Even in the late 1980s the Rahambuu language was in a vulnerable position owing to the large number of outsiders who had settled in the area. The present estimate of 4/Vulnerable is thus a conservative rating based upon field information collected over twenty years ago. The current situation of the Rahambuu language requires further investigation.
What Others Have Written
In their native coastal area, the Rahambuu now are outnumbered by Bugis (and Torajan) immigrants by nearly five to one. Use of the Rahambuu language varies considerably from village to village. In some communities, Rahambuu is used only between members of the older generation, the children speaking exclusively Bugis or Indonesian. In other communities Rahambuu is more strongly maintained, although Bugis is often learned as a second language.
There is no literacy in it. There are conflicting reports on the number of speakers: in 1989, 500; and in 1991, 5,000. Apparently a misprint in one of the sources. The very large language Bugis is used as second language and there is pressure from Indonesian. The language is potentially endangered.
Mead, David E. 1999. The Bungku-Tolaki languages of south-eastern Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Pacific Linguistics, D-91.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Wurm, Stephen A. 2007. Australasia and the Pacific. Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages, edited by Christopher Moseley, 425–577. New York: Routledge.