The Tajio area is heavily populated by speakers of the Rai and Ledo varieties of Kaili, and more immigrants continue to move into the area. Himmelmann (2010:67) considered Tajio to be vital but long-term endangered. In a subsequent communication, however, Derek Harman (2011:pers.comm.) reports that a significant proportion, if not a majority, of Tajio children are no longer learning their heritage language. For this reason we rate Tajio as 3/Definitely Endangered.
What Others Have Written
Bilingualism in other languages of the area seemed very common. Mixed marriages and relocation are factors fostering this. Mixed marriages seemed particularly common in the towns and villages along the main road, though they were also not unusual in inland villages. Migrants from other parts of the peninsula, as well as from other places in Indonesia, have made many towns and villages quite cosmopolitan with many citizens claiming to know several languages.
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.
In the case of the Ampibabo-Lauje and the Tajio, the larger area where these speech communities are found is heavily populated by Rai and Ledo, with the Tomini-Tolitoli villages being surrounded by Ledo/Rai villages.
Derek Harman (2011:pers.comm.)
Tajio is used in homes between parents but not always with children. People have a good attitude toward their language, but because they want their children to do well in school they use Indonesian with them. Therefore some children know Tajio, but others, probably a majority, do not. Children use Indonesian in school and playing with friends. Some parents are just starting to teach Tajio to their children, because they realize if they don’t, their language will be lost.
In the village of Sija there are other languages, and as a result Indonesian tends to be used so everyone can understand what is being said. Tajio is even more endangered in communities on the highway.
Near Kasimbar, the Tajio villages are surrounded by villages of speakers of other languages. Near Tada, there is no space for new immigrants to settle there, and relatively few of the children go to towns for further education and bring back Indonesian linguistic influence, at least for the time being. There the language is safe now, but would have 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.
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2010. Language endangerment scenarios: A case study from northern Central Sulawesi.Endangered Languages of Austronesia, edited by Margaret Florey, 45–72. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McKenzie, Robin. 1991. Sociolinguistic survey of the Tajio language. UNHAS-SIL more Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1987–1991 (Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures, 11), edited by Timothy Friberg, 19–34. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Wurm, Stephen A. 2007. Australasia and the Pacific. Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages, edited by Christopher Moseley, 425–577. New York: Routledge.