Javanese language

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Javanese
ꦧꦱꦗꦮ (Basa Jawa)
Native toJava (Indonesia), Suriname, New Caledonia
EthnicityJavanese, Osing, Tenggerese
Native speakers82 million  (2007)[1]
Language family
Early forms
Old Javanese (Kawi)
  • Javanese
Writing systemJavanese alphabet
Pegon alphabet (religious use)
Latin (general)
Language codes
ISO 639-1jv
ISO 639-2jav
ISO 639-3Variously:
jav – Javanese
jvn – Caribbean Javanese
jas – New Caledonian Javanese
osi – Osing
tes – Tenggerese
kaw – Kawi
Distribution-jv.png
Dark green: areas where Javanese is the majority language. Light green: where it is a minority language.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
 
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Javanese
ꦧꦱꦗꦮ (Basa Jawa)
Native toJava (Indonesia), Suriname, New Caledonia
EthnicityJavanese, Osing, Tenggerese
Native speakers82 million  (2007)[1]
Language family
Early forms
Old Javanese (Kawi)
  • Javanese
Writing systemJavanese alphabet
Pegon alphabet (religious use)
Latin (general)
Language codes
ISO 639-1jv
ISO 639-2jav
ISO 639-3Variously:
jav – Javanese
jvn – Caribbean Javanese
jas – New Caledonian Javanese
osi – Osing
tes – Tenggerese
kaw – Kawi
Distribution-jv.png
Dark green: areas where Javanese is the majority language. Light green: where it is a minority language.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Javanese /ɑːvəˈnz/[2] (Javanese: ꦧꦱꦗꦮ basa Jawa; Indonesian: bahasa Jawa) is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. There are also pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java. It is the native language of more than 75,500,000 people (more than 30% of total population in Indonesia).

Javanese is part of the Austronesian family, it is otherwise not particularly close to other languages and is difficult to classify, though not too dissimilar from neighbouring languages such as Malay, Sundanese, Madurese and Balinese. Most speakers of Javanese also speak Indonesian for official and commercial purposes, and to communicate with non-Javanese Indonesians.

There are speakers of Javanese in Malaysia (concentrated in the states of Selangor and Johor) and Singapore. Some people of Javanese descent in Suriname (the Dutch colony of Suriname until 1975) speak a creole descendant of the language.

Speakers[edit]

The word Jawa/ꦗꦮ (Java) written in Javanese script.

The language is spoken in Central and East Java, as well as on the north coast of West Java. In Madura, Bali, Lombok, and the Sunda region of West Java, it is also used as a literary language. It was the court language in Palembang in South Sumatra, until the palace was sacked by the Dutch in the late 18th century.

Javanese is written with the Latin script, Javanese script, and Arabic script.[3]

Javanese is the tenth largest language (in terms of native speakers), and the largest language without official status. It is spoken or understood by approximately 80 million people. At least 45% of the total population of Indonesia are of Javanese descent or live in an area where Javanese is the dominant language. Five out of the six Indonesian presidents since 1945 have been of Javanese descent. It is therefore not surprising that Javanese has a deep impact on the development of Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, which is itself a modern development from Malay.

There are three main dialects in the modern language: Central Javanese, Eastern Javanese, and Western Javanese. There is a dialect continuum from Banten in the extreme west of Java to Banyuwangi in the eastern corner of the island. All Javanese dialects are more or less mutually intelligible.

Phonology[edit]

The phonemes of Modern Standard Javanese.[4]

Vowels[edit]

FrontCentralBack
Openi   u
Half openeəo
Half closed(ɛ) (ɔ)
Closed a 

In closed syllables the vowels /i u e o/ are pronounced [ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ] respectively.[4] In open syllables, /e o/ are also [ɛ ɔ] when the following vowel is /i u/ in an open syllable; otherwise they are /ə/, or identical (/e...e/, /o...o/). In the standard dialect of Surakarta, /a/ is pronounced [ɔ] in word-final open syllables, and in any open penultimate syllable before such an [ɔ].

