Atagak o boros, atagak o koubasanan;
Atagak o koubasanan, atagak o kointutunan;
Atagak o boros, atagak o pirotian;
Atagak o pirotian, atagak o puinungan, pisohudungan om pibabasan;
Atagak o pibabasan, atagak o piobpinaian;
Atagak o piobpinaian kopitongkiad o rikoton do rusodon.
Almost half of Malaysia’s indigenous languages belongs to the state of Sabah at the northern tip of Borneo Island. These Austronesian languages when identified, belong to either one of these four language families: Bajau (Sama-Bajau), Dusunic, Murutic or Paitanic.
Varying in user-size of several hundreds to hundreds of thousands, the Kadazandusun language under the Dusunic language family, is a pool of 13 languages including respective dialects which can account for over 500,000 speakers in a total Sabahan population of 3.06 million (Sabah Statistics Department Year 2000).
The past two decades challenged mother tongue use in the Kadazandusun community. Faced with a rapid decline in the use of the mother tongue especially amongst their young, all attempts were made to halt the erosion of indigenous knowledge bound closely to the survival of the mother tongue.
With vigilance, Kadazandusun community elders and leaders swore to pave the way in reinstating the status of the mother tongue in the community. In layers of efforts, language resurgence came to, establishing stronger commitments from each individual in the Kadazandusun community.
Language survey and research helped the community understand how they have neglected their mother tongue language. A language survey in 1985 (Lasimbang, Miller & Otigil, 1992), showed that the main reason for this was the lack of conversation in the mother tongue at home. The survey pointed out that intermarriage, urbanisation, language contact, formal education system, mass media and language prestige were also the major factors in deterring the use of the Kadazandusun language in the home domain. This alarmed the community a great deal and Kadazandusun parents everywhere voiced a grave concern-can this trend be reversed?
Excerpt text from KLF (http://www.klf.com.my)
Please visit the Kadazandusun Language Fundation website for more details on efforts in facing these challenges, and to contribute on how you can help.