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Jakarta Field Station > Projects > Language Contact > Ketapang Malay

Ketapang Malay

Ketapang is a coastal city in the southern part of Indonesia's province of Kalimantan Barat. Most of the population of the modern city of Ketapang consists of ethnic Chinese and relatively recent migrants. They speak a koine strongly influenced by Pontianak Malay and by Indonesian. However, in the past the city was the center of a Malay sultanate, and a small community of locally born ethnic Malays still maintains a distinct Malay dialect. This dialect is virtually identical to dialects spoken in the interior, in Malay settlements along the Pawan river. Our research focuses on the subdialect of Balai Berkuak, a small town in the interior, which has maintained a relatively 'pure' form of Ketapang Malay. An initial investigation of this dialect indicates that while influence from Indonesian and Pontianak Malay is not strong, it does have a strong substratum of local Land Dayak languages. Like Malay, these languages are members of the Austronesian family, but they are rather distantly related. The substratum manifests itself most strongly in the syntax and phonology, including minute (and highly marked) phonetic details.

Last modified: 2002
Location: ketapang_malay.php.html