Consonants[edit]

LabialDental/
Alveolar
RetroflexPalatalVelarGlottal
Nasalmɳɲŋ
Plosive/Affricatep b̥t d̥ʈ ɖ̥tʃ dʒ̊k ɡ̊ʔ
Fricativeʂh
Approximantcentralɽjw
lateralɭ

The Javanese "voiced" phonemes are not in fact voiced but voiceless, with breathy voice on the following vowel.[4] The relevant distinction in phonation of the plosives is described as stiff voice versus slack voice.[5]

A Javanese syllable can have the following form: CSVC, where C = consonant, S = sonorant (/j/, /r/, /l/, /w/, or any nasal consonant), and V = vowel. As with other Austronesian languages, native Javanese roots consist of two syllables; words consisting of more than three syllables are broken up into groups of disyllabic words for pronunciation. In Modern Javanese, a disyllabic root is of the following type: nCsvVnCsvVC.

Apart from Madurese, Javanese is the only language of Western Indonesia to possess a distinction between retroflex and dental phonemes.[4] These letters are transcribed as "th" and "dh" in the modern Roman script, but previously by the use of a dot: "" and "". Some scholars[who?] take this to be an influence from Sanskrit, but others[who?] believe it could be an independent development within the Austronesian super-family.[6]

Morphology[edit]

Javanese, like other Austronesian languages, is an agglutinative language, where base words are modified through extensive use of affixes.

Syntax[edit]

Modern Javanese usually employs SVO word order. However, Old Javanese sometimes had VSO and sometimes VOS word order. Even in Modern Javanese, archaic sentences using VSO structure can still be made.

Examples:

Both sentences mean: "He (S) comes (V) in (pp.) the (def. art.) palace (O)". In the Old Javanese sentence, the verb is placed at the beginning and is separated by the particle ta from the rest of the sentence. In Modern Javanese the definite article is lost, and definiteness is expressed by other means if necessary.

Verbs are not inflected for person or number. There is no grammatical tense; time is expressed by auxiliary words meaning "yesterday", "already", etc. There is a complex system of verb affixes to express differences of status in subject and object. However, in general the structure of Javanese sentences both Old and Modern can be described using the topic–comment model, without having to refer to conventional grammatical categories. The topic is the head of the sentence; the comment is the modifier. So the example sentence has a simpler description: Dhèwèké = topic; teka = comment; ing keraton = setting.

Vocabulary[edit]

Javanese has a rich and varied vocabulary, with many loanwords supplementing those from the native Austronesian base. Sanskrit has had a deep and lasting impact. The Old Javanese–English Dictionary contains approximately 25,500 entries, over 12,600 of which are borrowings from Sanskrit.[8] Such a high number is no measure of usage, but it does suggest the extent to which the language adopted Sanskrit words for formal purposes. In a typical Old Javanese literary work about 25% of the vocabulary is from Sanskrit. Many Javanese personal names also have clearly recognisable Sanskrit roots.

Sanskrit words are still very much in use. Modern speakers may describe Old Javanese and Sanskrit words as kawi (roughly meaning "literary"); but kawi words may also be from Arabic. Dutch and Malay are influential as well; but none of these rivals the position of Sanskrit.

There are far fewer Arabic loanwords in Javanese than in Malay, and they are usually concerned with Islamic religion. Nevertheless, some words have entered the basic vocabulary, such as pikir ("to think", from the Arabic fikr), badan ("body"), mripat ("eye", thought to be derived from the Arabic ma'rifah, meaning "knowledge" or "vision"). However, these Arabic words typically have native Austronesian or Sanskrit alternatives: pikir = galih, idhĕp (Austronesian) and manah, cipta, or cita (from Sanskrit); badan = awak (Austronesian) and slira, sarira, or angga (from Sanskrit); and mripat = mata (Austronesian) and soca or netra (from Sanskrit).

Dutch loanwords usually have the same form and meaning as in Indonesian, with a few exceptions:

JavaneseIndonesianDutchEnglish
pitsepedafietsbicycle
pit montorsepeda motormotorfietsmotorcycle
sepurkereta apispoor, i.e. (rail) tracktrain

The word sepur also exists in Indonesian, but there it has preserved the literal Dutch meaning of "railway tracks", while the Javanese word follows Dutch figurative use, and "spoor" (lit. "rail") is used as metonymy for "trein" (lit. "train"). (Compare a similar metonymic use in English: "to travel by rail" may be used for "to travel by train".)

