Suffix Variation

The structure of the Indonesian slang language is mostly derived from formal Indonesian, however its vocabularly is a different story altogether. Indonesian slang vocabulary is enriched by a combination of derivatives or loan words/ structures from foreign languages such as Min Nan commonly referred to as Hokkien, English, and Dutch, as well as local ethnic languages such as Batavian, Sundanese, and Javanese. However, in many cases, new words are simply created at random, their origins often quite obscure.

The last few years have seen a boom in the publication of teen fiction in Indonesia. One of its striking characteristics is the predominant use of colloquial Indonesian, an informal variety of Indonesian that is closely identified with speakers from the capital Jakarta, particularly young people.

A large proportion of the vocabulary used in Indonesian slang language was developed from formal Indonesian through several methods. One of the difference between standard and colloquial Indonesian in terms of verbal morphology is the use of suffixes. In standard Indonesian, the suffixes -i and -kan mark transitive verbs formed from either verbal bases (transitive and intransitive bases) or non-verbal bases. Colloquial Indonesian has the suffix -in, which may fulfil the same function as -i and -kan.

For more information or articles about colloquial, colloquial Indonesian, colloquial Jakartan Indonesian by Dr. Timothy Hassall from ANU, Canberra, Australia, click here.

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