|3.5 million (2000 census)|
Aceh Province, Sumatra
The Acehnese language (Jawi: بهسا اچيه) is an Austronesian language natively spoken by the Acehnese people in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. This language is also spoken by Acehnese descendants in some parts of Malaysia like Yan, in Kedah.
As of 1988, "Acehnese" is the modern English name spelling and the bibliographical standard, and Acehnese people use the spelling "Acehnese" when writing in English. "Achinese" is an antiquated spelling of the English language tradition. "Atjehnese" is the Dutch spelling and an outdated Indonesian one. The spelling "Achehnese" originates from a 1906 English translation of the Dutch language Studien over atjesche klank- en schriftleer. Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 35.346-442 by Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, 1892. In Acehnese the language is called Basa/Bahsa Acèh. In Indonesian it is called Bahasa Aceh.
Acehnese language is spoken primarily in coastal region of Aceh. This language is spoken in 13 regencies and 4 cities in Aceh, those are:
Main article: Acehnese phonology
Oral monophthong vowels in Acehnese are shown in the table below.
In addition to the modern 26 letter basic Latin alphabet, Acehnese uses the supplementary letters è, é, ë, ô, and ö, making a total of 31 letters in its orthography.
The table below shows the Acehnese consonant phonemes and the range of their realizations.
Acehnese features a split ergative system. Intransitives that align with the agent of a transitive verb (Sa) always show agreement by a proclitic (1). Meanwhile, intransitives that align with the patient of a transitive verb (Sp) may optionally show agreement by an enclitic (2). Volitionality is the determining factor for whether an intransitive verb is Sa or Sp.
|"He has gone."|
|"He is sick."|
Formerly, the Acehnese language was written in an Arabic script called Jawoë or Jawi in the Malay language. The script is less common nowadays. Since colonization by the Dutch, the Acehnese language has been written in the Latin script, with the addition of supplementary letters. The additional letters are é, è, ë, ö and ô. The sound /ɨ/ is represented by 'eu' and the sound /ʌ/ is represented by 'ö', respectively. The letter 'ë' is used exclusively to represent the schwa sound which forms the second part of diphthongs. The letters f, q, v, x, and z are only used in loanwords.
|Open syllable||Closed syllable|
|a||/a/||ba /ba/ ‘carry’||bak /baʔ/ ‘at, tree’|
|e||/ə/||le /lə/ ‘many’||let /lət/ ‘pull out’|
|é||/e/||baté /bate/ ‘cup, betel tray’||baték /bateʔ/ ‘batik’|
|è||/ɛ/||bè /bɛ/ ‘smell’||bèk /bɛʔ/ ‘prohibitive "don't" (e.g. bèk neupajoh boh gantang lôn 'don't you eat my fries')'|
|ë||/ə/||huë /huə/ ‘pull’||huëk /huəʔ/ ‘choke’|
|eu||/ɯ/||keu /kɯ/ ‘front’||keuh /kɯh/ ‘so (e.g. nyan keuh), pronominal affix for second person (e.g. droe-keuh)’|
|i||/i/||di /di/ 'in, from'||dit /dit/ 'few, small amount'|
|o||/ɔ/||yo /jɔ/ ‘afraid’||yok /jɔʔ/ ‘shake’|
|ô||/o/||rô /ro/ ‘spill’||rôh /roh/ ‘enter’|
|ö||/ʌ/||pö /pʌ/ ‘fly’||pöt /pʌt/ ‘pluck, pick’|
|u||/u/||su /su/ ‘sound, voice’||sut /sut/ ‘remove, detach’|
|f||/f/||Used in foreign words. Usually replaced with p (/p/).|
|k||/k/, /ʔ/ at the end of a syllable.|
|q||/q, k/||Used in foreign words. Usually replaced with k (/k/).|
|v||/v/||Used in foreign words. Usually replaced with b (/b/).|
|x||/ks/||Used in foreign words. Usually replaced with ks (/ks/).|
|z||/z/||Used in foreign words.|
At least ten Achehnese dialects exist: Pasè, Peusangan, Matang, Pidië, Buëng, Banda, Daya, Meulabôh, Seunagan and Tunong.