Contemporary Indonesian Phonology and Morphology: Some Evidence of Language Change and Innovations

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Contemporary Indonesian Phonology and Morphology: Some Evidence of Language Change and Innovations

The Roundtable Meeting, Leiden University, Leiden, 26' 28 March 2008

Bambang Kaswanti Purwo
Atma Jaya Catholic University

Abstract

For almost half a century Indonesian cannot refrain from having to bear with the mass and rapid influx of English loanwords. Since 1970s there has been a strong pressure, initiated by Pusat Bahasa (the Language Center), for the change from Dutch-soundlike loanwords, such as tradisionil, universil, komersiil, into English-soundlike loanwords, such as tradisional, universal, komersial, respectively. Although some Dutch-based forms like riel are much more likely to be used than the more English-soundlike
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except when they are palatal. It is also possible to have closed syllable ending in nasals (e.g. malam, bukan, yang) or lateral (e.g. nakal ‘naughty’).

The comparison between the loanwords in (1) to those in (2) may tempt one to arrive at the following explanation. The loanwords in (1) is accepted to have a CVC structure because they share the conditions as described in the previous paragraph. When the loanwords end with final voiced consonants, the CVC structure is not accepted and is to be modified into open syllables.

(1) bel, cek, gang, lem, ras, ton

(2) a. periode [périodĕ] ( period b. metode [mĕtodĕ] ( method c. dekade [dékadĕ] ( decade [dikeid] d. tube [tubĕ] ( tube [tju:b]

The same explanation underlies the reason for a form like imej ‘image’ to be rejected in standard Indonesian and, for a reason discussed in 2.2.3, such a form is accepted in standard Malay.

2.2 The Advent of Consonant Cluster

Two types of consonant clusters under discussion here: initial and final.

2.2.1 Initial Consonant Cluster

Lauder’s (1995b) counting of consonant clusters in the 1993 dictionary (KBBI 1993) reveals that syllables with CC amounts only 3.65%. Small though the frequency is, the variety of cluster is around thirty kinds.
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Grafik 1: Frekuensi Gugus Konsonan pada Awal atau Tengah Kata (Lauder 1995b)

These are the number of the lexical items (listed in the dictionary

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