Language shift and terms of address of two Malayo-Portuguese Creole communities in Malaysia and Indonesia

Authors: Silvio Moreira de Sousa (Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau)
Tan Raan-Hann (Institute of Malaysian & International Studies, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia)
Speakers: Silvio Moreira de Sousa, Tan Raan-Hann
Topic: Language Contact and Change
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


In one Northern suburb of Jakarta and in one Eastern suburb of Melaka, family members are addressed with terms that are neither any variant of Standard Malay, nor any variant of Standard Portuguese. Once, two related Malay-Portuguese creoles were spoken in Jakarta’s Kampung Tugu and in Melaka’s Kampung Portugis; now, one creole is extinct and the other exists in UNESCO’s list of endangered languages. However, data gathered through a series of in-situ fieldwork visits allows for the argument that, during and after the language shift, the terms of address used to the next of kin still subside. These kin terms distinguish the local community from their immediate neighbours, thus contributing to a sense of identity. Given their sociolinguistic environment, language contact with other ethnic communities can be observed.

Reversing the guidelines set by Swadesh (1952, 1955, 1956, 1971) for the establishment of a linguistic genealogy, and yet following a socio-linguistic framework, the papers within this colloquium discuss the presence of superstrate, substrate, and adstrates, in language contact, and also offers a challenge to the currently understood consequences of language shift.

Keywords: Eurasian, Linguistic Anthropology, Kinship, Malaysia, Indonesia