Symposium on Malay and Indonesian Linguistics


Tense-Lax Vowels Perception of Malay Speakers Learning


Nasrun bin Alias

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


Any speaker learning a second language will have problems

in listening to utterances in that language. It is not that they

don't understand the meaning of the utterances but it is the

case of their perception of sounds uttered in the second

language. This is due to the fact that they perceive the world

around them differently based on their experiences and

expectations. The aim of this paper is to discuss (i) vowel

duration of non-proficient Malay speakers and (ii) their

perceptions on vowel duration. Malay speakers learning

English are found to have problems in discriminating vowel

duration. The issue will be addressed within the Associative

Store Model framework (Tatham, 1988).


On the Unity or Non-Unity of ber-

Norhaida Bt. Aman

University of Delaware, Newark, USA


In this paper, the nature of the verbal morpheme ber- in

Malay, especially in the dialect spoken predominantly in

Singapore and the southern state of Malaysia, Johor, is

studied in detail. Ber- occurs in a heterogeneous variety of

constructions which include reflexives, derived intransitives

and decausatives, as well as in denominal verbs. The

objective of this paper is to attempt to provide a unified

account for all instances of ber-.

I propose that the presence of ber- is not due to the

application of any particular syntactic or lexical process such

as reflexivization or detransitivization. Rather, it signals the

existence of a disparity between the argument structure and

the syntax: When ber- is present, an argument found in the

thematic structure is absent in the syntax. However, the

choice of which argument is absent depends on the

particular lexical rule which has been applied. Thus, ber-

has the effect of indicating the occurrence of any of a

number of lexical rules that create such a disparity.


A 'Bank of Malaysian and Indonesian Languages': A Modest


Ed Anderson

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong


From my frustrating attempts to analyze 60+ spoken

Indonesian texts in 1983 (The Meaning of Variation in

Indonesian, NUSA Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other

Languages of Indonesia 15, Part VII: Jakarta) and 60+

spoken texts of Sundanese (Speech Levels: The Case of

Sundanese. Pragmatics 3:2, June 1993), the time has now

arrived when it appears that we have the technological

power to work with large corpuses of language text in a

systematic and more comprehensive manner. This is an

extremely important and most welcome sign for all of us

because it will enable us to test our preliminary hypotheses

about language related phenomena and to expand on the

conclusions of our own and colleagues' studies accumulated

to date. In general, this development should increase our

understanding of how language is used in society by making

it possible to share not only conclusions with colleagues but

also language corpuses on which such conclusions are based.

My own research interests, for example, include register

analysis of Indonesian and Sundanese and for this I am

becoming increasingly interested in the power which Corpus

Linguistics offers me for handling linguistic questions at all

levels of interest.

In my paper, I will present a review of two recent works in

the area which I expect will provide a basis for further

discussion with colleagues. I am particularly interested in

discussing the establishment of a Bank of Malaysian and

Indonesian Languages which would be of immense benefit

to us all.


Edwards, Jane A. & Martin D. Lampert (eds). 1993. Talking

Data: Transcription and Coding in Discourse Research.

Hillsdale, N.J: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Stubbs, Michael. 1996. Text and Corpus Analysis: Computer-

Assisted Studies of Language and Culture. Blackwell

Publishers, Ltd.


Affixes, Austronesian and Iconicity in Malay

Geoffrey Benjamin

National University of Singapore, Singapore


This is a follow-up to the author's paper (1993) on the

sociolinguistics of Malay verbal affixation. Explanations are

offered for the puzzling differences between the form and

meaning of the Malay affixes and those of the broader

Austronesian affixal system from which they derive. It is

suggested that a degree of phonetic iconicity is involved in

the encoding of meanings that have both language-internal

and social significance.


A Non-Linear Approach to Nasal Spreading in Malay and

Indonesian Languages

Carol Bloomfield

Northern Territory University, Darwin, Australia


Non-linear phonology - in particular, autosegmental

phonology and metrical phonology - are said to provide a

link between phonetics and phonology; reduce the

abstractness of underlying phonological representations and

reduce the need for specific rule-ordering.

