Musi language

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Native toIndonesia
RegionAsia Pacific
Native speakers
3,930,000 (2000)[1]
  • Malayo-Polinesian
    • West Indonesian
      • Music
        • Musi
Early forms
Proto Musi
  • Old Musi
    • Classical Musi
Standard forms
Standard Musi
  • Belide
  • Burai
  • Coastal Musi
  • Kelingi
  • Lematang Ilir
  • Meranjat
  • Palembang Lama
  • Panesak
  • Pegagan
  • Penukal
  • Rawas Musi
  • Sekayu
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Various organisations
    • Online Journalist Union of Musi Banyuasin (Indonesian: Ikatan Wartawan Online Musi Banyuasin)
    • The Musi Flow of Musi Banyuasin (Indonesian: Arus Musi (Arsi) Musi Banyuasin)
    • Association of Musi Banyuasin Students (Indonesian: Himpunan Mahasiswa Musi Banyuasin)
    • The Union of Musi Banyuasin Students Family (Indonesian: Ikatan Keluarga Mahasiswa Musi Banyuasin)
    •   Association of North Musi Rawas Diaspora (Indonesian: Himpunan Perantau Musi Rawas Utara)
    • Association of Youth North Musi Rawas Diaspora (Indonesian: Himpunan Pemuda Perantau Musi Rawas Utara)
    • Association of Family Good Friendship of North Musi Rawas Youth (Indonesian: Himpunan Silaturahmi Keluarga Pemuda Musi Rawas Utara)
Regulated byLanguage Development and Fostering Agency (Indonesian: Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa)
Development bodyBalai Bahasa Provinsi Sumatera Selatan (Linguistic Council of South Sumatra Province)
Language codes
ISO 639-3mui
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A girl speaking Musi

Musi language is a native language originally spoken by the Musi people, the inhabitants of regions around the river of Musi at the regencies of Musi Banyuasin, Musi Rawas, and North Musi Rawas in South Sumatra.[1] It is named after the Musi river, one of the important rivers in Sumatra since ancient times, notably during the Srivijayan empire era. As one of the indigenous or native languages in South Sumatra, Musi language closely related to another languages in South Sumatra notably Palembang and Malay, but however those languages are not mutually intelligible. Musi language itself had dominant linguitic elements influence from the Kawi and Madurese languages.[2]

Musi is the most spoken language in Musi Banyuasin region, which eventually make this language also called informally as 'Banyuasin language' by the locals, but several neighboring region also show significant population of Musi speakers. Musi language is one of the languages of the West Indonesian language of Music language family together with the Col a.k.a. Lembak language (a native language of Lembak people in South Sumatra).[2]

Dialects[change | change source]

Musi language has several dialect which differs to one another, some of the dialects tend to had borrowing elements from another language, the Sekayu dialect for instance is one of the Musi dialects that tend to had close similarity with Malay language due to the excessive usage of "-ê" as the suffix, this dialect also cause the confusion to categorize the Musi under the Malay family language or not, but however another dialects in Musi language are not closely related to Malay language at all. One of the dialects of Musi language that tend to be confused with another language is a dialect of Palembang Lawas that shared major characteristic with the Palembangese, which is a native language of Palembang people originating from the Palembang region in South Sumatra.

The dialects in Musi language has at least 12 dialects:

  1. Belide
  2. Burai
  3. Coastal Musi
  4. Kelingi
  5. Lematang Ilir
  6. Meranjat
  7. Palembang Lawas
  8. Panesak
  9. Pegagan
  10. Penukal
  11. Rawas Musi
  12. Sekayu

History[change | change source]

Canoes at the Musi river during the Koninginnedag in c. 1900s

Originally, the Musi language spoken by Musi people who are the inhabitants of the Musi region in South Sumatra. As one of the important port regions in ancient times, the traders from Java and Madura play significant roles in shaping the Musi language itself, most of loanwords in Musi language are borrowed or derived directly and indirectly from the Kawi a.k.a. Old Javanese and Madurese.

Phonology[change | change source]

The phonetics and phonology of the Musi language differ from one dialect to another, usually without interfering with mutual communication. Phonological variation affects the inventory of phonemes (i.e. speech sounds that distinguish meaning), and phonetic variation consists in differences in pronunciation of the phonemes. Dunggio (1983) lists 26 phonemes for the Palembang dialect; specifically, there are 20 consonants and 6 vowels.[3] However, another study by Aliana (1987) states that there are only 25 phonemes in Musi, reanalyzing /z/ as and allophone of /s/ and /d͡ʒ/ instead.[4]

Vowels[change | change source]

front central back
close i u
mid e ə o
open a

In closed syllables, /i/ and /u/ are realized as [ɪ] and [ʊ], respectively.[5]

Consonants[change | change source]

bilabial alveolar postalv./
velar glottal
nasal m n ɲ ŋ
stop voiceless p t t͡ʃ k ʔ
voiced b d d͡ʒ g
fricative voiceless f s h
voiced z sj ɣ~r
approximant semivowel w j
lateral v l kh

Loanwords[change | change source]

Historically, the Musi language had many influences from the linguistic elements of other languages, especially from Kawi and Madurese languages.

