Cia-Cia is an Austronesian language spoken by about 80,000
people on Buton Island, a part of Indonesia to the south east
of Sualwesi. Most Cia-Cia speakers live in and around the town
of Bau-Bau, on the soutern tip of Buton, and there are also
speakers on Binongko and Batu Atas Islands.
Cia-Cia, which is also known as Buton(ese) or Butung, has
quite a few different dialects, including Kaesabu, Sampolawa,
Wabula and Masiri. It is closely related to Wolio, which many
Cia-Cia speakers also speak.
Cia-Cia was originally written with the Gundul script, a version
of the Arabic script, and is now written with the Latin alphabet.
Since 2009 some students in Bau-Bau have been taught to write
Cia-Cia with a version of the Korean Hangeul alphabet using a
textbook written by Lee Ho-young, a linguistics professor
at Seoul National University. The idea of using Hangeul to write
Cia-Cia was first proposed in 2007 by Professor Chun Tai-hyun, a
professor of Malay and Indonesian linguistics at Hankuk University
of Foreign Studies in Seoul. Contrary to media reports, Hangeul
has not been adopted as the official alphabet for Cia-Cia.
Cia-Cia alphabets and pronuciation
ᄙ is not considered a separate letter and is used to write /l/ when that sound occurs in medial position, but ㄹ is written twice when it occurs across two syllables, e.g. 빨리 (pali).
The empty vowel ㅡ is added before an initial doubled ㄹ, so that initial /l/ is written 을ㄹ-. However, final /l/ is written with a single ㄹ; for final /r/, the empty vowel is added, so that it is written 르 as if it were a separate syllable, as in 사요르 (sayor).
Sample text in Cia-Cia
adi sering pali nononto televisi. amano nopo'ombae ia nanumonto televisi kolie nomolengo.