Non-linear phonology is thought to provide a more precise

linguistic analysis of a language, and can be applied to both

tonal and atonal languages. Phonological phenomena such as

nasalisation, gemination, degemination, metathesis, the

occurrence of the glottal stop and syllable structure related

phenomena can be more easily exemplified. More

generalisations can be included in an analysis of

phonological data using non-linear phonology, which also

has the potential to establish links relevant to psychological

and other linguistic theories pertaining to syntax and


Forms of non-linear phonology, such as autosegmental

phonology, evolved because of the perceived inadequacies

of generative phonology (discussed further later).Using any

phonological theory a linguist should be able to express the

phonological relationship between a native speaker's

behaviour and the many facets of a native speaker's

linguistic abilities in a clear concise manner. Being able to

include as much information as possible is not always

achievable using SGP. N-LP provides an opportunity to

clarify many linguistic phenomena that will not adjust to a

universal language mold. In this presentation I intend to

focus on the phenomena of nasal spreading in Indonesian

and Malaysian languages and dialects using a non-linear



Apa Yang "Apa Yang"?

Peter Cole, Gabriella Hermon & Norhaida Bte. Aman

University of Delaware, Newark, USA


The Malay language is blessed with a variety of ways of

forming information (WH) questions. In addition to WH-in-

situ questions like

(1) Ali membeli apa?

Ali buy what

'What did Ali buy?'

there exist two types of questions in which the question

word appears at the beginning of the clause over which it

has scope:

(2) Apa Ali beli?

what Ali buy

'What did Ali buy?'

(3) Apa yang Ali beli?

what that Ali buy

'What did Ali buy?'

This paper addresses the question of what the correct

analysis is for questions like (3).

Two potential analyses of (3) come to mind. According to

the first analysis, which we shall refer to as the Null

Complementizer Hypothesis, (2) and (3) are both derived

from a structure like that of English WH questions, in which

(3) consists of a single clause, apa occupies the Spec of CP of

that clause and yang (when present) occupies C. The only

difference between (2) and (3) is that in (2) the

complementizer is null while in (3) it is filled by yang. Thus,

according to the Null Complementizer Hypothesis, Malay WH

questions like (3) differ from those found in European

languages like English only in that Malay permits the comp

position in main clauses to be filled while English does not.

The second analysis, which we shall refer to as the Headless

Relative Clause Hypothesis, claims that while (2) does in fact

have a structure like that of English WH questions, sentences

like (3) have a very different structure. According to the

Headless Relative Clause Hypothesis, questions like (3) are

are nominal or null copula sentences like (4):

(4) Ali guru.

Ali teacher

'Ali is a teacher.'

We assume that (4) is an IP or small clause containing two

NPs, possibly related by an abstract verb 'be'. According to

the Headless Relative Clause analysis, (3) consists of two

NPs, [yang Ali beli] 'the thing that Ali bought' and apa 'what',

which are related in the same way Ali and guru are related

in (4).

While both analyses appear on initial examination to

provide plausible accounts of questions like (3) to the best of

our knowledge, there has never been a systematic

investigation of the arguments distinguishing among these

different treatments. In this paper we shall present a series

of arguments that support the Headless Relative Clause

Hypothesis over the Null Complementizer Hypothesis. We

then consider the question of whether the question word

apa originates as subject or predicate nominal, and whether

the headless relative clause involves movement of a

phonologically null operator to the specifier position of the

yang clause or a null resumptive pronoun which remains in

situ. We argue that the facts support a movement analysis

(along the lines of Kader 1976 and 1980).


Notes on Malay in the Natuna Islands

James T. Collins

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


In the center of the South China Sea, the Natuna Islands

have seldom been visited by scholars; consequently, almost

nothing is known about the Malay language spoken in these

remote islands. Scraps of information can be retrieved (for

example, in van Hesselt 1898) but these data are insufficient

for even a rough classification of the Malay variants spoken

there. As a preliminary step, data recently obtained from

Natuna Malays studying in Pontianak (Kalimantan Barat)

will be presented for discussion. Some of the phonetic

characteristics of three Natuna variants will be described.

Attention will also been given to the contrast between

citation and discursive forms, based on transcribed

recordings. These tentative considerations are set forth only

to mend temporarily the gaping hole in our emerging

picture of Malay in Southeast Asia.


