Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 January 2015
In the 1940s and 1950s, several organs of the newly independent Indonesian state oversaw the standardisation of the Indonesian national language. In this process, Western-oriented bureaucrats pushed the language towards European normativity, significantly decreasing the influence of Arabic. While this reform carried symbolic meaning, the practical ramifications on Indonesian orthography, spelling, and word selection also carried real, non-symbolic effects on the accessibility of this language to Indonesian Islamic leaders. Standardising orthography to use the Roman alphabet rendered many Muslims illiterate in a language they had been using for decades. Choices in word selection and spelling limited the Islamic meanings that the new language could carry, thus impacting how Muslims could use the national language for religious and other purposes. Indonesian linguistic reform carried serious social and political consequences in addition to the symbolic meanings often studied.
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39 Interviews with Saggaf Aljufrie and Abdul Salam Thahir, 11 Oct. 2010, Palu, Central Sulawesi.
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42 The most famous study on this topic is Burhan Djabier Magenda, ‘The surviving aristocracy in Indonesia: Politics in three provinces of the Outer Islands’ (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1989).
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62 Junus, Umar, Sedjarah dan perkembangan kearah Bahasa Indonesia dan Bahasa Indonesia (Malang: Lembaga Penerbitan IKIP Malang, 1965), p. 6Google Scholar. This publication is based on lectures Junus gave starting in 1959, in which Junus singles out Arabic as a point of ridicule, not just Dutch. His conflation of Arabic and Dutch as foreign influences is not well explained in this book. All the same, this attitude can be taken as characteristic of ultra-nationalist politics of the late 1950s.
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64 It restarted to some extent from the 1980s, however, and has again been in full swing in places like Aceh since the province achieved Special Territory status. I thank Jérôme Samuel for this insight and an anonymous reviewer for developing it.
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68 Others include غ ظ ط ض ص ش ذ ح ث. Notably, jawi also added a few letters to the common Arabic script to transcribe common sounds in Indonesian languages, such as for /p/, for /ŋ/ (‘ng' in English), for /ɳ/ (‘ny’ in English), چ for /tʃ/ (‘ch’ in English) and for /g/.
69 In jawi, the transcription was also various. These words could be written with a final hamza (common especially if the word was an Arabic loanword originally employing a hamza, but also as with or bapa' for father), with a final ‘qaf’ (ق) to symbolise the glottal stop (thus, or bapaq for father) or without any final letter after the vowel (thus, or bapa for father). All three appear in Klinkert, Nieuw Maleisch–Nederlandsch woordenboek, p. 111, although a final ‘k’ (ك) does not. When an Arabic loanword included a glottal stop, only the spelling with ء was common. The romanised spelling with ‘k’ at the end was not new in the 1950s, but ‘k’ as the only acceptable alternative was new.
70 Naskah/Madjalah, Bagian, Pendidikan, Kementerian, Pengajaran, , dan Kebudajaan, , ‘Pendapat tentang “Edjaan Bahasa Indonesia”’, Bahasa dan Budaya 2, 1 (1953): 33Google Scholar.
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72 Satjadibrata, R., ‘Edjaan Bahasa Indonesia dengan huruf Latin’, Bahasa dan Budaja 2, 1 (1953): 8–10Google Scholar. Although an apostrophe was still commonly used in the word sja'ir in the 1950s, after the 1972 standardisation of Indonesian spelling, the apostrophe was dropped once and for all, and readers were expected to know that the vowels did not collapse into a diphthong.
73 There are six variants of this word still in Stevens, Alan M. and Smidgall-Tellings, A. Ed., A comprehensive Indonesian–English dictionary (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2004), p. 429Google Scholar: jumaah, jumaat, jumahah, jumahat, jumat and jum'at.
74 On this point, I thank Jérôme Samuel for his cautions, and many Indonesians from across the archipelago for reading these words aloud for me, often repeatedly.
75 For example, Klinkert, Nieuw Maleisch–Nederlandsch woordenboek.
77 Kongres Bahasa Indonesia, p. 16.
78 Thomas, ‘K is for De-Kolonization’.
79 Ghazali Hasan, ‘Sanggupkah Kongres Bahasa Indonesia?’, Tangkas, 27 Oct. 1954, reprinted in Kongres Bahasa Indonesia, p. 30.
80 Vikør, Perfecting spelling, p. 52.
82 Noer, Deliar, Partai Islam di pentas nasional, 1945–1965 (Jakarta: Grafiti Pers, 1987), p. 83Google Scholar.
84 My thanks to James T. Collins for this insight.
85 Kipnis, ‘Constructing commonality’.
86 See further Errington, ‘Continuity and change’; Anderson, ‘Languages of Indonesian politics’.
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