Musi, Palembang Malay
باسو ڤليمباڠ
Baso Pelémbang
Native toIndonesia
RegionSouth Sumatra
EthnicityPalembang Malay
Native speakers
3.1 million (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mui [a]

Palembang, also known as Palembang Malay (Baso Pelémbang), or Musi, is a Malayic language primarily spoken in about two thirds of South Sumatra Province in Indonesia, especially along the Musi River. It consists of two separate but mutually intelligible dialect chains: Musi and Palembang.[1] The urban Palembang dialect is a koiné that emerged in Palembang, the capital city of South Sumatra. It has become a lingua franca throughout major population centers in the province, and is often used polyglossically with Indonesian and other regional languages and dialects in the area.[3] Since parts of South Sumatra used to be under direct Malay and Javanese rule for quite a long time, the speech varieties of Palembang and its surrounding area are significantly influenced by Malay and Javanese, down to their core vocabularies.[4]

The name Palembang can refer both to the urban Palembang dialect, distinct from Musi dialect proper, or to the whole Palembang/Musi dialect group.[1] This term is also the most popular endonym for the language and is prominently used in the academic literature.[5]


A girl speaking Musi

Dunggio (1983) lists 26 phonemes for the Palembang dialect; specifically, there are 20 consonants and 6 vowels.[6] However, another study by Aliana (1987) states that there are only 25 phonemes in Palembang, reanalyzing /z/ as an allophone of /s/ and /d͡ʒ/ instead.[7]


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.[8]


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


An orthography has been made by the local office of Language Development and Fostering Agency. It is closely related to the Indonesian Spelling System, and uses the Latin alphabet with the addition of the letter é.[9]

Example text

Palembang (Sari-Sari) Indonesian Malay Minangkabau English
Deklarasi Universal Pasal Hak Asasinyo Wong Pernyataan Umum tentang Hak-Hak Asasi Manusia Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat Deklarasi Sadunia Hak-Hak Asasi Manusia Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Pasal 1 Pasal 1 Perkara 1 Pasal 1 Article 1
Wong tu dilaherke merdeka galo, jugo samo-samo punyo martabat dengen hak galo. Wong-wong beroleh karunia akal dengen nurani, dan mestinyo besuo sikok samo laen dengen caro bedulur. Semua orang dilahirkan merdeka dan mempunyai martabat dan hak-hak yang sama. Mereka dikaruniai akal dan hati nurani dan hendaknya bergaul satu sama lain dalam semangat persaudaraan Semua manusia dilahirkan merdeka dan mempunyai martabat dan hak-hak yang sama. Mereka mempunyai pemikiran dan hati nurani dan hendaklah bergaul antara satu sama lain dengan semangat persaudaraan. Sadonyo manusia dilahiakan mardeka dan punyo martabat sarato hak-hak nan samo. Mareka dikaruniai aka jo hati nurani, supayo satu samo lain bagaul sarupo urang badunsanak. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


  1. ^ Code plm was merged into mui in 2007[2]


  1. ^ a b c Musi language at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "Change Request Documentation: 2007-182". SIL International.
  3. ^ McDonnell 2016, p. 13.
  4. ^ Tadmor, Uri (16–17 June 2001). Language Contact and Historical Reconstruction: The Case of Palembang Malay. 5th International Symposium on Malay/Indonesian Linguistics. Leipzig.
  5. ^ Alsamadani, Mardheya; Taibah, Samar (2019). "Types and Functions of Reduplication in Palembang". Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. 12 (1): 113.
  6. ^ Dunggio 1983, pp. 7–10.
  7. ^ Aliana 1987, p. 14.
  8. ^ Dunggio 1983, pp. 21–22.
  9. ^ Trisman, Bambang; Amalia, Dora; Susilawati, Dyah (2007). Twilovita, Nursis (ed.). Pedoman Ejaan Bahasa Palembang [Palembang Spelling System Guidelines] (in Indonesian). Palembang: Balai Bahasa Palembang, Provinsi Sumatera Selatan, Pusat Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan Nasional. OCLC 697282757.