When Fusion Fails: Prefix-Nesting in Malay

Ann Delilkan

New York University, New York, USA


Malay prefixation phenomena involve what in traditional

rule-based systems has long been described as nasal

assimilation followed by voiceless obstruent deletion at the

prefix-root boundary. This is meant to explain the following

nasal substitution facts:

meN + pukul > memukul meN +buat > membuat

+ tentu > menentu +desu > mendesu

+ kupas > mengupas +garam > menggaram

Such an analysis fails on two counts: It does not explain the

co-occurrence of the two processes it invokes, but merely

stipulates that they operate together. Also, it fails to account

for the fact that N-voicelessC sequences do appear root-

internally. Pater(1995) appeals to Correspondence Theory

within Optimality to account for these apparently conflicting

facts. He suggests that the nasal substitution facts be

reanalysed as fusion of the nasal and the voiceless

obstruent, and that the absence of root-internal 'fusion' be

explained 'by the greater phonological markedness of the

root morpheme relative to other morphological elements.'

This property is expressed in terms of a root-specific

ranking of a linearity constraint that blocks segmental


I suggest that Pater's analysis is ultimately no less

stipulative than traditional analyses of the facts, but

regardless of that, the facts of prefix-nesting (thus far

largely overlooked in the literature) fail to be described in

his account altogether. Optimality theorists, and their non-

processual depiction of the selection of outputs, may not

appeal to cycles to explain the fact that nasal

substitution/fusion does not occur at the prefix-prefix

boundary. I posit an analysis that unites prefix-nesting facts

with root-internal data, to reflect a two-way contrast

between these environments, on the one hand, and the

prefix-root boundary, on the other. My analysis considers

homogeneity vs heterogeneity of morphological categories

per environment as the salient feature involved, and

suggests a constraint that fails to block 'fusion' at any but

the prefix-root boundary.


Word Order in Malay Sentences:

The Interplay of Communicative Dynamism and Systemic


Zahrah Abd. Ghafur

Universiti Sains Malaysia


The most common description of Malay sentences is of the

SV and the SVO form. There's no doubt that these forms are

in abundance. But it is also true of other forms. There are

the so-called passive sentences, the inverted sentences and

the ellipses, even there are sentences without the V. In fact,

it is a widespread belief among the researchers of the

language that there are more passive sentences in most

original Malay texts than there are active sentences.

Anything to the contrary is the influence of other languages

especially the English language and it is not original.

Perhaps somewhat polluted.

This paper will try to describe this phenomenon from the

view of Functional Generative Description of the Prague

School. From this perspective, there are two most important

determinants of word order in a sentence: the

communicative dynamism (CD) and systemic ordering (SO).

The CD depends on the salience of an item while the SO is

specified by the grammar of the language. The interplay of

these two determinants determines the left to right word

order of a language described as having a free word order.

Since the word order in Malay is quite free, the author tries

to explain the phenomenon from this perspective. The

justification for it to be in Malay grammar is its regularity: it

is as regular as any other regular phenomenon in any



The Prefixes di- and N- in Malay/Indonesian Dialects

David Gil

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

University of Delaware, Newark, USA


This paper presents a study of the syntax, semantics and

pragmatics of the prefixes di- and N- in Malay/Indonesian

dialects, introducing new data from the hitherto undescribed

Indonesian koinÈs spoken in the provinces of Riau, Sulawesi

Selatan and Irian Jaya.

According to the received view, based largely on the two

standardized languages of Malaysia and Indonesia, the

prefixes di- and N- (the latter usually occurring as part of

the complex prefix meN-) are markers of passive and active

voice respectively. Even with regard to the standard

languages, a number of scholars have pointed to various

problems with this view. However, when attention is

shifted away from these somewhat artificial registers and

towards the real colloquial varieties of Malay/Indonesian, it

becomes evident that a characterization of these prefixes as

passive and active markers can no longer be maintained.

