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Finally, in its ultimate aims this paper addresses the same theme as Blust , but is largely complementary to it in content and emphasis. The two papers should be read together, as they form a natural unit, different as they are in detail. Unity in diversity, diversity in unity. As a variant on a common theme each culture not only represents a unique system of elements and rules that can and should be studied as an integrated whole, but at the same time embodies the potential to illuminate aspects of its sister cultures.

Although the social or cultural anthropology is often at a loss to ascertain whether shared similarities between geographically contiguous cultures are due to one or the other cause, the resources of comparative linguistics can sometimes resolve the issue. All but an handfull of the languages of Indonesia outside Irian belong. The Austrone- sian language family, which is estimated to contain some members, extends well beyond Indonesia to Madagascar in the west, to mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Taiwan in the north, and to Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia in the east.

From the time of its conception - before the birth of the Republic of Indonesia - the FOS approach was tacitly regarded as a model for the study of the Austronesian- speaking peoples of Indonesia 2. The underlying unity of the diverse cultures of Indonesia was thus attributed implicitly to common origin.

In the following pages I will consider the languages of Indonesia in broad brushstrokes, first without reference and later with reference to the FOS concept. In so doing I hope to show that the linguistic diversity of Indonesia is reflected not only in the fundamental distinction of Papuan and Austronesian languages, but also in the subgrouping relationships of the Austronesian languages themselves.

The subgrouping of the Austronesian languages. Linguistic subgrouping is concerned with the degree of relationship among languages that have an acknowledged common ancestor.


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In its simplest form the problem of linguistic subgrouping is that of determining whether three related languages A, B, C are all equally distant, or whether two of the languages are more closely related to one another than either is to the third A : B : C, AB : C, A : BC or AC : B. The claim that two languages subgroup with one another is equivalent to a claim that these languages have undergone a period of common development or history apart from others - in other words, that they share a unique common ancestor.

Toba Batak language

Although English, Frisian, Dutch, German, French and a number of other languages of Europe and Asia are all descended from a common ancestor which apparently was spoken between the Baltic and Caspian Seas during the period 3 B. The subsequent entry of French loanwords into English, Dutch and German in no way affects the classification of the latter as Germanic languages.

In the most basic, everyday words, as body-part terms, names for natural phenomena earth, fire, water, sun, moon, star, wind, etc.

LAGU BATAK TOBA ( hot do ho dirohakki )

In short, these four languages form a linguistic subgroup -the West Germanic subbranch of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. The classification of the Austronesian languages that is now perhaps most widely accepted is as follows :.

A Grammar of Toba-Batak | brill

With regard to the problem at hand undoubtedly the most striking feature of the above classification is the way in which it divides the languages of Indonesia between major branches of MP, CEMP or EMP. But such a definition should apply equally to Austronesian and to Papuan languages, and in practice this has never been the case. The languages of Indonesia. The recent publication of the Language Atlas of the Pacific Area Wurm and Hattori , a landwark in linguistic cartography, enables us to make a much more precise estimate of the number of languages in Indonesia than was previously possible.

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Adhering closely to its distinction of language and dialect, and taking pains to avoid repeating language names that appear on more than one map, I count the names of some languages that are spoken partly or entirely within the boundaries of the Republic of Indonesia. Of these are Austronesian and are Papuan. Many languages in Indonesia that are of potential interest to general linguistic theory or to comparative Austronesian linguistics remain almost unknown.

In keeping both with my own professional interests and competence and with my understanding of what J. The ten major languages of Indonesia based on population figures, appear in Table 1 :. The most important general fact that can be gleaned from Table 1 is that the major languages of Indonesia are concentrated in the Greater Sunda islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi. By contrast Borneo is sparsely populated, and none of the indigenous languages of the Lesser Sunda or Moluccan islands count as many as , speakers, most of them being considerably smaller.


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  • Although the correlation is not perfect, to a large extent the degree of scholarly attention that a language has received in Indonesia is a function of its size number of speakers. When we consider that the population of Java in was less than 5 million, it will be apparent that the great disparity in language sizes that presently exists in Indonesia is a relatively recent phenomenon.

    Grammar Toba Batak

    Nonetheless, to judge from earlier impressionistic reports the relative size of language groups in Indonesia probably has not changed much during the past years. History of scholarship. The earliest historical documentation of any of the languages of Indonesia comes from those areas that were drawn into the sphere of Indian cultural influence at the dawn of the Christian era. Here, partly through borrowing and partly through stimulus diffusion the Devanagari script gave rise to a number of local syllabaries, and the potential for permanent linguistic records was established.

    In south Sumatra short inscriptions on stone in a form of Malay heavily interlaced with Sanskrit reach back to the 7th century Teeuw In addition, a substantial Old Javanese literature, preserved in palm leaf books recopied successively by generations of courtly scribes, dates from about the 10th century. However, apart from an early but undated Chinese-Malay wordlist of about items Edwards and Blag- den the oldest material collected firsthand for any of the langua-.

    A number of Dutch studies on Malay - the lingua franca of the major trade centers throughout the archipelago- appeared during the 17th and 18th centuries, with English publications beginning around Although this work is of considerable historical interest, its scientific value has faded in the light of more recent advances in knowledge. In that year B. Matthes, an employee of the Netherlands Bible Society published a grammar of Makasarese with Buginese, one of the two major languages of south Sulawesi , and the Swiss missionary August Hardeland, working in collaboration with the same organization, published a grammar of Ngaju Dayak, a locally important language spoken in the middle reaches of the Barito river system in Southeast Kalimantan Borneo.

