weblogUpdates.ping Taneak Jang, Rejang Land, Tanah Rejang http://rejang-lebong.blogspot.com Taneak Jang, Rejang land, Tanah Rejang: Adaptability vs. Isolation in Rejang Language and Culture

Adaptability vs. Isolation in Rejang Language and Culture

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Author :
Prof. Richard McGinn,
Ohio University

Rejang is isolated linguistically in the sense that the language has no close relatives as demonstrated by the Comparative Method. Its closest relative-Malay-is probably separated by two or three millennia. Culturally, however, the Rejangs should be classified as an open rather than a closed societal type. Origin myths and the recent conversion to Islam are two important markers of cultural adaptability. Another interesting marker pointing in the same direction will be analyzed in this paper: the so-called "Asli" language. Rejang "Asli" is comparable in content and structure to Palembang "Asli" and Javanese Kawi, and contrasts with the ritual languages of relatively closed societies such as have been studied in Eastern Indonesia. The structure of the ritual languages is typically based on parallelism, and the content is derived from intra-language
(dialect) borrowing. In contrast, the "Asli" languages do not employ parallelism, and the content is derived from inter-language (non-native) borrowing.

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