Languages of Indonesia

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aaakknu
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Languages of Indonesia

Postby aaakknu » 2018-11-11, 15:46

This can be the general thread for discusing languages spoken in Indonesia.

Right now, I have two questions:

1. Does this contain something more than the information already available on the website for free?

2. Are all the languages represented on the Ethnologue maps or are some of them omitted?
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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-11-11, 21:09

Salajane wrote:Right now, I have two questions:

1. Does this contain something more than the information already available on the website for free?

2. Are all the languages represented on the Ethnologue maps or are some of them omitted?


AFAIK all of the information in the digest is available on the website. It is just organized differently, for example, it has a list that lists the languages in order of number of speakers, another list that groups the languages by province, and so on, whereas on the website the languages are only grouped alphabetically. You can use the information from the website to organize a list like that yourself, but in the digest they've organized it that way for you.
Caveat: the amount of information that is available on that website "for free" depends on your location. Where I am, for example, it's not possible to view any maps or country digests for free and only possible to view a limited number (about 5 I think) other pages for free per month. To view more than that you have to have a paid monthly subscription. In some countries everything is available for free. So whether or not purchasing a document is worthwhile depends on what you already have access to for free in your region.
So it's hard to answer your question, since I don't know what YOU can view for free. But to the best of my knowledge the digest contains information that is available on the most "free" areas of the website, plus the maps, which you can probably view for free already but I can't.
As for the languages listed on the maps, it's my understanding that their intent is to include every language. Whether or not they've succeeded in doing so for Indonesia, I'm not certain. I know that some maps in general do have a few errors or languages omitted for various reasons, but most are pretty good. (I subscribe to their feedback page and I've seen some comments there about corrections for language locations in Indonesia, for example, a correction was made regarding the location of Keninjal on their map a while back, and so on.) They are constantly making corrections, which is both good and bad: good in that they are open to feedback and take it seriously, bad in that any pdf-format document may not reflect those changes and therefore not as up-to-date. I'm confident they'd sell you the most current one, but there would probably be future changes made after that.

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-11-13, 5:22

I love the idea behind this thread! I'd like to start a similar thread for Papua New Guinea (or maybe a Melanesian countries thread would be better, so that we have threads organized by geographical area), and we could also have threads like this for Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, East Timor, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Of course, the most linguistically diverse province in Indonesia is Papua, where there are apparently at least twenty language families attested, so I'd kind of like to start there, or perhaps even better in West Papua, which perhaps might serve as a better introduction to the linguistic diversity of Indonesia. :D Most of the languages of Papua are grouped into Trans-New Guinea, but this grouping seems more than a little controversial to me; even those languages that scholars agree are related within Trans-New Guinea seem very different, so grouping them together is probably very misleading.
Salajane wrote:Are all the languages represented on the Ethnologue maps

I'm pretty sure they are.

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby księżycowy » 2018-11-13, 14:44

If we were to start an Australian thread, what would we do in it? :hmm:

A study group, or something else? :hmm: :hmm:

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-11-14, 6:45

No, I mean a thread like this, where we talk about all the different kinds of languages Australia has. It could help to serve as an introduction to those languages, so it could be a fun place to talk about them without necessarily committing people to learning them. That way, such a thread would be more inclusive, instead of limiting the audience only to people who want to actually get down 'n' dirty with these languages.

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby księżycowy » 2018-11-14, 12:47

So then we need to start up a study group!

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-11-14, 17:59

I think we should start both. In principle, I think we should also start a study group for at least one Papuan language, too. :) You don't have to join it if you don't want to, of course. :P

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby księżycowy » 2018-11-14, 18:14

Maybe, if you answer my suspicions in the Irish study group.....

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-11-15, 22:52

I did. :twisted:

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Re: Languages of Indonesia

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-03-09, 7:22

Most of the languages of Indonesia are from the Austronesian family, but languages from this family are in the minority in the province of Papua. There, most languages are (at least potentially) part of the Trans-New Guinea family. One group of languages commonly included in this family is the Dani languages. Western Dani is the most widely spoken Dani language (and indeed the most widely spoken indigenous language in Papua), and I have tried learning a bit of it before. Yali is the name of a dialect cluster of Dani languages that are not especially closely related to Western Dani.

Non-Austronesian languages (apart from English and Dutch) are also spoken far to the west of Papua. For example, the Alor-Pantar languages are spoken on the islands of Pantar and Alor (Pantar is just to the west of Alor) in East Nusa Tenggara province, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands north of Australia but south of Borneo. One of the Pantar languages is Teiwa, which is a language I've been trying to study for my TAC. Another Papuan language I've been studying is Oirata, spoken on the island of Kisar just to the northeast of (East) Timor; there is a closely related and less endangered language spoken on the northeastern coast of Timor called Fataluku.


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