The Info List - Old Javanese

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Old Javanese is the oldest phase of the Javanese language
Javanese language
that was spoken in areas in what is now the eastern part of Central Java
Central Java
and the whole of East Java. It has strong Sanskrit
influence. While evidence of writing in Java dates to the Sanskrit
"Tarumanegara inscription" of 450, the oldest example written entirely in Javanese, called the "Sukabumi inscription", is dated 25 March 804. This inscription, located in the district of Pare in the Kediri Regency
Kediri Regency
of East Java, is actually a copy of the original, dated some 120 years earlier; only this copy has been preserved. Its contents concern the construction of a dam for an irrigation canal near the river Śrī Hariñjing (nowadays Srinjing). This inscription is the last of its kind to be written using Pallava script; all consequent examples are written using Javanese script.


1 Development

1.1 Austronesian origins 1.2 Sanskrit

1.2.1 Phonology 1.2.2 Vocabulary

2 Old Javanese literature 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Development[edit] Old Javanese was not static, and its usage covered a period of approximately 500 years – from the Sukabumi (Kediri, East Java) inscription until the founding of the Majapahit empire
Majapahit empire
in 1292. The Javanese language
Javanese language
which was spoken and written in the Majapahit era already underwent some changes and is therefore already closer to the Modern Javanese language. Austronesian origins[edit] The most important shaping force on Old Javanese was its Austronesian heritage in vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar that it shared with its sister languages in Southeast-Asia. Sanskrit
influence[edit] The Indian linguistic influence in Old Javanese language
Javanese language
was almost exclusively Sanskrit
influence. There is no evidence of Indian linguistic elements in Old Javanese other than Sanskrit. This is different from, for example, the influence of Indian linguistic in the (Old) Malay language. Sanskrit
has had a deep and lasting impact on the vocabulary of the Javanese language. The Old Javanese – English Dictionary, written by professor P.J. Zoetmulder in 1982, contains approximately 25,500 entries, no fewer than 12,500 of which are borrowed from Sanskrit. Clearly this large number is not an indication of usage, but it is an indication that the Ancient Javanese knew and employed these Sanskrit words in their literary works. In any given Old Javanese literary work, approximately 25% of the vocabulary is derived from Sanskrit. Phonology[edit] Despite the tremendous influence of Sanskrit
on Old Javanese, the latter has remained an Austronesian language. However, Sanskrit
has also influenced both the phonology and the vocabulary of Old Javanese. Old Javanese also contains the retroflex consonants, which might have been derived from Sanskrit. That is disputed by several linguists, who hold the view that it is also possible that the occurrence of these retroflex consonants was an independent development within the Austronesian language family. Vocabulary[edit] A related question is the form in which Sanskrit
words were loaned in Old Javanese. The borrowed Sanskrit
words in Old Javanese are almost without exceptions nouns and adjectives in their undeclined form ( Sanskrit
lingga). A wordlist of 200 basic vocabulary items is available at the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database which shows some of these loans.[2] Old Javanese literature[edit] Old Javanese literature can be divided in several genres such as the aforementioned kakawin and prose. See also[edit]

Classical language Kakawin Kawi language


^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kawi". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "ABVD: Old Javanese". language.psy.auckland.ac.nz. 

Further reading[edit]

(in Dutch) Petrus Josephus Zoetmulder, 1950, De Taal van het Adiparwa, Bandung: Nix (in English) Petrus Josephus Zoetmulder, 1982, Old Javanese-English Dictionary, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. 2 v. (xxxi, 2368 p.) In collaboration with S.O. Robson. ISBN 90-247-6178-6 (in Indonesian) Petrus Josephus Zoetmulder, 1995, Kamus Jawa Kuna-Indonesia In collaboration with S.O Robson. Translators, Darusuprapta, Sumarti Suprayitna. Jakarta: Hasil kerja sama Perwakilan Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde dengan Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 1995. 2 v. ; 1. A-0 -- 2. P-Y. (in English) Teeuw, A. and S.O. Robson. 2005 edited and translated Bhomāntaka : the death of Bhoma Leiden: KITLV Press, Series:Bibliotheca Indonesica; 32. ISBN 90-6718-253-2

External links[edit] Zoetmulder's Dictionary of Old Javane