In the following tables we report names that have been used historically, including variant spellings and even misspellings. The appearance of a variant name below should not be taken to mean that it is currently valid or endorsed.
Alternate names and variants for the Uma language itself include the following forms.
|Language||Alternate Names and Variants||Etymology|
||based on uma, the local word for ‘no’
||Koro is the name of the Lariang River as it flows through the Uma area; Pipikoro means ‘banks (pipi) of the Koro,’ in reference to the Uma homeland area
|South Kulawi, Kulawi Selatan
||taken from the name of the district (kecamatan) where Uma is spoken
Uma comprises four major and two minor dialects. The following are the alternate names and variants for the four major dialects.
|Dialect||Alternate Names and Variants||Etymology|
||name of a principal village
||so named because this dialect is centrally located (geographically and also in a linguistic sense)
||a name often used for speakers of this dialect; meaning unknown; considered derogatory by some
||so named because this dialect is located in the eastern part of the Uma language area
||name commonly used for speakers of this dialect (perhaps meaning ‘stubborn people’).
||based on ompa, the distinctive word for ‘not yet’ found only in this dialect (the form dompa is actually Sarudu for ‘not yet’ and thus is a misnomer)
||name of a village presently located in North Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi; Bingkolu is the Uma name for this village
||so named because this dialect is located in the western part of the Uma language area
||name of a principal village
||so named because this dialect is located in the northern part of the Uma language area
In a finer grade analysis one could also distinguish a southern dialect. Aria, which differs only slightly from Kantewu, and a Tori'untu dialect, spoken near and resembling the Winatu dialect (Martens 2014). The Tori'untu dialect is nearly extinct owing to the encroachment of the Kantewu dialect.
Here follow further notes regarding particular terms.
When the Dutch colonial government extended its authority to areas south of the Palu Valley, they consolidated several smaller, Uma-speaking territories (as well as the Tado-speaking community in the Lake Lindu area) under the rule of the chiefs at Kulawi (Aragon 2000:95). As a result the name ‘Kulawi’ in both a geographic and political sense was extended over a greater area than previously. As another consequence the Uma language has sometimes been known as ‘South Kulawi,’ and Uma speakers will sometimes even self-identify as ‘Kulawi.’
As a language term, ‘Kulawi’ is better applied to the Moma language and should exclude Uma.
Benggaulu is the name of a village located on the extreme western edge of the Uma area, near the place where the Lariang River descends from the mountains and changes from a roaring mountain river to a meandering river of the plains. While most of the Uma language area is located in Central Sulawesi, Benggaulu is located in the province of West Sulawesi (namely, in the Duparang district of North Mamuju). Inhabitants of this village speak Bugis, Sarudu, and the Tobaku dialect of Uma.
In the Grimeses’s Languages of South Sulawesi, Benggaulu was listed as a separate language (Grimes and Grimes 1987:56). The Grimeses in turn had followed—without verification—information they had found in the guide Peta Bahasa Sulawesi Selatan, which presented Benggaulu as a “dialek tersebar” (Pelenkahu, Muthalib and Pattiasina1974:30).
After it was realized that Benggaulu was nothing other than Uma (Friberg and Laskowske 1987:11), nevertheless Bengaulu continued to be listed as a dialect in subsequent editions of the Ethnologue (e.g. Lewis 2009:450). Our own opinion is that Benggaulu does not deserve dialect status. It is simply the name of a village where the Tobaku dialect of Uma, as well as the closely-related Sarudu language, happen to be spoken.
Sometime between 1920 and 1930 a group of Uma speakers left Kantewu because they didn't want anything to do with the government and the new Christian religion which were coming in. They went and lived in a remote area in South Sulawesi near the headwaters of the Budongbudong River. They called this area Lincio; in the Seko Padang language it is known as Doe:.
In the early 1950s after rebel forces with the Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia (DI/TII) took over the Seko area, a group of Seko Padang speakers fled to the jungle, met up with the Kantewu group, and for several years threw in their lot with them. In 1967 or thereabouts, after the rebellion was over, the Seko members of the group moved back to Seko, bringing some of their newfound Uma relatives with them and founded the village of Bana, Uma for ‘thread, cloth.’ As the story goes, this was the first time a number of members of the group had seen woven fabric, since all their clothing in the forest was of bark cloth.
Meanwhile Uma speakers continued to live in the forest. In 1984 the government attempted to resettle them in Luwu near the coast of the Gulf of Bone, but within two years they had returned to their jungle home. Around 1989, another bunch came out and made contact with a rubber plantation and the government, this time in the Mamuju area near the Budongbudong River (in present-day West Sulawesi Province).
In the 1990s, the language of the Mamuju group became the subject of a study by Indonesian scholars (Muthalib et al. 1997), who referred to their language as bahasa Topembuni (meaning ‘language of the people who hide themselves’). They calculated this language to be 85% similar in basic vocabulary with the Kantewu dialect of Uma. However, after one corrects the numerous errors in their word lists, the two varieties are closer to 98% lexically similar. The same is true when one compares the Bana variety with Kantewu (Martens 1985). The Uma dialect spoken by the Bana/Topembuni people is basically Central Uma, but it has naturally diverged somewhat from Central Uma, e.g. it lacks some of the borrowings from Indonesian found in Central Uma, and it has some borrowings from Seko Padang and other languages of the South Sulawesi microgroup, which Central Uma lacks.
Although Bana has also been listed as a dialect of Uma (Lewis 2009:450), our own opinion is that Bana/Topembuni does not deserve dialect status. Bana is simply the name of a village, located outside of the Uma homeland area, where speakers of the Kantewu dialect of Uma settled, albeit after several decades of isolated jungle living.
Aragon, Lorraine V. 2000. Fields of the Lord: Animism, Christian minorities, and state development in Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
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.
Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the world, 16th edition. Dallas: SIL International.
Martens, Michael. 1985. A comparison of two Uma wordlists. Bits & Pieces (Oct):27-29.
Martens, Michael. 2014. Uma dialect word lists. Sulang Language Data and Working Papers: Word Lists, 1. Sulawesi Language Alliance. Online. URL: http://sulang.org/resources/word-lists/001.
Muthalib, H. Abdul; Abdul Rajab Johari, J. S. Sande, and Muhammad Naim Haddade. 1997. Tata bunyi bahasa Tompembuni. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.
Pelenkahu, R. A.; Abdul Muthalib, and J. F. Pattiasina. 1974. Peta bahasa Sulawesi (buku petunjuk). Ujung Pandang: Lembaga Bahasa Nasional Cabang III.