The main part of this paper provides a detailed description

of the prefixes di- and N- in the Indonesian koinÈ spoken

throughout the province of Riau, based on a large corpus of

spontaneous speech specimens. Consider the following


(1) Anjing kejar kucing

dog chase cat

(2) Anjing dikejar kucing

dog di-chase cat

(3) Anjing ngejar kucing

dog N-chase cat

In Riau Indonesian, the above three sentences are truth-

functionally equivalent; specifically, all three are vague with

regard to the thematic roles of the two participants ãin

particular, either can be patient, and either can be actor.

Moreover, all three sentences are equivalent in terms of

definiteness and topicality: each of the two participants is

unmarked for definiteness, and either of the two may

constitute the topic of the sentence. Thus, the prefixes di-

and N- lack the central function of voice markers, namely,

selecting a particular argument as the subject of its clause.

So what, then, is the function of these two prefixes?

Detailed analysis of live discourse specimens suggests that

the role of the prefixes di- and N- is a purely semantic one:

marking the existence of a patient or actor respectively, thereby asserting its contextual saliency. A corollary of this

analysis is that these two prefixes should be able to cooccur

on the same form ã a prediction that is borne out by the

occasional occurrence of such doubly marked forms. A

further consequence of the proposed account is that, by

generalizing the thematic role of patient to include also the

theme of a locative expression, it is possible to provide a

single unified analysis for what are traditionally considered

to be two distinct but homophonous forms: the above-

mentioned prefix di- and the locative preposition di.

Preliminary evidence suggests that the role of the prefixes

di- and N- is similar in other Indonesian dialects. However,

the productivity of these two prefixes ã as reflected in the

number of forms to which they may attach and the

frequency of their use ã differs markedly from dialect to

dialect. Whereas in Riau di- is highly productive and N- of

somewhat lesser productivity, in Sulawesi Selatan di- is still

highly productive but N- is absent, while in Irian Jaya di- is

of low productivity and N-, again, is absent.

In conclusion, a formal representation of the prefixes di-

and N- is proposed, within the framework of a "non-

Eurocentric theory of grammar", whose overall goal is to

provide a detailed and extensive description of

Malay/Indonesian without imposing traditional grammatical

categories that are of no relevance to the language in

question. Within this framework, the different behaviour of

the prefixes di- and N- in the Indonesian koinÈs and the

standard languages is accounted for in terms of a preference

rule assigning headedness to binary semantic structures.

The different behaviour of the prefixes is thus shown to be

related in a principled way to other differences between

these dialects also resulting from different assignments of

headedness ã such as, for example, the occurrence of

internally- and right-headed relative clauses in Riau

Indonesian and other koinÈs, but not in the standardized



Towards a Typology of Malay/Indonesian Dialects

David Gil

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

University of Delaware, Newark, USA

Uri Tadmor

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA


The Malay/Indonesian dialectal landscape contains large

tracts of terra incognita: undescribed language varieties,

indeed even language varieties whose very existence has

remained unnoticed. This paper represents a preliminary

and necessarily tentative attempt to impose some kind of

order upon this bewildering diversity ã in the form of a

general classificatory scheme, or typology, of

Malay/Indonesian dialects.

The primary parameter in the typology is the lectal cline,

with the standardized versions of Malay and Indonesian

near the acrolectal pole, and all other dialects further down

the scale towards the basilectal pole. Among the basilectal

dialects, the next bifurcation is between varieties with a

diminished range of functions and no native speakers,

including Bazaar Malay, and varieties associated with a wide

range of functions and populations of native speakers ã

comprising most other Malay/Indonesian dialects. These

dialects, in turn, may be classified in accordance with two

independent dimensions pertaining to the ethnicity of their

speakers: (i) homogeneous vs. heterogeneous; and (ii) Malay

vs. non-Malay. The two end points of these two

independent scalar dimensions form a 2x2 matrix yielding

four idealized dialect types: (I) Ethnically homogeneous /

Malay dialects: generally spoken locally, by indigenous

populations, eg. Nonthaburi Malay, Siak Malay. (II)

Ethnically homogeneous / non-Malay dialects: typically

spoken by populations who have switched relatively

recently to Malay/Indonesian, eg. Baba Malay, Orang Asli

Malay. (III) Ethnically heterogeneous / Malay dialects:

characteristically spoken in urban centres or other regions

which have been targets of recent migrations, eg.

