Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grammar 3: Penjodoh bilangan melanau I (Melanau Classifier I) Pt 1-2

12:20 AM

One difference is that the melanau classifier can be used for anaphoric reference but in malay it is not possible. Anaphoric reference is simply a word that represent another word.

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A classifier ( Penjodoh bilangan) is a measure of word. A measure of word is also called counters, counter words or counting words. In english their use is analogous to words that represents units or portions of mass nouns.
one drop of milk
two sheets of papers.

The way a classifier used in melanau and malay is almost similar. The standard structure is:

Quantity + Classifier + Noun

Melanau classifers are:
Classifier Meaning Usage example
apah body

For people and animal japah sapék (one cow)

telou apah tenawan(3 persons)
lawaih person

for people jelawaih sakai (one friend)

pat lawaih sakai (4 friends)
alak seed

object, fruits, grains, words,

jalak teloh (1 egg)

dua alak telabau (2 words/ sentences)
aled wedge

for wedge-shape object jaled baweng apuk ( one wedge of garlic)

pat aled dian (4 wedges of Durian)
usah shaft

for shaft-like object jusah kayou (one woodstick)

pat usah telagai (4 coconut leave sticks)
bék blade

for blade,flatten objects jebék ujik (one knife)

4 bék kapék ( 4 axes)
kap sheets

for thin, flat objects,leaves jekap kertéh (1 sheet paper)

2 kap asok (2 plywoods)
belah sheets

article of clothing like shirts, shorts jebelah bajou (1 shirt)

2 belah seluah (2 trousers)
patak cuts

for slices jepatak siau (a slice of chicken)

2 patak jekan( 2 slices of fish)
awak no eqiuvalent

general purpose classifier* jawak sapou (a (*) of broom)

2 awak sapou( 2 (*) of brooms)
When telling about quantity in melanau, a classifier must be used. One cannot say:
telou mija- three tables

instead one must say:
telou alak mija- three (seed) of table.

For singular noun we use the prefix je- (number one ja). If je+ a vowel the "e" will be droped. For example:

je+ alak = jalak

je+aled= jaled

je+apah= japah

je+usah= jusah

je+awak= jawak

One difference is that the melanau classifier can be used for anaphoric reference but in malay it is not possible. Anaphoric reference is simply a word that represent another word.

Man can be represented with he
Women can be represented with she
All members can be represented with they

In malay if we use classfier as anaphoric reference, the sentence is incomplete!

Saya ada tiga helai kertas. Tiga helai milik saya. Here Tiga helai is used to refer tiga helai kertas and it sounds incomplete (Malay: tergantung) because the listener may be intrigued to ask:

"tiga helai apa ?"-three sheets of what?

The correct sentence should be:
Saya ada tiga helai kertas. Tiga helai kertas itu milik saya.

Or even better:
Saya ada tiga helai kertas. Ketiga-tiga helai kertas itu milik saya.

See how we need to add the noun kertas(paper) to complete the sentence. The classifier helai alone just cannot stand on its own in the sentence. It needs a noun to supports it.

In melanau such sentence is possible:
the same sentence in melanau

Akou bei telou kap kertéh. Telou kap yen akou bei*.

here the classfier kap (sheets, helai) can stand alone without the need to repeat the word kertéh (paper, kertas)

* Some melanau use the malay word: Punya or Sarawak dialect empun. The correct term is bei because bei have 2 meanings ie. to have, to posses. (Malay: ada, punya)
This is same for the question: sai bei itou?- ( Milik siapa ini?, Sapa empun tok?, Whose this belongs to?)

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  1. bak word 'awak' en, kena pebak ji word 'igek' dagen bahasa sarawak ka?

  2. Ik. Tapi jareng bei a pebak "awak" itou. "Igek (Bhs Swk)" slalu nebak gak "Alak". Mun samar2 un penjodoh bilangan en maka nebak "awak" itou :)

  3. Government Sarawak should introduce Bahasa Likou/Melanau in Primary schools, and as an elective subject in Secondary schools.



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