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Jakarta Field Station > Projects > Language Description > Ternate Malay

Description of Ternate Malay

Researcher: Betty Litamahuputty

Ternate Malay: Grammar and Texts

Ternate Malay is a variety of Malay spoken on the island of Ternate, Maluku Utara, in eastern Indonesia (see map below).The island of Ternate is about 105 km2 and was inhabited by about 175,000 people in 2010. More than 90% of the population live in the urban area and the only town, also called Ternate. Ternate town has a multiethnic and multilinguistic society where Ternate Malay is one of the main languages. It serves as mother tongue for the majority of people here as well as functions as a means of communication amongst people with different linguistic backgrounds. The indigenous language of the island, of which the mother tongue speakers are found in the rural area is the Ternate language, a non-Austronesian language which is closely related to languages in the western tip of the Bird’s Head peninsula of Papua.

The PhD thesis entitled Ternate Malay: Grammar and Texts is the first grammar on Ternate Malay and published in the Dissertation Series (2012) No. 306 by LOT Publications. In this study various kinds of constructions are analyzed, described, and illustrated with examples from stories, told by a young Ternate Malay speaker. The grammar aims to complement linguistic descriptions of Malay varieties in general, and particularly those in eastern Indonesia. The contents of the CDrom that accompanies the book, including the complete text of the thesis, can be accessed here.

Last modified: 28 Feb 2013
Location: ternate.php.html