This book presents an in-depth linguistic description of one Papuan Malay variety, based on fifteen hours of recordings of spontaneous narratives and conversations between Papuan Malay speakers. ‘Papuan Malay’ refers to the easternmost varieties of Malay (Austronesian). They are spoken in the coastal areas of West Papua, the western part of the island of New Guinea. The variety described here is spoken along West Papua’s northeast coast. Papuan Malay is the language of wider communication and the first or second language for an ever-increasing number of people of the area. While Papuan Malay is not officially recognized, and therefore not used in formal government or educational settings or for religious preaching, it is used in all other domains, including unofficial use in formal settings, and, to some extent, in the public media.
After a general introduction to the language, its setting and its history, this grammar discusses the following topics, building up from smaller grammatical constituents to larger ones: phonology, word formation, noun and prepositional phrases, verbal and nonverbal clauses, non-declarative clauses, and conjunctions and constituent combining. Of special interest to linguists, typologists and Malay specialists are the following in-depth analyses and descriptions: affixation and its productivity across domains of language choice, reduplication and its gesamtbedeutung, personal pronouns and their adnominal uses, demonstratives and locatives and their extended uses, and adnominal possessive relations and their non-canonical uses.
This study provides a point of comparison for further studies in other (Papuan) Malay varieties and a starting point for Papuan Malay language development efforts.