    Hardeland's contribution is particularly impressive. Despite the limitations that might be expected of a grammar written more than years ago in a framework more appropriate to the description of an Indo- European than an Austronesian language, Hardeland's study remains today one of the two most complete and useful accounts of any of the languages of Borneo the other being Prentice In the following year both Matthes and Hardeland published dictionaries of the languages they were studying. Hardeland's dictionary - a meticulously detailed work of pages - has proved to be of even more enduring value than his grammar.

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    At this writing it is still the most extensive dictionary for any language of Borneo, and one of the most extensive and detailed for any language in Indonesia. It was not long before other important studies were forthcoming.

    In H. Although van der Tuuk's dictionary is valuable, it does not measure up either to the grammar that soon followed it, or to Hardeland's dictionary of Ngaju Dayak, and it was largely superceded by the Toba Batak-German dictionary of War- neck In the first part of van der Tuuk's Toba Batak grammar appeared, followed in by part 2.

    This work has been justifiably praised not only for its scope and detail, but also for the originality of its presentation. In it van der Tuuk attempted to present Toba Batak grammar in its own terms rather than in the traditional framework of Latin grammar, and to a very great extent he succeeded in doing so to the satisfaction of later generations of scholars. Space will not permit a complete account of subsequent scholarly achievements, but I will attempt to sketch the main lines of development, and to give some idea of work currently in progress.

    Between the appearance of parts 1 and 2 of his Toba Batak grammar, van der Tuuk published some casual remarks on sound correspondences among several of the then better known, languages of Indonesia and the Philippines. These remarks were further elaborated in van der Tuuk , and form the beginnings of the comparative-historical study of the Austro- nesian languages. During the decade of the 's Matthes published a substantial dictionary and grammar of Buginese.

    In the following decade Brandes completed an important Leiden dissertation on the classification of the languages of Indonesia, Coolsma compiled a valuable dictionary of Sun- danese revised as Coolsma and Hendrik Kern, a professor of Sanskrit at Leiden who developed an interest in Austronesian linguistics relatively late in life, published the first of a long series of articles and monographs on the comparative study of the Austronesian languages, both within and outside Indonesia.

    The single most significant linguistic publication of the ' s in relation to Indonesia undoubtedly was the first three volumes of van der Tuuk's Kawi-Balineesch-Nederlandsch Woordenboek , a four volume landmark notable as much for its organizational obscurity and difficulty to use as for its massive scholarship. During the same period J. Jon- ker initiated the first of several important studies of the languages of the Lesser Sunda islands, with a dictionary and grammar of Bimanese eastern Sumbawa , N.

    Adriani published a grammar of Sangir, the first of numerous studies of the languages of Sulawesi, and the Swiss scholar Ren- ward Brandstetter - who never visited Indonesia - wrote the first of many contributions which eventually led to a truly systematic comparative treatment of the Austronesian languages of island Southeast Asia.

    During the first decade of the present century Kern and Brandstetter continued to make pioneering contributions to comparative Austronesian linguistics, Wilkinson published the first edition of a thorough two-volume Malay-English dictionary substantially revised as Wilkinson , Coolsma completed a grammar of Sundanese, Sundermann compiled a dictionary of Nias, Warneck published a Toba Batak-German dictionary wich largely superceded van der Tuuk's dictionary of revised and updated as Warneck , and substantial dictionaries were published for Gayo of northern Sumatra Hazeu , Tontemboan of northern Sulawesi Schwarz , Rotinese of the Lesser Sundas Jonker and.

    Busang Kayan of central Borneo Barth In the following decade Jonker completed his Rotinese grammar , Winstedt published a number of valuable papers on Malay, Stresemann published a grammar of Paulohi, a now extinct language spoken on the south coast of Seram earlier in this century, and Brandstetter provided a comparative phonology of the AN languages of island Southeast Asia - an analysis that was not without flaws, but which marked a clear advance over the rather haphazard efforts of van der Tuuk and Kern in this area.

    Until roughly the death of Kern in or the end of World War I the study of the languages of Indonesia was dominated by Dutch scholars. Although Dutch work in this field continued to be important in the period between the two world wars, it was to some extent eclipsed by the work of German scholars. Esser did important work on Mori and Uma in central Sulawesi. At about the same time Erwin Stresemann - an ornithologist on the Second Freiburg Moluccan Expedition - published an impressive comparative study of the languages of the central Moluccas Stresemann which greatly improved on all previous work in that area, and Otto Dempwolff , -a former medical doctor turned linguist- laid the foundations for his monumental Vergleichende Lautlehre des austronesischen Wortschatzes.

    In the s the Dutch missionary M. Drabbe contributed a number of somewhat limited studies of the languages of the Tanimbar Archipelago e. Drabbe , Hoesein Djajadiningrat published an important Acehnese-Dutch dictionary of over 2, printed pages, the German missionary Paul Arndt published the first dictionary of Li'o central Flores , R.

    Goris compiled a dictionary of Sasak Lombok , and Th.