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the language of the Bugi; one of the Indonesian languages. Spoken in southwestern Sulawesi Island, with the exception of its extreme southwestern portion; and in other regions of Indonesia, where sizable groups of Bugi are settled. There are approximately 3 million speakers of Buginese (1967). Buginese, Makassarese, and the dialects of central Sulawesi are members of the South Sulawesi subgroup of the Indonesian languages.
A Buginese-Makassarese alphabet (of Indian origin) was in use for several centuries. The Latin alphabet is currently preferred. Written records in Buginese prior to the 17th century are unknown. From the 17th to the 19th centuries Buginese was the medium of one of the richest regional literatures in Indonesia, which included great epic poem cycles (for example, La Galigo), historical short stories and narrative poems, chronicles of the principalities, and legal and religious works. The folklore is variegated.
Buginese displays considerable stylistic variation in the traditional literary forms. A modern literature has not taken shape. The language has been very poorly studied. The principal studies were made by the Dutch missionary B. F. Matthes from the 1860’s to the 1880’s.
REFERENCESMatthes, B. F. Boeginesche spraakkunst. The Hague, 1875.
Brandstetter, R. Sprachvergleichendes Charakterbild eines indonesischen Idiomes. Luzern, 1911.
Noorduyn, J. Een achttiende—eeuwse kroniek van Wadjo’. The Hague, 1955.
IU. KH. SIRK