Javanese or "" (, Javanese script: ) 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 98,417,022 people (more than 42% of total population in Indonesia).
Javanese is part of the Austronesian languages, but it is otherwise not particularly close to other languages and is difficult to classify, though not too dissimilar from neighbouring languages such as Sundanese language, Madurese language and Balinese language. Most speakers of Javanese also speak Indonesian language (a standardized form of Malay) for official and commercial purposes, as well as a means 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 Suriname (Dutch colony) until 1975) speak a Creole language descendant of the language.
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 the List of languages by number of native speakers (in terms of native speakers), and the largest List of official languages. It is spoken or understood by approximately 100 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 language, the national language of Indonesia, which is itself a modern development from Malay language.
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 mutual intelligibility.
The phonemes of Modern Standard Javanese.
In closed syllables the vowels are pronounced respectively. In open syllables, are also when the following vowel is in an open syllable; otherwise they are , or identical (). In the standard dialect of Surakarta, is pronounced in word-final open syllables, and in any open penultimate syllable before such an .
The Javanese "voiced" phonemes are not in fact voice (phonetics) but voiceless, with breathy voice on the following vowel. The relevant distinction in phonation of the plosives is described as stiff voice versus slack voice.
A Javanese syllable can have the following Syllable#Structure: CSVC, where C = consonant, S = sonorant (, or any nasal stop), 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 language, Javanese is the only language of Western Indonesia to possess a distinction between Dental consonant and retroflex phonemes. Madurese also possesses aspirated phonemes, including at least one aspirated retroflex phoneme. The latter sounds are transcribed as "th" and "dh" in the modern Roman script, but previously by the use of an dot (diacritic): "" and "". Some scholars take this to be an influence from Sanskrit, but others believe it could be an independent development within the Austronesian super-family.
Modern Javanese usually employs subject–verb–object word order. However, Old Javanese sometimes had verb–subject–object and sometimes verb–object–subject word order. Even in Modern Javanese, archaic sentences using VSO structure can still be made.
* Modern Javanese: "Dhèwèké (S) teka (V) ìng (pp.) keraton (O)".
* Old Javanese: "Teka (V) ta (part.) sira (S) ri (pp.) -ng (def. art.) kadhatwan (O)".
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 (grammar); 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, without having to refer to conventional grammatical categories. The topic (linguistics) 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.
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. 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 language (roughly meaning "literary"); but kawi words may also be from Arabic language. Dutch language and Malay language 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:
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.
In common with other Austronesian languages, Javanese is spoken differently depending on the social context. In Austronesian there are often three distinct styles or Register (sociolinguistics). Each employs its own vocabulary, grammatical rules, and even prosody (linguistics). In Javanese these styles are called:
#Ngoko. 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).
#Madyå. 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").
#Kråmå. 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").
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:
* Ngoko: Aku arep mangan. ("I want to eat.")
* Madyå: Kula ajeng nedha.
** (Neutral) Kula badhé nadhi.
**(Humble) Dalem badhé nedhi.
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:
* Mixed usages
** (honorific – addressing someone of high status) Bapak kersa dhahar? ("Do you want to eat?"; literally "Does father want to eat?")
** (reply to a person of lower status, expressing speaker"s superiority) Iya, aku kersa dhahar. ("Yes, I want to eat.")
** (reply to a person of lower status, but without expressing superiority) Iya, aku arep mangan.
** (reply to a person of equal status) Inggih, kula badhé nedha.
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.
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 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 Regency (Indonesia)) 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.
# Bagelen dialect is spoken in Purworejo Regency.
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 language influences. It retains many archaic words.
# Cirebon dialect (Cirebonan or Basa Cerbon) is spoken in Cirebon Regency and Losari, Brebes. Indramayu dialect (or Dermayon), which is spoken in Indramayu Regency, Karawang Regency, and Subang Regency, is sometimes included in Cirebonan.
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 language, 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 Osing language. Osing, a local negation word, is a cognate of tusing in Balinese language. (This area of Java has the island of Bali immediately to the east, and was formerly under the control of Balinese kings and warlords.)
# Jombang dialect
# Tengger dialect, used by Tenggerese people
Phoneme /u/ at closed ultima is pronounced as in Central Javanese, as in Western Javanese, and as in Eastern Javanese.
Phoneme /a/ at closed ultima in Central Javanese is pronounced as and at open ultima as . Regardless of position, it tends toward in Western Javanese and as in Eastern Javanese.