Singaporean Malay, Kuala Lumpur Malay. (IV) Ethnically

heterogeneous / non-Malay dialects: instantiated by some of

the modern Indonesian koinÈs, specifically those spoken in

regions to which few or no Malays have migrated, eg. Sulsel

(Sulawesi Selatan) Indonesian, Irian Indonesian. In

addition, between types (III) and (IV) is an important

intermediate group of ethnically heterogeneous / Malay-

plus-non-Malay dialects, exemplified by various other

Indonesian koinÈs, eg. Riau Indonesian, Kaltim (Kalimantan

Timur) Indonesian.

The second part of this paper focuses on the latter types of

dialects, namely the Indonesian koinÈs. For the most part,

the existence of such koinÈs has remained unacknowledged

in the scholarly literature; accordingly, little or nothing is

known of their linguistic structure. Thus, for example, a

linguistic atlas of Riau province will characterize it as being

populated by ethnic Malays, speaking one or more varieties

of Sumatran Malay. However, in reality, a majority of the

population of this province consists of non-Malay migrants

from other provinces: primarily Minangkabau, but also

Batak, Javanese, Bugis and others. Accordingly, the common

language of the province, and a native language of its

younger inhabitants, is an Indonesian koinÈ, namely Riau

Indonesian. The distinctiveness of Riau Indonesian is

illustrated by means of a phonological, grammatical and

lexical checklist, showing how the Riau koinÈ differs, on the

one hand from indigenous varieties of Riau Malay, and, on

the other hand from other Indonesian koinÈs spoken in

other provinces.

Subjectless Sentences in Malay

Mashudi Kader

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

The paper considers some existential, metereological and other

sentences within the cluster of "kelihatan" (seems) as in (1) through (3):


1. Sudah ada seekor ular di dalam lubang itu.

"There is already a snake in thehole."


2. Sedang hujan lebat sekarang.

"It is raining heavily now."


3. Keliatannya wanita itu sedang hamil.

"It looks that the lady is pregnant."


It is observed that the sentences do not have any overt NP as the subject.

These sentences together with other sentences with adjectives such as "benar"

(true), "jelas" (obvious), "ternyata" (clear) will be presented to make a case

that in the underlying strutures, the NP subject slot is occupied by an

empty category, pro.


The paper further suggests that the deposition of a PRO as a subject NP

in the underlying structure for these sentences augurs well with

Chomsky's principle which requires that all sentences must have a subject

NP. Finally, the paper suggets that there may be a need to have a relook

at current standpoint of some present Malay grammarians on the question of

the basic structures of Malay with respect to the type of sentences considered in the paper.



Arabic Loanword Trajectories in Malay

Alan S. Kaye

California State University, Fullerton, USA


This paper examines the forms of the Arabic loanwords in

Malay as reported in Muhammad A. J. Beg's Arabic Loan-

Words in Malay (Kuala Lumpur, 1979). The phonology of

the loanwords themselves establishes the trajectories (often)

of the etymas' antecedents. For example, abiaz 'white'

reflects a Persian-Urdu source, contracting further to abaz

(perhaps via internal Malay pressure), whereas the doublet

abiad reflects a pure Arabic spoken or written source.

Similar alternations are found in akhzar and akhdar 'green'

and ardi and arzi 'earth'. There are two other problems

which are discussed: (1) the doublets reflecting pausal and

non-pausal Arabic forms, such as amanah and amanat

'security', and (2) vowel discrepancies from the Arabic point

of view; eg., ammi 'illiterate' < Arabic ?ummii.


Stress and Prominence in Indonesian Malay

Ove Lorentz

University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway


Stress in Indonesian Malay has been attracting considerable

interest in recent phonological literature, especially within

Optimality Theory (see e.g. Cohn & McCarthy 1994).

Monolingual speakers seem to have no lexical stress, but

stress placement is nevertheless complex.

The basic stress unit is a bisyllabic trochee. One of the

features of Indonesian stress is that it is sensitive to

affixation, so corresponding to the trochee in e.g. Sundanese

['di-cet] "painted" we find [di-'cat] id. Tone seems to be the

main phonetic correlate of main stress, but misalignment of

the word focusing high tone and main stress occurs when

other tones are present, thus indicating that the head foot at

the right edge of the prosodic word functions merely as an

anchoring point for the tone, and that tone is in fact a

separate category from main stress (Lorentz 1995). This

misalignment was interpreted as a stress shift by e.g. Halim

(1981) and Cohn & McCarthy (1994).

