Word "Sunda" written in Official Sundanese script
|Native to||Java, Indonesia|
|Region||West Java, Banten, Jakarta, parts of western Central Java, southern Lampung, also spoken by the Sundanese diaspora all over Indonesia and throughout the world|
|Ethnicity||Sundanese, (Priangan, Bantenese, Badui, Cirebonese)|
|40 million (2016)|
|Cacarakan (certain areas)|
Latin script (present)
Pegon script (Religious use only)
Sundanese script (present; optional)
Official language in
West Java (regional)
Sundanese (;Basa Sunda, /basa s?nda/, in Sundanese script: ) is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by the Sundanese. It has approximately 39 million native speakers in the western third of Java; they represent about 15% of Indonesia's total population.
According to American linguist Robert Blust, Sundanese is closely related to the Malayic languages, as well as to language groups spoken in Borneo such as the Land Dayak languages or the Kayan-Murik languages, based on high lexical similarities between these languages. It is more distantly related to Madurese and Javanese.
Sundanese has several dialects, conventionally described according to the locations of the people:
The Priangan dialect, which covers the largest area where Sundanese people lives (Parahyangan in Sundanese), is the most widely spoken type of Sundanese language, taught in elementary till senior-high schools (equivalent to twelfth-year school grade) in West Java and Banten Province.
The language has been written in different writing systems throughout history. The earliest attested documents of the Sundanese language were written in the Old Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda Kuno). After the arrival of Islam, the Pegon script is also used, usually for religious purposes. The Latin script then began to be used after the arrival of Europeans. In modern times, most of Sundanese literature is written in Latin. The regional government of West Java and Banten are currently promoting the use of Standard Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda Baku) in public places and road signs. The Pegon script is still used mostly by pesantrens (Islamic boarding school) in West Java and Banten or in Sundanese Islamic literature.
Sundanese orthography is highly phonemic (see also Sundanese script).
There are seven vowels: a /a/, é /?/, i /i/, o /?/, u /u/, e /?/, and eu /?/.
According to Müller-Gotama (2001) there are 18 consonants in the Sundanese phonology: /b/, /t?/, /d/, /?/, /h/, /d?/, /k/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /p/, /r/, /s/, /?/, /t/, /?/, /w/, /j/; however, influences from foreign languages have introduced several additional consonants such as /f/, /v/, /z/ (as in fonem, qur'an, xerox, zakat). The consonantal phonemes are transcribed with the letters p, b, t, d, k, g, c (pronounced /t?/), j /d/, h, ng (/?/), ny /?/, m, n, s /s/, w, l, r /r~?/, and y /j/. Other consonants that originally appear in Indonesian loanwords are mostly transferred into native consonants: f -> p, v -> p, sy -> s, sh -> s, z -> j, and kh /x/ -> h (similar to Korean language)[clarification needed].
Ephentetic semivowels /w/ and /j/ are inserted after a high vowel immediately followed by another vowel, as in the words:
For many words, there are distinct kasar and lemes forms, e.g. arek (kasar) vs. bade (lemes) "want", maca (kasar) vs. maos (lemes) "read". In the lemes level, some words further distinguish humble and respectful forms, the former being used to refer to oneself, and the latter for the addressee and third persons, e.g. rorompok "(my own) house" vs. bumi "(your or someone else's) house" (the kasar form is imah).
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|eat||dahar||tuang (for other)|
neda (for myself)
Other Austronesian languages commonly use reduplication to create plural forms. However, Sundanese inserts the ar infix into the stem word. If the stem word starts with l, or contains r following the infix, the infix ar becomes al. Also, as with other Sundanese infixes (such as um), if the word starts with vowel, the infix becomes a prefix. Examples:
However, it is reported that this use of al instead of ar (as illustrated in (4) above) does not to occur if the 'r' is in onset of a neighbouring syllable. For example, the plural form of the adjective curiga (suspicious) is caruriga and not *caluriga, because the 'r' in the root occurs at the start of the following syllable.
The prefix can be reduplicated to denote very-, or the plural of groups. For example, "bararudak" denotes many, many children or many groups of children (budak is child in Sundanese). Another example, "balalageur" denotes plural adjective of "very well-behaved".
Most active forms of Sundanese verbs are identical to the root, as with diuk "sit" or dahar "eat". Some others depend on the initial phoneme in the root:
Abdi henteu acan neda. "I have not eaten yet."
Buku abdi mah sanés nu ieu. "My book is not this one."
|whose/whom||nu saha||kagungan saha||siapa punya|
|where||(di) mana||(di) manten||(di) mana|
Buku dibantun ku abdi. "The book is brought by me." Dibantun is the passive form ngabantun "bring".
Pulpen ditambut ku abdi. "The pen is borrowed by me."
Soal ieu digawekeun ku abdi. "This problem is done by me."
teuas (hard), tiis (cool), hipu (soft), lada (hot/spicy, usually for foods), haneut (warm), etc.
|above ..||diluhureun ..||diluhureun ..|
|behind ..||ditukangeun ..||dipengkereun ..|
|under ..||dihandapeun ..||dihandapeun ..|
|inside ..||di jero ..||di lebet ..|
|outside ..||di luar ..||di luar ..|
|di antara ..
|di antawis .. |
|front ..||hareup ..||payun ..|
|back ..||tukang ..||pengker ..|