Bha Bali, Basa Bali1
|Region||Bali, Nusa Penida, Lombok and Java, Indonesia|
|Ethnicity||Balinese, Bali Aga|
|3.3 million (2000 census)|
Balinese or simply Bali, is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 3.3 million people (as of 2000 ) on the Indonesian island of Bali as well as Northern Nusa Penida, Western Lombok and Eastern Java. Most Balinese speakers also know Indonesian. Balinese itself is not mutually intelligible with Indonesian but may be understood by Javanese speakers after some exposure.
In 2011, the Bali Cultural Agency estimated that the number of people still using the Balinese language in their daily lives on the Bali Island does not exceed 1 million, as in urban areas their parents only introduce the Indonesian language or even English, while daily conversations in the institutions and the mass media have disappeared. The written form of the Balinese language is increasingly unfamiliar and most Balinese people use the Balinese language only as a means of oral communication, often mixing it with Indonesian in their daily speech. But in the transmigration areas outside Bali Island, the Balinese language is extensively used and believed to play an important role in the survival of the language.
The official spelling denotes both /a/ and /?/ by a. However, a is usually pronounced [?] when it ends a word, and [?] occurs also in prefixes ma-, pa- and da-.
Depending on dialect, the phoneme /t/ is realized as a voiceless alveolar or retroflex stop. This is in contrast with most other languages in western Indonesia (including Standard Indonesian), which have a dental /t/ patterning with an otherwise alveolar phoneme series.
Stress falls on the last syllable.
The word order is similar to that of Indonesian, and verb and noun inflectional morphology is similarly minimal. However, derivational morphology is extensive, and suffixes are applied to indicate definite or indefinite articles, and optionally to indicate possession.
Balinese has different registers depending on the relationship and status of those speaking: low (basa ketah), middle (basa madia), and high (basa singgih). Basa singgih contains many loanwords from Sanskrit and Javanese.
Balinese has a decimal numeral system, but this is complicated by numerous words for intermediate quantities such as 45, 175, and 1600.
The Balinese script (Aksara Bali, ), which is arranged as Hanacaraka (), is an abugida, ultimately derived from the Br?hm? script of India. The earliest known inscriptions date from the 11th century AD.
Schools in Bali today teach a Latin alphabet known as Tulisan Bali.
Balinese palm-leaf manuscript
Sign at Pura Puseh Temple, Batuan, Bali
Page from a Bible printed with Balinese script
Street sign in Singaraja, written in Latin and Balinese script
^1 In Balinese script, Sanskrit and Kawi loanword has different orthography than native words. The first Balinese script is influenced by orthography of Sanskrit and Kawi as word basa derives from the Sanskrit word ? bh. Meanwhile, diacritics is not written in current romanization of Balinese language. Thus, and basa Bali are the standard forms.