The Malayic languages are a branch of the Austronesian family. They include Malay, the national language of Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia; Minangkabau in central Sumatra; and Iban in northern Borneo.
It is thought that the homeland of the Malayic languages is in western Borneo, where the Ibanic languages remain. The Malayan branch represents a secondary dispersal, probably from central Sumatra but possibly also from Borneo.
For some time there was confusion as to the placement of various languages called Dayak; it is now apparent that some of these are Malayic and some are not. The Malayic Dayak languages include Iban; the term Ibanic sometimes applies to the whole or sometimes to a smaller group of Sea Dayak peoples, or Ibanic proper. Other Dayak languages, called Land Dayak, are found in the northwest corner of Kalimantan, between Ibanic and Malayan.
Several of the Ibanic languages are also sometimes placed separately in Malayic.
Adelaar (1993) classifies the Malayic languages as follows.
Nothofer (1988), however, gives the following classification for the Malayic branch.
Proto-Malayic has a total of 19 consonants and 4 vowels (Adelaar 1992:102).
|Close||i /i/||u /u/|
There are 2 diphthongs:
Proto-Malayic lexemes are mostly disyllabic, though some have one, three, or four syllables. Lexemes have the following syllable structure (Adelaar 1992:102):
* [C V (N)] [C V (N)] [C V (N)] C V C