Nedebang language

Nedebang language
Nedebang speakers.jpg
Nedebang speakers in Air Panas
Spoken in Indonesia
Region Pantar Island
Native speakers 200  (date missing)
Language family
Trans–New Guinea
  • West Trans–New Guinea
    • Alor–Pantar
      • Pantar
        • Nedebang
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nec

Nedebang (ISO 639-3 nec) is a Papuan language spoken in the villages of Balungada and Baulang in the eastern district of Pantar island in the Alor archipelago of Indonesia. There are also Nedebang speakers in Air Panas, administratively part of Balungada but located 1 km from the main village.

The logonym Nedebang is widely recognized by speakers, though some prefer the logonym Klamu. The former refers to the name of an ancestral village located on a ridge above the area in which the speakers now reside. This area is reportedly still used for gardening and for traditional ceremonies. The term Klamu refers to a tribe (Indonesian suku). The Klamu people moved from Nedebang to the coast prior to Indonesian independence, probably in the 1930s. Religion plays a significant role in the social and linguistic dynamics of the region. With the exception of Air Panas, the people of Balungada are Christian, and most residents are of Klamu descent. In contrast, the villages of Baulang and Air Panas are Islamic and contain significant populations of Austronesian-speakers who have migrated from Baranusa. The language thus appears to be more viable in Balungada. There appears to be no strong dialect division within Nedebang.

Nedebang is an extremely endangered language. It is no longer used as the language of daily communication, even within the home. Indonesian or Alor Malay is used widely. Some residents of Bolungada are also fluent in Tewa; and some residents of Air Panas speak the Baranusa dialect of the Alor language (not to be confused with Alor Malay). There are fewer than 200 speakers of Nedebang and the youngest speakers are in their 50s.


Sound System



Together with the other Papuan languages of Alor and Pantar, Nedebang has been tentatively classified as part of the Trans–New Guinea family.


  • Grimes, Charles E., Tom Therik, Barbara Dix Grimes & Max Jacob. 1997. A guide to the people and languages of Nusa Tenggara. (Paradigma series B 1). Kupang, Indonesia: Universitas Kristen Artha Wacana and Alfa Omega Foundation.
  • Stokhof, W. A. L. 1975. Preliminary notes on the Alor and Pantar languages (East Indonesia). (Pacific Linguistics B-43). Canberra: Australian National University.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nedebang — ISO 639 3 Code : nec ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • Western Pantar language — Infobox Language name=Western Pantar name2=Lamma region=Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia speakers= 10804 (2005) iso3=lev familycolor=Papuan fam1=Alor PantarWestern Pantar (also known as Lamma) is a Papuan language spoken in the western part of… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Indonesia-related topics — This is a list of topics related to Indonesia. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes ( alt k ) in the sidebar.This list can re read in conjunction with List of basic Indonesia topics… …   Wikipedia

  • Trans-New Guinea languages — Infobox Language family name = Trans–New Guinea region = New Guinea, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku Islands family = hypothetical language family of Papuan languages. familycolor = Papuan child1 = Angan Awin Pa Binanderean Bosavi child2 = Central and… …   Wikipedia

  • nec — ISO 639 3 Code of Language ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living Language Name : Nedebang …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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