Malay was the lingua franca of the Indonesian archipelago before the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945; and Indonesian, which was based on Malay, is now the official language of Indonesia. As a consequence, there has been an influx of Malay and Indonesian vocabulary into Javanese. Many of these words are concerned with bureaucracy or politics.

Registers [edit]

A Javanese noble lady (left) would address her servant with one vocabulary, and be answered with another. (Studio portrait of painter Raden Saleh's wife and a servant, colonial Batavia, 1860–1872.)

In common with other Austronesian languages, Javanese is spoken differently depending on the social context. In Austronesian there are often three distinct styles or registers.[9] Each employs its own vocabulary, grammatical rules, and even prosody. In Javanese these styles are called:

  1. Ngoko (or Ngaka). Informal speech, used between friends and close relatives. It is also used by persons of higher status (such as elders, or bosses) addressing those of lower status (young people, or subordinates in the workplace).
  2. Madya. Intermediate between ngoko and krama. Strangers on the street would use it, where status differences may be unknown and one wants to be neither too formal nor too informal. The term is from Sanskrit madhya ("middle").[10]
  3. Krama. The polite and formal style. It is used between those of the same status when they do not wish to be informal. It is used by persons of lower status to persons of higher status, such as young people to their elders, or subordinates to bosses; and it is the official style for public speeches, announcements, etc. The term is from Sanskrit krama ("in order").[10]

There are also "meta-style" honorific words, and their converse "humilifics". Speakers use "humble" words concerning themselves, but honorific words concerning anyone of greater age of higher social status. The humilific words are called krama andhap, while the honorifics are called krama inggil. Children typically use the ngoko style, but in talking to the parents they must be competent with both krama inggil and krama andhap. Some examples:

The most polite word meaning "eat" is dhahar. But it is forbidden to use these most polite words for oneself, except when talking with someone of lower status; and in this case, ngoko style is used. Such most polite words are reserved for addressing people of higher status:

The use of these different styles is complicated and requires thorough knowledge of Javanese culture, which adds to the difficulty of Javanese for foreigners. The full system is not usually mastered by most Javanese themselves, who might use only the ngoko and a rudimentary form of the krama. People who can correctly use the different styles are held in high esteem.

Dialects of modern Javanese[edit]

Sultan Pakubuwono X of Surakarta. Surakarta has been a center of Javanese culture, and its dialect is regarded as the most "refined".

There are three main groups of Javanese dialects, based on sub-regions: Western Javanese, Central Javanese, and Eastern Javanese. The differences are primarily in pronunciation, but with vocabulary differences also. Javanese dialects are all mutually intelligible.

Central Javanese (Jawa Tengahan) is founded on the speech of Surakarta[11] and to a lesser extent of Yogyakarta. It is considered the most "refined" of the regional variants, and serves as a model for the standard language. Those two cities are the seats of four Javanese principalities (heirs to the Mataram Sultanate) that once dominated the whole of Java and beyond. This variant is used throughout Central Java province, and there are many lower-level dialects such as Muria and Semarangan, as well as Surakarta and Yogyakarta themselves. There are also dialects such as Pekalongan or Dialek Pantura, and Kebumen (a variation of Banyumasan). The variations in Central Java are said to be so plentiful that almost every administrative region (or kabupaten) has its own local slang; but those minor dialects are not seen as distinct by most Javanese speakers.

Central Javanese is also used in the western part of East Java province. For example, Javanese spoken in the Madiun region (along with Javanese spoken in Blitar, Ponorogo, Pacitan, and Tulungagung) bears a strong influence of Surakarta Javanese.

  1. Pekalongan dialect is spoken in Pekalongan and Pekalongan regency, and also in Pemalang.
  2. Kedu dialect is spoken in the former Kedu residency, and in Temanggung, Kebumen, Magelang, and Wonosobo.
  3. Bagelen dialect is spoken in Purworejo.
  4. Semarang dialect is spoken in Semarang, Semarang regency, and also Salatiga, Demak and Kendal.
  5. Eastern North-Coast dialect, or dialek Muria, is spoken in Jepara, Rembang, Kudus, Pati, and also in Tuban and Bojonegoro.
  6. Blora dialect is spoken in Blora, the eastern part of Grobogan, and the western part of Ngawi.
  7. Surakarta dialect is spoken commonly in Surakarta, Karanganyar, Wonogiri, Sukoharjo, and Boyolali.
  8. Yogyakarta dialect is spoken in Yogyakarta and Klaten.
  9. Madiun dialect is spoken mainly in western part of East Java province, including Madiun, Ngawi, Pacitan, Ponorogo, and Magetan.

