laiyolo, riwayatmu nanti? Passompe. Online. URL: http://passompeugi.blogspot.com/2011/04/laiyolo-riwayatmu-nanti.html (accessed April 9, 2012).
Stokhof, W. A. L. (ed.) 1984. Holle lists: Vocabularies in languages of Indonesia, vol. 7/3: Central Sulawesi, South-west Sulawesi. In co-operation with Alma E. Almanar. (Materials in Languages of Indonesia, 25. Pacific Linguistics, D-62.) Canberra: Australian National University.