Another interesting feature, which is the main topic of the

present paper, is that there are two parameters for weight

distinctions in the language, namely full vs. reduced vowel

and closed vs. open syllable. Weight differences such as

these are fairly common (see e.g. Kenstowicz 1993, 1994),

e.g. in the Germanic languages, but the interest of

Indonesian Malay in this regard is that it allows us to rank

these two prominence parameters with respect to each

other, with closed/open syllable ranking higher than

full/reduced vowel. We will reject the recent proposal of

using stress morae in addition to length morae (Hayes

1995), and will instead use an extended set of Peak

Prominence constraints to capture these distinctions in an

OT framework.

Indonesian stress thus throws light on the use of

morphological information in phonology, on the phonetics of

stress and tone, and on the hierarchy of weight.


Cohn, Abigael C., & John J. McCarthy. 1994. Alignment and

parallelism in Indonesian phonology. Rutgers Optimality

Archive 25. 80pp. Available online from

Halim, Amran. 1981 [1969, 1974]. Intonation in relation to

syntax in Indonesian. Pacific linguistics. Series D; no. 36.

Materials in languages of Indonesia; no. 5. Canberra:

Australian National University.

Hayes, Bruce. 1995. Metrical Stress Theory, Principles and

Case Studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kenstowicz, Michael. 1993. Peak prominence stress systems

in Optimality Theory. Proc. of the 1st Int. Conf. on Linguistics

at Chosun University. Kwangju: Foreign Culture Research


Kenstowicz, Michael. 1994. Sonority-Driven Stress. Rutgers

Optimality Archive 33. 28pp. Available online from

Lorentz, Ove. 1995. Tonal Prominence and Alignment.

Phonology at Santa Cruz 4, p. 39-56. Linguistics Research

Center, UC Santa Cruz.


Ayam Tim and Babi Chin: Typological Convergence in Baba


Stephen Matthews & Umberto Ansaldo

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong & Stockholm University,

Stockholm, Sweden


Whether Baba Malay (BM) should be considered a creole or

a dialect of Malay has been controversial. Here we examine

the typology of BM in relation to that of Hokkien and Malay,

asking whether BM has the typological features expected of

a language which has undergone creolization. To answer

this question we will analyse a series of structural features

peculiar to BM as word-order, tense-aspect, possessive and

passive constructions.

The second problem we address is how to explain the

emergence of these structures. We consider two possible


1. The changes could have come about because of

universal factors of creolization. This means that at a

certain stage BM would have gone from a pidgin-like

language comparable to other Malay lingua francae to a fully

developed creole by acquiring native speakers.

2. BM could be an instance of typological convergence:

most of the BM structures singled out as being typical of

creoles are also typologically close to Hokkien, while others

resemble Malay. As often happens in mixed languages

based on typologically close input, idiosyncratic features

were discarded and common features kept. This leads to the

question of the typological distance between BM and

Hokien/Malay: is BM equidistant from both input languages,

and is it to be considered an Austronesian language?


Indonesian Word Classes Revisited

Franz Muller-Gotama

California State University, Fullerton, USA


The proper identification of the word classes in Indonesian,

particularly the question whether Indonesian has a distinct

category "adjective" has been the subject of a long-standing

debate exemplified by Gonda 1944 and Teeuw 1962, among

others, which has not been conclusively settled. Some

scholars argue vigorously that "adjectives" actually form a

subclass of verbs, e.g. Prentice 1987, whereas others take

the existence of adjectives for granted without

argumentation, e.g. Kridalaksana 1990 and the (still?)

planned reference grammar by Verhaar and Purwo.