Western Javanese (Jawa Kulonan), spoken in the western part of the Central Java province and throughout the West Java province (particularly on the north coast), includes dialects that are distinct for their Sundanese influences. It retains many archaic words.

  1. North Banten dialect (Jawa Serang) is spoken in Serang, Cilegon, and the western part of Tangerang regency.
  2. Cirebon dialect (Cirebonan or Basa Cerbon) is spoken in Cirebon and Losari. Indramayu dialect (or Dermayon), which is spoken in Indramayu, Karawang, and Subang, is sometimes included in Cirebonan.
  3. Tegal dialect, known as Tegalan or Dialek Pantura (North-Coast dialect), is spoken in Tegal, Brebes, and the western part of Pemalang regency.
  4. Banyumas dialect, known as Banyumasan, is spoken in Banyumas, Cilacap, Purbalingga, Banjarnegara, and Bumiayu.

These Western Javanese dialects are sometimes called as basa ngapak-apak by other Javanese.

Eastern Javanese (Jawa Wetanan) speakers range from the eastern banks of Brantas River in Kertosono, and from Nganjuk to Banyuwangi, comprising the majority of the East Java province excluding Madura island. However, the variant has been influenced by Madurese, and is sometimes referred to as Surabayan speech.

The most outlying Eastern Javanese dialect is spoken in Balambangan (or Banyuwangi). It is generally known as Basa Osing. Osing, a local negation word, is a cognate of tusing in Balinese. (This area of Java has the island of Bali immediately to the east, and was formerly under the control of Balinese kings and warlords.)

  1. Surabaya dialect (Suroboyoan) is commonly spoken in Surabaya, Gresik, Lamongan and Sidoarjo. Many Madurese people also use this dialect as their second language.
  2. Malang dialect is spoken in Malang and Malang regency, also in Mojokerto, Pasuruan and Lumajang.
  3. Jombang dialect
  4. Tengger dialect, used by Tenggerese people
  5. Banyuwangi dialect (Basa Osing)

In addition to these three main variants, there is Surinamese Javanese, which is mainly based on Central Javanese, especially from the Kedu residency.

Phonetic differences[edit]

Phoneme /i/ at closed ultima is pronounced as [ɪ] in Central Javanese (SurakartaYogyakarta dialect), as [i] in Western Javanese (Banyumasan dialect), and as [ɛ] in Eastern Javanese.

Phoneme /u/ at closed ultima is pronounced as [ʊ] in Central Javanese, as [u] in Western Javanese, and as [ɔ] in Eastern Javanese.

Phoneme /a/ at closed ultima in Central Javanese is pronounced as [a] and at open ultima as [ɔ]. Regardless of position, it tends toward [a] in Western Javanese and as [ɔ] in Eastern Javanese.

Western Javanese tend to palatalize every last vowel of a word as euphony, e.g.: Ana apa? [anak kapaʔ] "What happened?", Aja kaya kuwe! [adʒak kajak kuɛʔ] "Don't be like that!".

Dialectal Phonetics
PhonemeOrthographyCentral Javanese (standard)Western JavaneseEastern JavaneseEnglish
/i/
getih[ɡətɪh][ɡətih][ɡətɛh]blood
/u/
abuh[aβʊh][aβuh][aβɔh]swollen
/a/
lenga[ləŋɔ][ləŋaʔ][ləŋɔ]oil
/a/
kancamu/ kancané kowe[kancamu][kancane koɛʔ][kɔncɔmu]your friend

Final consonant devoicing occurs in the standard Central Javanese dialect, but not in Banyumasan. For example, egg is pronounced [ɛnɖɔʔ] in standard Central Javanese, but [ɛnɖɔg] in Banyumasan. The latter is closer to Old Javanese.[12]

Vocabulary differences[edit]

The vocabulary of standard Javanese is enriched by dialectal words. For example, to get the meaning of "you", Western Javanese speakers say rika /rikaʔ/, Eastern Javanese use kon /kɔn/ or koen /kɔən/, and Central Javanese speakers say kowé /kowe/. Another example is the expression of "how": the Tegal dialect of Western Javanese uses kepribèn /kəpriben/, the Banyumasan dialect of Western Javanese employs kepriwé /kəpriwe/ or kepriwèn /kəpriwen/, Eastern Javanese speakers say ya' apa /jɔʔ ɔpɔ/ – originally meaning "like what" (kaya apa in standard Javanese) or kepiyé /kəpije/ – and Central Javanese speakers say piye /pije/ or kepriyé /kəprije/.


