VOWELS   IN    BAHASA    MALAYSIA




I loathe the obsessiveness in pushing repetition of vowels - "asonasi" - down the throats of kids under the current school syllabus.


OMG asonansi is PAIN IN THE A_ _ paragus. Asonansi is DARN BORING. Asonansi is STUPID.


( Cast an evil side eye at asonansi ) Our vowel situation is sad.


The different opinions as to how to handle vowels commencing at pre-school level are abundant as the makciks in the early morning pasar day. I hear, even a cendekiawan/scholar also has to be careful when making any remarks = Huh, you dare to tell me how to read ah? I'll show you how ignorant you are by publishing books in the most "jargonistic" languages inaccessible to general public/hidden in a dusty shelf.


( Cast venomous side eye at all the dusty jargons ) Actually, pasar makciks from these regions are the real life classics.


a. Kelantanese are champions of open o. Anything that ends with a they change to o.


b.Johorean tongue is synonymous with open e pepet. Most of the time anything that ends with a they change to e.


c. Sabahan rhymes with a. Bah. Mana???? Sana! ( = I can't quantify distance in meter but it's definitely further than you imagined, I kena many times already ... )


p.s. please vote this as the most awesome asonansi, terima kasih.


Apparently cendekiawans think the roman alphabet does not sufficiently represent pure Malay language sounds originally written in Jawi. Anyways, it's five roman letters representing six cardinal vowels. There's another two vowel sounds which are found mostly in dialects.




" The first vokal, his name is A and you read him as..."



Open a in the Johor-Riau dialect which became standard Malay is read as e after going through what is called neutralization of vowel. ( side eye the jargon ) Hardline Malay language purists insist on preserving this feature to distinguish Bahasa Malaysia from Bahasa Indonesia. On the other side of the fence, there is the bahasa Baku movement, causing an ongoing bickering over Vowel A



" The second vokal, his name is O and you read him as..."




E - represents two sounds namely,


"Unaccented e"


and,

"accented e"


Za'ba gave an accented mark above the e pepet both upper and lower cases to differentiate it from e taling. It's a pity this accent mark is dropped under the new spelling system so sometimes it's a bit difficult to tell apart both e's. I rely on my Kamus Perwira which put an accented mark on e taling. Naturally, I prefer Kamus Perwira to Kamus Dewan because the former has a phonetic guide on e's, whereas the latter has none. Kudos to Za'ba, luv ya man!



" The fourth vokal, his name is I and you read him as..."




"The last vokal, his name is U and you read him as..."




" Repetition of A, O, E, I, U"



Take note of a glide-insertion involving high vowel , which explains why "Dia" is read "Di-ya" instead of "Di-a".





References:

1.Bahasa Melayu Kertas 1&2, Arah Pendidikan Sdn Bhd

2.Linguistik am, Abdullah Hassan

3.A study of the evolution of the Malay language: social change and cognitive by Seong Chee Tham

4.Bahasa Verbal dan Bukan Verbal I by Hasuria Che Omar, Rokiah Awang, Syed Zainal Ariff Syed Jamaluddin, Noriah Mohamed



What next...?


Two Important Malay Consonants


Kids, proceed here to begin reading in Bahasa Malaysia


Adults, proceed here to learn to speak very elementary Bahasa Malaysia


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