When Himmelmann visited the Tomini area in 1993, the language appeared vigorous (see quotes below). At that time, however, there were large, government-sponsored transmigration projects in the Tomini area, and as the Tomini and outsiders become more integrated, it is expected that this will put pressure on the Tomini language. We follow UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger (Moseley 2010) and rate Tomini as 4/Vulnerable. At the same time, we note the need for the Tomini language situation to be revisited.
What Others Have Written
In the case of the Tialo, there are very large transmigration projects right 'at the back' of many Tialo villages, the transmigrants clearly outnumbering the Tialo. In the past, such settlement patterns did not affect language usage very much since the different communities did not interact very closely. It is not clear whether this will continue to be the case in the future.
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.
The total of its speakers is now about 30,000. In 1992, it was reported to be 42,000. There are very large transmigration projects right behind many Tialo villages, with the transmigrants outnumbering the Tialo. So far, this pattern of settlement has not affected Tialo language usage very much, but it is likely to do so with improved transportation facilities. Tialo is 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.
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.