Solo/Jogja (standard)(North) BantenCirebonan & DermayonBanyumasanTegal, BrebesPemalangSurabayaEnglish
akukitakita, reang, isun, ingsuninyong, nyonginyong, nyongnyongakuI, me
kowesiresirarikakoenkoekonyou
tenanpisanpisanbangetnemen, temennemen, temen, teotemen, temenantruly
piye, kepriyekeprimenkepriben, kepriwekepriwekepriben, priben, pribekeprimen, kepriben, primen, prime, priben, pribeya' apahow
oraoreora, belioraora, belihoraora', oga'no, not
mlebumanjingmanjingmlebumanjing, mlebumanjing, mlebumlebuenter, come in
arep, mehareparep, panareppanpan, pen, ape, pakarep, arepe, apebe going to
sakasakesingsekangsingkadi, kadingtekaof, from

The Madiun–Kediri dialect has some idiosyncratic vocabulary, such as panggah 'still' (standard Javanese: pancet), lagèk 'progressive modal' (standard Javanese: lagi), and emphatic particles nda, pèh, and .[13]

Classification[edit]

A preliminary general classification of Javanese dialects given by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology's Department of Linguistics is as follows.[14] Pesisir (Pemalang) and Tengger are considered to be among the most conservative dialects.[15][16] The Banten, Pesisir Lor, Banyumas, Tengger, and Osing dialects do not have the vowel raising and vowel harmony features that are innovations of the "standard" Solo and Yogyakarta dialects.

History[edit]

Old Javanese[edit]

Palm leaf manuscript of Kakawin Sutasoma, a 14th-century Javanese poem.

While evidence of writing in Java dates to the Sanskrit "Tarumanegara inscription" of 450 AD, the oldest example written entirely in Javanese, called the "Sukabumi inscription", is dated 25 March 804. This inscription, located in the district of Pare in the Kediri regency of East Java, is actually a copy of an original that is about 120 years older; only this copy has been preserved. Its contents concern the construction of a dam for an irrigation canal near the river Śrī Hariñjing (present-day Srinjing). This inscription is the last known of its kind to be written using Pallava script; all extant subsequent examples are written using Javanese script.

The 8th and 9th centuries are marked by the emergence of the Javanese literary tradition – with Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan, a Buddhist treatise; and the Kakawin Rāmâyaṇa, a Javanese rendering in Indian metres of the Vaishnavist Sanskrit epic Rāmāyaṇa.

Although Javanese as a written language appeared considerably later than Malay (extant in the 7th century), the Javanese literary tradition has been continuous from its inception. The oldest works – such as the Kakawin Rāmâyaṇa and a Javanese rendering of the Indian Mahābhārata epic – are studied assiduously today.

The expansion of Javanese culture, including Javanese script and language, began in 1293 with the eastward push of the HinduBuddhist East-Javanese Empire Majapahit, toward Madura and Bali. The Javanese campaign in Bali in 1363 had a deep and lasting impact, and Javanese replaced Balinese as the language of administration and literature. Though the Balinese people preserved much of the older literature of Java and even created their own in Javanese idioms, Balinese ceased to be written until a 19th-century restoration.

Middle Javanese[edit]

The Majapahit Empire saw the rise of Middle Javanese as effectively a new language, intermediate between Old and New Javanese, though Middle Javanese is similar enough to New Javanese to be understood by anyone who is well acquainted with current literary Javanese.

A New Javanese inscription in Sholihin Mosque, Surakarta.