Western Javanese tend to palatalize every last vowel of a word as euphony, e.g.: Ana apa? "What happened?", Aja kaya kuwe! "Don"t be like that!".
Final consonant devoicing occurs in the standard Central Javanese dialect, but not in Banyumasan. For example, egg is pronounced in standard Central Javanese, but in Banyumasan. The latter is closer to Old Javanese.http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/banyumas.php
The vocabulary of standard Javanese is enriched by dialectal words. For example, to get the meaning of "you", Western Javanese speakers say rika , Eastern Javanese use kon or koen , and Central Javanese speakers say kowé . Another example is the expression of "how": the Tegal dialect of Western Javanese uses kepribèn , the Banyumasan language dialect of Western Javanese employs kepriwé or kepriwèn , Eastern Javanese speakers say ya" apa – originally meaning "like what" (kaya apa in standard Javanese) or kepiyé – and Central Javanese speakers say piye or kepriyé .
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 lé.
A preliminary general classification of Javanese dialects given by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology"s Department of Linguistics is as follows. Pesisir (Pemalang) and Tengger are considered to be among the most conservative dialects. 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.
*West Javanese: includes Kråmå Andhap, Kråmå Inggìl, Kråmå (Halus), Madyå registers
*Central Javanese: includes Kråmå Andhap, Kråmå Inggìl, Kråmå (Halus), Madyå registers
**Pesisir Lor dialectshttp://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/pemalangan.php
*East Javanese: includes Kråmå Andhap, Kråmå Inggìl, Kråmå (Halus), Madyå registers
**Papua (province) Javanese
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 Vaishnavism 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 Hindu–Buddhist 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.
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.
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.
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 Sultanate, 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 language 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.
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 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 , 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 the 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:
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:
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, from a national population of 147,490,298.
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. The rest of the population mainly speaks Sundanese and Indonesian, since this province borders directly on Jakarta.
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 people (mostly on the Madura); many Madurese have some knowledge of colloquial Javanese. Since the 19th century, Madurese was also written in the Javanese script.
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 Surinam (Dutch colony)), 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.
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 (Indonesia)) 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.
*yes = iyå - inggìh (nggìh)
*no = ora – mbotên
*what = åpa – mênåpå
*who = såpå - sintên
*how = piyé or kêpriyé – kadòspundi or pripùn
*why = nangåpå – kèngìng mênåpå
*eat = mangan or ma"êm – dahar or nêdhå
*sleep = turu – saré
*here = nang kéné – mriki
*there = nang kånå – mrånå
*there is (there are) = ånå or ènèng – ònten or wòntên
*there is no (there are no) = ora ånå or ora ènèng – mbotên wòntên
*no! or I don"t want it! = êmòh or mòh – wêgah
*make a visit for pleasure = dolan – améng-améng
*1 = = siji – setunggal
*2 = = loro – kalih
*3 = = telu – tiga
*4 = = papat – sekawan
*5 = = lima – gangsal
*6 = = enem – enem
*7 = = pitu – pitu
*8 = = wolu – wolu
*9 = = sanga – sanga
*10 = = sepuluh – sedasa
*20 = rong puluh - kalih doso
special for 21 to 29 only ;
*21 = selikur
*22 = ronglikur
*23 = telulikur
*24 = patlikur
*25 = selawe
*26 = nemlikur
*27 = pitulikur
*28 = wolulikur
*29 = sangalikur
*30 = telung puluh - tigang doso
*31 = telung puluh siji - tigang doso setunggal
*40 = petang puluh - sekawan doso
*41 = petang puluh siji - sekawan doso setunggal
*50 = = séket – séket
*100 = = satus – setunggal atus
*hundreds = atusan – atusan
*1000 = = sewu – setunggal éwu
*thousands = éwon – éwon
* Elinor C. Horne. 1961. Beginning Javanese. New Haven: Yale University Press.
* W. van der Molen. 1993. Javaans schrift. Leiden: Vakgroep Talen en Culturen van Zuidoost-Azië en Oceanië. ISBN 90-73084-09-1
* S. A. Wurm and Shiro Hattori, eds. 1983. Language Atlas of the Pacific Area, Part II: (Insular South-east Asia), Canberra.
* P. J. Zoetmulder. 1982. Old Javanese–English Dictionary. "s-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 90-247-6178-6
*Javanese Writing System
*Javanese in Suriname strive to preserve origins Jakarta Post article
*International Symposium On The Languages Of Java