Limola—widely known by the exonym Lemolang—is spoken in the town of Baebunta, at the confluence of the Baebunta and Rongkong rivers. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Limola have continuously inhabited this area for the past two-thousand years, where they used their strategic location to control trade between the coast and the interior (Bulbeck and Caldwell 2000:65).
Throughout most of the twentieth century Limola had an enigmatic classification. Van der Veen (1929:93–96), the first linguist to bring to light even a small amount of data on Limola, tended to see resemblances between it and Rampi. Sirk (1981:34) suggested that Limola was possibly an “aboriginal non-South Sulawesi language.” Grimes and Grimes (1987:53–54) classified Limola as a South Sulawesi isolate solely on lexicostatistical evidence, while Yamaguchi (2003) argued Limola was probably a Bungku-Tolaki language. Martens (1989) accumulated some initial evidence suggesting Limola shared a close relationship with the Badaic languages was first adduced by Martens (1989a), an hypothesis confirmed by Zobel (2015).
Based on a survey conducted in the Luwu-Rongkong area during the late 1980s, Vail (1991:61) estimated that there were 2,000 speakers of Limola. Given the shift to surrounding languages which was in process even then, it is unlikely these numbers have been maintained.
Bulbeck, David; and Ian Caldwell. 2000. Land of iron: The historical archaeology of Luwu and the Cenrana valley: Results of the Origin of Complex Society in South Sulawesi Project (OXIS). Hull, UK: Centre for South-East Asian Studies, University of Hull.
Grimes, Charles E.; and Barbara D. Grimes. 1987. Languages of South Sulawesi. (Pacific Linguistics, D-78.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Martens, Michael P. 1989. Proto Kaili-Pamona: Reconstruction of the protolanguage of a language subgroup in Sulawesi. Unpublished typescript.
Sirk, Yu. Kh. 1981. The South Sulawesi group and neighboring languages. Indonesia Circle 25:29–36.
Vail, I. W. 1991. Sociolinguistic survey report Kabupaten Luwu: Report on the Rongkong-Luwu languages. UNHAS-SIL more Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1987–1991 (Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures, 11), edited by Timothy Friberg, 55–120. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Veen, H. van der. 1929. Nota betreffende de grenzen van de Sa'dansche taalgroep en het haar aanverwante taalgebied. Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 69:58–96.
Zobel, Erik. 2015. The Seko-Badaic languages in the interior highlands of Sulawesi. Sounds from around the Pacific Ocean: Erik Zobel’s site on Austronesian and Native American languages, and linguistics in general. Online. URL: http://ezlinguistics.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-seko-badaic-languages-in-interior.html (accessed July 17, 2017).