This paper seeks to demonstrate that the evidence from

Indonesian cannot be accounted for in terms of discrete

word classes. Rather, we show that "adjectives" and "verbs"

form a continuum in this language with no clear dividing

line between them. While clusters of typical morpho-

syntactic properties can be established for both verbs (e.g.,

obligatory yang attribution) and for adjectives (e.g., se-

prefixation), the properties of the individual lexical items do

not add up to create two separate groups but rather form a

network of overlapping and crisscrossing properties. This

non-discrete organization of the lexicon falls out

straightforwardly if parts-of-speech are analyzed as radial

categories with no clear-cut boundaries in the sense of

Cognitive Grammar (Lakoff 1987, Langacker 1987). The

debate whether adjectives "exist" as a separate grammatical

category in Indonesian is, therefore, resolved in terms of a

prototype analysis which extends to the part-of-speech

system as a whole.


A Comparison of Some Indonesian Malay and Brunei Malay

Syntactic Structures: Implications for Universal Grammar

Gloria R. Poedjosoedarmo

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological

University, Singapore


Standard Indonesian and Brunei Malay differ in a number of

syntactic features, in particular word order patterns.

Though both varieties of the Malay language have both SV

and VS patterns, the former is at the present point in time

far more common in Indonesian. An actual count reveals

that in fact SV order is also more common in Brunei Malay.

However, VS patterns occur with greater frequency in

Brunei Malay than in Indonesian, giving Indonesians the

impression that Brunei Malay is predominantly VS. In

addition to ordering of basic constituents, there are also

differences in the order of modifiers. Brunei Malay has a

tendency to place adverbial modifiers after the verb while

Indonesian generally places them before the verb.

The theory of Universal Grammar holds that languages tend

to have one of several (in some versions only two)

configurations of syntactic patterns and that languages

which are inconsistent are unstable and tend to change in

the direction of consistency within one of these

configurations. Indonesian and Brunei Malay have

obviously changed in different directions since the earlier

time within the Classical Malay period. Changes in the two

varieties are likely to be partially due to external influences

(Sanskrit, Arabic, Dutch and more recently English for

Indonesian, Arabic, perhaps, and local indigenous languages

of Borneo for Brunei Malay), but regardless of the initial

source of changes an exploration of whether or not change in

these language varieties at present appear to be moving in

the direction of one of the configurations proposed by

universal grammar should have interesting implications.

This paper explores the question.


Particle Movement in Malay

Ramli Md Salleh

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


The paper discusses prepositions in Malay and assumes that

there are two classes of prepositions; i.e. ordinary

prepositions and "locative and directional adverbs".

Furthermore, this paper makes a claim that the ordinary

prepositions act like transitive verbs, that is they can take

objects. Thus they are transitive prepositions. On the other

hand, the "locative and directional adverbs" can be

considered as intransitive prepositions, and like their verbal

counterparts, may not take objects. Moreover, these

intransitive prepositions as the head of Prepositional Phrase

(PP) may undergo a local movement rule such as Particle

Movement. This paper will thus provide evidence and

justifications for this movement such as preposition


Adverbial Quantifiers and Scope in Malay

Rogayah Razak

Kuala Lunmpur, Malaysia

(formerly of the School of

Humanities, the University of Science Malaysia, Penang).


Quantification in Malay is manifested in both forms of determiner

quantification and adverbial quantification. The former includes determiner

quantifiers such as setiap, semua, segala, kebanyakan, beberapa etc. whilst

the latter employs a more wide ranging mechanisms like affixes such as

prefix se- in sebuah 'one', prefix ber- in berlima 'five in a group' etc. or

uses adverbs like sering ' always', kerapkali 'frequently' etc. or modals

like mungkin 'may be' or duplication like kuih-kuih which gives the meaning

of a wide variety of cakes. The discussion attempts to examine these kinds

of adverbial quantifiers in Malay. The issue of the determinance of scope

with regards to adverbial quantifiers and factors affecting scope selection

will also be investigated.

The Case of the Language of The Peranakan Chinese of

Kelantan, Malaysia

Teo Kok Seong

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


The Peranakan Chinese of Kelantan are a group who have

assimilated extensively linguistically and culturally to the

Kelantan rural Malays and Kelantan Thai community. This

paper will explore the form of the language of this group

within the framework of contact linguistics. Besides this, it

will also address the extent and character of Malay and Thai

borrowings. More importantly, it will attempt to address a

theoretical typology issue: the linguistic status of mixed

languages ã the language of these Peranakan Chinese is an

instance of such category.