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Re: Bahasa Indonesia (was: One language for the world)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Friday, June 9, 2000, 19:11
saya menulis:
->>It does fail badly in
>>scientific/political/academic prose (that might be our Eurocentric view) >>where the lack of etc. >>etc. makes this sort of stuff very hard going. >
BPJonsson menjawab:
>You can say/write anything in any language. It just takes some more >time/words/ink. >
As I said....and perhaps should have added "for the Western (i.e. me) reader...."? I assume Indonesians have little trouble with it. But some of the problems: (1) such prose lacks the intonational cues that you can often find in a novel or poem; (2) In the absence of a firm tradition of intellectual discusive writing, they have tended to copy Dutch or (now, probably) English style, and produced a sort of translationese. Hopefully as time goes on, a distinct _native_ style will arise. (Ah well, academese in any language is pretty bad.....I've just started reading Comrie's Typology and Universals-- not exactly crystalline prose). [your son's]: >"I go
>home from kindergarten. See excavator. Far away. Over the tram >tracks. Fences. Trees. Can't go there." Generally he will have adverbs >or other means to make up for lack of morphological markers.>
Indonesian isn't _that_ simple ;-)) -- though on occasions, when someone was trying to explain something complicated to me, it came close!!
>>A final disturbing fact: >[Malay as a pidgin/koine or, after all this
time as a native lang., a creole]..... Sorry. Humor/irony not marked. I'm told I should use a little elephant symbol for my particular brand. It was a disturbing thought in the olden days, when pidgins, creoles etc were not considered "real" languages, and so not worthy of attention. Personally, I suspect that if we had enough info on the whole range of Malay dialects, we'd find that modern Ml. fits into the continuum quite nicely. And as you may know, there are "Old Malay" inscriptions from IIRC the 8th/9th Cent. CE (so predating Malacca) whose language is already very close to modern Ml. No argument here on your thoughts on language development, "koineization" etc. (now, how would we say Koineization in BI???)