The Majapahit Empire fell due to internal disturbances in the Paregreg civil war, thought to have occurred in 1405 and 1406, and attacks by Islamic forces of the Sultanate of Demak on the north coast of Java. There is a Javanese chronogram concerning the fall which reads "sirna ilang krĕtaning bumi" ("vanished and gone was the prosperity of the world"), indicating the date 1478 AD, giving rise to a popular belief that Majapahit collapsed in 1478, though it may have lasted into the 16th century. This was the last Hindu Javanese empire.

New Javanese[edit]

In the 16th century a new era in Javanese history began with the rise of the Islamic Central Javanese Mataram Sultanate, originally a vassal state of Majapahit. Ironically, the Mataram Empire rose as an Islamic kingdom that sought revenge for the demise of the Hindu Majapahit Empire by first crushing Demak, the first Javanese Islamic kingdom.

Javanese culture spread westward as Mataram conquered many previously Sundanese areas in western parts of Java; and Javanese became the dominant language in more than a third of this area. As with Balinese, the Sundanese language ceased to be written until the 19th century. In the meantime it was heavily influenced by Javanese, and some 40% of Sundanese vocabulary is believed to have been derived from Javanese.

Though Islamic in name, the Mataram II empire preserved many elements of the older culture, incorporating them into the newly adopted religion. This is why Javanese script is still in use, as opposed to the writing of Old Malay for example. After the Malays were converted, they dropped their form of indigenous writing and changed to a form of the "script of the Divine", the Arabic script.

In addition to the rise of Islam, the 16th century saw the emergence of the New Javanese language. The first Islamic documents in Javanese were already written in New Javanese, although still in antiquated idioms and with numerous Arabic loanwords. This is to be expected: these early New Javanese documents are Islamic treatises.

Later, intensive contacts with the Dutch and with other Indonesians gave rise to a simplified form of Javanese and influx of foreign loanwords.

Modern Javanese[edit]

Some scholars dub the spoken form of Javanese in the 20th century Modern Javanese, although it is essentially still the same language as New Javanese.

Javanese script[edit]

A modern bilingual text in Portuguese and Javanese in Yogyakarta.

Javanese has been traditionally written with Javanese script. Javanese and the related Balinese script are modern variants of the old Kawi script, a Brahmic script introduced to Java along with Hinduism and Buddhism. Kawi is first attested in a legal document from 804 AD. It was widely used in literature and translations from Sanskrit from the 10th century; by the 17th, the script is identified as carakan.

The Javanese script is an abugida. Each of the twenty letter represents a syllable with a consonant (or a "zero consonant") and the inherent vowel 'a' which is pronounced as /ɔ/ in open position. Various diacritics placed around the letter indicate a different vowel than [ɔ], a final consonant, or a foreign pronunciation.

Letters have subscript forms used to transcribe consonant clusters, though the shape are relatively straightforward, and not as distinct as conjunct forms of Devanagari. Some letters are only present in old Javanese and became obsolete in modern Javanese. Some of these letter became "capital" forms used in proper names. Punctuation includes a comma; period; a mark that covers the colon, quotations, and indicates numerals; and marks to introduce a chapter, poem, song, or letter.

However, Javanese can also be written with a modified Arabic script and today generally uses Latin script instead of Javanese script for practical purposes. A Latin orthography based on Dutch was introduced in 1926, revised in 1972–1973; it has largely supplanted the carakan. The Latin-based forms:

Majuscule forms (uppercase)
ABCDEÉÈFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Minuscule forms (lowercase)
abcdeéèfghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

The letters f, q, v, x, and z are used in loanwords from European languages and Arabic.

Javanese script:

Base consonant letters
hanacarakadatasawalapadhajayanyamagabathanga

Demographic distribution of Javanese speakers[edit]

Javanese is spoken throughout Indonesia, neighboring Southeast Asian countries, the Netherlands, Suriname, New Caledonia, and other countries. The largest populations of speakers are found in the six provinces of Java itself, and in the neighboring Sumatran province of Lampung.

