Malay Chetty creole
Malaccan Creole Malay
Malacca Malay Creole
Chitties/Chetties Creole
Native toMalaysia
RegionMalacca
Ethnicity
Native speakers
300 (no date)
Malay-based creole
  • Malay Chetty creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3ccm
Glottologmala1482
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The Malay Chetty creole language (also known as Malaccan Creole Malay, Malacca Malay Creole[1] and Chitties/Chetties Malay) is a Malay-based creole spoken by the Chetties, a distinctive group of Tamil people found mainly in Malacca in Malaysia and Singapore, who are also known as the "Indian Peranakans" and have adopted Chinese and Malay cultural practices whilst also retaining their Hindu heritage.[2]

Spoken since the 16th century by descendants of Tamil merchants of the Malacca Straits, Malay Chetty creole may be historically related to Sri Lanka Creole Malay. The current language status is moribund, due to inter-marriage and out-migration. There has been a language shift towards Malay instead.[1]

Malay Chetty creole is a mix of Malay, Tamil and English, although the latter's presence in the creole is not as prominent compared to the first two languages. Because of the strong influence of Malay on this creole, Malay Chetty creole is not very different from other Malay dialects, especially the Middle Malacca Malay dialect. That said, despite the many similarities to other Malay dialects, Malay Chetty creole is considered a creole for two reasons, one, a pidgin becomes a creole once it's become the mother tongue of a community and two, unlike a pidgin, a creole develops as a language in terms of vocabulary, structure, style and others to accommodate its function as a mother tongue.[3]

As Malay Chetty creole is very similar to other Malay dialects in terms of structure, it is generally not very different from other Malay dialects. Nonetheless, it does have its own unique features.[4]

Malay Chetty creole shares many features with Baba Nyonya Malay, suggesting that they may have come from the same source language with the source language being Bazaar Malay.[5]

Phonology

Comparison with Standard Malay

Deletion of the Phonemes r and h

Monophthongisation

Phoneme Deletion in Consonant Clusters in Transyllabic Words

Phoneme Insertion

Vocabulary

Vocabulary Comparison[7]
Standard Malay Malay Chetty creole English Translation
halwa alua 'sweets'
anak angkat anak piara 'adopted child'
mak ciik/adik emak bibik 'auntie'/'female sibling of mother'
berkata bilang 'say'
cahaya caya 'light'
tanah/tanah pamah darat 'land'/'lowland'
dakwat dawat 'ink'
dosa deraka 'sin'
gagap gagok 'stutter'
kamu lu 'you'
kamu semua lu orang 'you' (plural)
pak cik mama 'uncle'
mak cik mami 'auntie'
cawan mangkok 'cup'
bidan dukon 'midwife'
nafas napas 'breathe'
hari ini nyari 'today'
pergi pi 'go'

References

  1. ^ a b "Malaccan Malay Creole". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  2. ^ Paulo, Derrick A (21 October 2018). "Meet the Chetti Melaka, or Peranakan Indians, striving to save their vanishing culture". CNA. Retrieved 28 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Mohamed, Noriah (June 2009). "The Malay Chetty Creole Language of Malacca: A Historical and Linguistic Perspective". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 82(1 (296)) (1 (296)): 58–59. JSTOR 41493734. Retrieved 23 May 2021 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ Mohamed, Noriah (June 2009). "The Malay Chetty Creole Language of Malacca: A Historical and Linguistic Perspective". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 82(1 (296)) (1 (296)): 59. JSTOR 41493734. Retrieved 23 May 2021 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ Mohamed, Noriah (June 2009). "The Malay Chetty Creole Language of Malacca: A Historical and Linguistic Perspective". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 82(1 (296)) (1 (296)): 68. JSTOR 41493734. Retrieved 23 May 2021 – via JSTOR.
  6. ^ Mohamed, Noriah (June 2009). "The Malay Chetty Creole Language of Malacca: A Historical and Linguistic Perspective". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 82(1 (296)) (1 (296)): 60–65. JSTOR 41493734. Retrieved 23 May 2021 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ Mohamed, Noriah (June 2009). "The Malay Chetty Creole Language of Malacca: A Historical and Linguistic Perspective". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 82(1 (296)) (1 (296)): 67–68. JSTOR 41493734. Retrieved 23 May 2021 – via JSTOR.