Loanwords tables[change | change source]

from Javanese[change | change source]

Musi Javanese Meaning in English
Alang-alang Alang-alang Coarse Grass
Alas Alas Jungle, Base
Amben Ambèn Bed
Andak Mandêk Stop
Angon Angon Taking care
Angkan Akon Admit, Acknowledge, Claim
Anyang Ênyang Bargain
Anut Manut Follow
Awang-awang Awang-awang Sky
Awak Awak Body
Ayak Ayak Filter
Bae Baè Only, Just
Balung Balung Bone
Bengek Bêngèk Asthma
Bening Bêning Crystal clear
Buntu Buntu
  • No money (in Musi)
  • Blocked, Dead end (in Javanese)
Buntung Buntung Stump
Cagak Cagak
  • Stand (in Musi)
  • Pole (in Javanese)
Cawat Cawêt Undies
Ceper Cêpèr Flat
Cicip Cicip Tasting
Colok Colok
  • Torch (in Musi)
  • Plug (in Javanese)
Dacungke Diacungkè Pointed
Daji Diaji/Diajèni Respected
Danyang Dinyang Bargained
Dapeke Diapaké Doing what
Dempet Dèmpèt Close (distance)
Dewek Déwé Alon
Doyan Doyan Fond
Duculke Diuculkè Released
Dolak-dalik Bolak-balik Come and go (repeatedly)
Êmpas Ampas Leftover
Emper-emper Êmpèr-êmper Veranda
Gabus Gabus Channa striata
Gadu Gadah Have
Gawe Gawè Work
Gebok Gebuk Beat
Gelut Gêlut
  • Chasing, fooling around (in Musi)
  • Fighting (in Javanese)
Gempur Gêmpur Attack
Germo Gêrmo Procurer (prostitution)
Gincu Cincu Lipstick
Gopoh Gopoh Haste
Guyur Guyur Splashing (water)
Icul Ucul Lepas
Ighup Irup Sniff
Imbas Imbas Consequence
Ipo Ipé Brother/sister/cousin-in-law
Iring Iring Follows
Jajal Jajal Try
Jalang Jalang Untamed
Jambul Jambul Tuft (hair)
Jampi Jampi Mantra
Jebak Jêbak Trap
Jempulat Jêmpalit Falling
Jingkrak Jingkrak Prance
Jojo Jor-jor
  • Giving money for bride (in Musi)
  • Giving excessively (in Javanese)
Kance Kåncå Friend
Kandang Kandang
  • Fence, Hedge (in Musi)
  • Cage (in Javanese)
Karuan Karuan
  • Notice (in Musi)
  • Fixed (in Javanese)
Katok Katok Pants
Kejo Kêju Stiff, Not well
Kelemak-kelemek Kêlêmar-kêlêmêr Lackadaisical
Kelebu Kêlêbon
  • Shipwrecked (in Musi)
  • Entered accidentally (in Javanese)
Kelitik Kêlitik Tickle
Kelungkum Kêlungkum Cover
Lanang Lanang Male
Lakar Lakar
  • Will (in Musi)
  • Indeed (in Javanese)
Leles Lèlès Reckless
Lelewa Léléwa Act, Deed
Lembayung Lêmbayung Shade of purple
Macak Macak Pretend (ability)
Melucut Mêlucut Loose
Mempan Mêmpan Effective
Moncong Moncong Snout
Ngasak Ngasak
  • Fricative (in Musi)
  • Fight (in Javanese)
Ngacir Ngacir Runaway
Ngudut Ngudut Smoking
Nyambat Nyambat Complaining
Nyapi Nyapé Seperate
Nyasak Ngêsak(-no) Pathetic
Nyatut Nyatut Pluck
Nyereces Nyereces, Nyerocos Talking (excessively)
Nyiur Nyiur Coconut
Nyenyes Nyènyès Garrulous
Omong Omong Speak
Oyot Oyot Root
Pais Pais, Pepes Traditional Javanese cuisine
Padan Padan Equal
Pakam Pakêm Sturdy
Pampang Pampang Display
Pantang Pantang Taboo avoidance
Papah Påpåh Guide
Pawang Pawang Endowed (by black magic), Tamer, Protect
Pekak Pêkak Deaf
Pelepah Pêlêpah Stem and midrib (of something; usualy leaf)
Pemaling Maling Thief
Pencar Pêncar Seperate
Rada Rådå Kinda
Raga Rågå Body
Rai Rai Face
Rangkul Rangkul Hug
Rapel Rapèl At once
Rasan Rasan Discuss, Gossip
Rebung Rêbung Bamboo sprout
Rege Rêga Price
Sekat Sêkat Partition
Selawe Sêlawè Twenty five
Semraut Sêmrawut Messy
Sepele Sêpèlè Trivial
Serbet Sêrbèt Napkin
Simbur Sêmbur Spittle
Sir Sir Want to
Sorogan Sorogan Drawer
Sugih Sugih Rich
Terak Têrak Lunge

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Musi language at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin (2019). "Musi language". Glottolog 4.1. Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Dunggio 1983, pp. 7–10.
  4. Aliana 1987, p. 14.
  5. Dunggio 1983, pp. 21–22.

Further Reading[change | change source]

  • Gani, Zainal Abidin; Ahmad, Mustanni; Ihsan, Diemroh (1981). Struktur Bahasa Musi [The Structure of Musi language] (in Indonesian). Indonesia: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

External links[change | change source]