A table showing the number of native speakers in 1980, for the 22 Indonesian provinces (from the total of 27) in which more than 1% of the population spoke Javanese:[20]

Indonesian province % of provincial populationJavanese speakers (1980)
1.Aceh province6.7%175,000
2.North Sumatra21.0%1,757,000
3.West Sumatra1.0%56,000
4.Jambi17.0%245,000
5.South Sumatra12.4%573,000
6.Bengkulu15.4%118,000
7.Lampung62.4%2,886,000
8.Riau8.5%184,000
9.Jakarta3.6%236,000
10.West Java[21]13.3%3,652,000
11.Central Java96.9%24,579,000
12.Yogyakarta97.6%2,683,000
13.East Java74.5%21,720,000
14.Bali1.1%28,000
15.West Kalimantan1.7%41,000
16.Central Kalimantan4.0%38,000
17.South Kalimantan4.7%97,000
18.East Kalimantan10.1%123,000
19.North Sulawesi1.0%20,000
20.Central Sulawesi2.9%37,000
21.Southeast Sulawesi3.6%34,000
22.Maluku1.1%16,000

According to the 1980 census, Javanese was used daily in approximately 43% of Indonesian households. By this reckoning there were well over 60 million Javanese speakers,[22] from a national population of 147,490,298.[23][24]

Madurese in Javanese script.

In Banten, Western Java, the descendants of the Central Javanese conquerors who founded the Islamic Sultanate there in the 16th century still speak an archaic form of Javanese.[25] The rest of the population mainly speaks Sundanese and Indonesian, since this province borders directly on Jakarta.[26]

At least one third of the population of Jakarta are of Javanese descent, so they speak Javanese or have knowledge of it. In the province of West Java, many people speak Javanese, especially those living in the areas bordering Central Java, the cultural homeland of the Javanese.

Almost a quarter of the population of East Java province are Madurese (mostly on the Isle of Madura); many Madurese have some knowledge of colloquial Javanese. Since the 19th century, Madurese was also written in the Javanese script.[27]

The original inhabitants of Lampung, the Lampungese, make up only 15% of the provincial population. The rest are the so-called "transmigrants", settlers from other parts of Indonesia, many as a result of past government transmigration programs. Most of these transmigrants are Javanese who have settled there since the 19th century.

In Suriname (the former Dutch colony of Surinam), South America, approximately 15% of the population of some 500,000 are of Javanese descent, among whom 75,000 speak Javanese. A local variant evolved: the Tyoro Jowo-Suriname or Suriname Javanese.[28]

Javanese language today[edit]

Distribution map of languages spoken in Java, Madura, and Bali.

Although Javanese is not a national language, it has recognized status as a regional language in the three Indonesian provinces with the biggest concentrations of Javanese people: Central Java, Yogyakarta, and East Java. Javanese is taught at schools and is used in some mass media, both electronically and in print. There is, however, no longer a daily newspaper in Javanese. Javanese language magazines include Panjebar Semangat, Jaka Lodhang, Jaya Baya, Damar Jati, and Mekar Sari.

Since 2003, an East Java local television station (JTV) has broadcast some of its programmes in Surabayan dialect, including Pojok kampung (news), Kuis RT/RW, and Pojok Perkoro (a crime programme). In later broadcasts, JTV offers programmes in Central Javanese dialect (which they call basa kulonan, "the western language") and Madurese.

In 2005 a new Javanese language magazine, Damar Jati, appeared. It is not published in the Javanese heartlands, but in Jakarta.

Daily conversation[edit]

 
Javanese Ngoko:Piyé kabaré?
Javanese Kromo:Pripun wartanipun panjenengan?
Indonesian:Apa kabar? or Bagaimana kabar Anda?
English:How are you? or How have you been?
 
Javanese Ngoko:Aku apik waé, piyé awakmu/sampèyan?
Javanese Kromo:Kula saé kémawòn, pripun kalian panjenengan?
Indonesian:Saya baik-baik saja, bagaimana dengan Anda?
English:I am fine, how about you?
 
Javanese Ngoko:Sapa jenengmu?
Javanese Kromo:Sinten asmanipun panjengenan?
Indonesian:Siapa nama Anda?
English:What is your name?
 
Javanese Ngoko:Jenengku Jòhn.
Javanese Kromo:Nami kula Jòhn.
Indonesian:Nama saya John.
English:My name is John.
 
Javanese Ngoko:Suwun (or Matur) nuwun.
Javanese Kromo:Matur sembah nuwun.
Indonesian:Terima kasih.
English:Thank you.
 
Javanese Ngoko:Kowé arep ngombé apa?
Javanese Kromo:Panjenengan kersa ngunjuk punapa?
Indonesian:Anda mau minum apa?
English:What do you want to drink?
 
