[aka East Makian, Makian Dalam,]

Classification: Austronesian




Will Taba survive? A 'stressed' language from eastern Indonesia

This paper discusses the potential for language death amongst Taba (East Makian) speakers from North Maluku, Indonesia. After sketching out some of the relevant historical background and examining recent changes in how the language is used, a variety of structural changes in the language, including the ongoing loss of speech levels and decay in the numeral clasifier system, as well as the adoption of a large number of closed class loan words from Malay are discussed. While none of these changes in the language, if taken on its own, would be of too much concern for the future health of Taba, the sheer number of changes currently taking place suggest that the long term prognosis for survival of the language is not good.

Gary Holton