Javanese Ngoko:Aku arep ngombé kòpi waé, Mas (or Pak)!
Javanese Kromo:Kula badhé ngunjuk kòpi kémawòn, Pak!
Indonesian:Saya ingin minum segelas kopi, Pak!
English:I want to drink a glass of coffee, Sir!
 
Javanese Ngoko:Aku tresna karo kowé, Ndhuk!
Javanese Kromo:Kula tresna kalian panjenengan, Nyi!
Indonesian:Aku cinta padamu, Dik!
English:I love you, Girl!
 
Javanese:Witing tresna jalaran saka kulina. (proverb)
Indonesian:Cinta datang karena terbiasa.
English:Love comes from habit.

Words[edit]

[Javanese Ngoko is on the left, and Javanese Krama is on the right.]

Numbers[edit]

[Javanese Ngoko is on the left, and Javanese Krama is on the right.]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  3. ^ Van der Molen (1983:VII-VIII).
  4. ^ a b c d Concise encyclopedia of languages of the world. Elsevier. 2008. p. 560. ISBN 0-08-087774-5, 9780080877747 Check |isbn= value (help). Retrieved 2010-05-24.  |coauthors= requires |author= (help) Madurese also possesses aspirated phonemes, including at least one aspirated retroflex phoneme.
  5. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8. 
  6. ^ A sibilant before a retroflex stop in Sanskrit loanwords is pronounced as a retroflex sibilant, whereas in modern Indian languages it is pronounced as a palatal sibilant. Though Acehnese and Balinese also possess a retroflex voiceless stop, this is merely an allophone of /t/.
  7. ^ The Old Javanese spelling is modified to suit Modern Javanese spelling.
  8. ^ Zoetmulder (1982:IX).
  9. ^ Uhlenbeck (1964:57).
  10. ^ a b Wolff, John U.; Soepomo Poedjosoedarmo (1982). Communicative Codes in Central Java. Cornell Southeast Asia Program. p. 4. ISBN 0-87727-116-X. 
  11. ^ For example Pigeaud's dictionary in 1939 is almost exclusively based on Surakarta speech (1939:viii–xiii).
  12. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/banyumas.php
  13. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/madiun.php
  14. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/javanese_dialectology.php
  15. ^ a b http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/pemalangan.php
  16. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/docs/Standard_vs_Peripheral_Javanese_Dialects,_Thomas_Conners.pdf
  17. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/banyumas.php
  18. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/madiun.php
  19. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/osing.php
  20. ^ The data are taken from the census of 1980 as provided by James J. Fox and Peter Gardiner and published by S. A. Wurm and Shiro Hattori, eds. 1983. Language Atlas of the Pacific Area, Part II: (Insular South-East Asia), Canberra.
  21. ^ In 1980 this included the now separate Banten province.
  22. ^ According to James J. Fox and Peter Gardiner (Wurm and Hattori, 1983).
  23. ^ Collins Concise Dictionary Plus (1989).
  24. ^ The distribution of persons living in Javanese-speaking households in East Java and Lampung requires clarification. For East Java, daily-language percentages are as follows: 74.5 Javanese, 23.0 Madurese, and 2.2 Indonesian. For Lampung, the official percentages are 62.4 Javanese, 16.4 Lampungese and other languages, 10.5 Sundanese, and 9.4 Indonesian. The figures are somewhat outdated for some regions, especially Jakarta; but they remain more or less stable for the rest of Java. In Jakarta the number of Javanese has increased tenfold in the last 25 years. On the other hand, because of the conflict the number of Javanese in Aceh might have decreased. It is also relevant that Banten has separated from West Java province in 2000.
  25. ^ Pigeaud (1967:10-11).
  26. ^ Many commuters to Jakarta live in the suburbs in Banten, among them also Javanese speakers. Their exact number is unknown.
  27. ^ Unfortunately, the aspirated phonemes of Madurese are not reproduced in writing. The 19th-century scribes apparently overlooked the fact that Javanese script does possess the required characters.
  28. ^ Bartje S. Setrowidjojo and Ruben T. Setrowidjojo Het Surinaams-Javaans = Tyoro Jowo-Suriname, Den Haag: Suara Jawa, 1994, ISBN 90-802125-1-2.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]