Talk:Banyumasan dialect

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Banyumasan as a language (debate)[edit]

Banyumasan language is a mere dialect of the Javanese language. Furthermore the number of its speakers is far too high. There are some 80 millions speakers of Javanese, so roughly 1/3 of them are supposed to be Banyumasan speakers.

And what do you mean by the phrase: The Banyumasan language is the oldest version of Javanese language or the original Javanese language. Banyumasan language is just a modern variant of the Javanese language, such as the Surakartan or Yogyakartan language is.

It is not an official language either.

The Sanskrit language is not the mother of this language, the Kawi language is neither a mother of it. Kawi language is a literary variant of Old Javanese which is heavily influenced by Sanskrit, an Indo-European language. Furthermore, where are your sources? Please cite your sources! Meursault2004 09:13, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Dear Meursault20004,

Thanks for your comments. Im sorry about the number of Banyumasan speakers, You're right it's far too high, I do wrong on calculating the number, it's only ± 12 - 15 millions. They are ± 10 millions in western part of central Java and adding with ± 2 - 5 millions from other places mostly arround Jakarta.

Some experts said that Banyumasan language still using many original words and terms of Kawi such as : Rika (meaning You in English), Inyong (meaning I/me) etc, and those words is still in use untill now, but those Kawi words never used in Javanese. Maybe I'm wrong with the phrase of "oldest version" or "original version", but I disagree if Banyumasan language only a modern variant or dialect of Javanese language, the reasons are there's a lot of evidences that most of original Banyumasan words and terms are found in Kawi but never found in Javanese. Other reason : Javanese have changed the letter of "a" in the end of word, with letter "o" and it never happened in Banyumasan language, thats mean, Banyumasan language still using the original phonetic of Kawi language. I'll tell you the others reason next time.

I agree if someone said : Banyumasan language and Modern Javanese language is coming from Old Javanese language. But I disagree if someone said : Banyumasan language is a mere dialect of Modern Javanese language.

It is not an official language either. -Yes, you were right, I make a mistake.-

And sorry about the terms of "mother language", I'll correcting that soon.

Dear Meursault20004, Thanks any way for your attantion, I'd like to discuss many things concerning this Language especially regarding the cultures, attitude, personality etc of Banyumaser that influencing their languange. I hope you can understand with my "bad" english.

I don't think that I am being too controversial in removing the assertion that Banyumasan is descended from Sanskrit. It is an obvious error. If however Banyumasan has had significant borrowing from Sanskrit that should be mentioned. As far as I know it doesn't. I think this page should probably describe Banyumasan as a dialect of Javanese rather than an individual language, but the debate as to what constitutes a dialect is usually politically charged, so I am not personally willing to make that call.Conrad Leviston 04:45, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You were right, Banyumasan language is not descended from Sanskrit but enriched by Sanskrit and Kawi. I have correcting that. But I disagree if Banyumasan Language only a dialect of Modern Javanese Language. Banyumasan Language is directly descended from Old Javanese Languange.

Banyumasan as a dialect[edit]

Regardless of personal opinion most authoritative sources class Banyumasan as a dialect. It is totally inappropriate for wikipedia not to mention this fact. Conrad Leviston 23:40, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Some reaction[edit]

Dear (and also Conrad Leviston), thank you for your reaction. I would also apologise myself for my English as I am not a native speaker of English.


From linguistic point of view one of the main factors to call some speech a dialect instead of language is mutual intelligibility with other variants of the same language. Well speakers of both Banyumasan speech and standard Javanese language can mutually understand each other. So it doesn't have to be politically charged. For example, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are mutually intelligible, so they are dialects of each other from linguistic point of view.

All descendants of the Old Javanese language are called modern Javanese. So they can be regarded as 'children' of the Old Javanese language. The so called modern Javanese is not only the speech of Surakarta and Yogyakarta, but of all variants of Javanese from Banten to Banyuwangi and beyond.

To complicate the situation, the Old Javanese language was far from homogenous. There are several variants or dialects. The language of the Old Javanese Kakawin Ramayana, which came from Central Java from the 9th century AD/CE for example, is different from more or less contemporary inscriptions from Eastern Java. Yet they are all called Old Javanese.


Furthermore, back to Banyumasan speech again, for it is true that the Banyumasan speech retains some Kawi or Sanskrit words that are not found in spoken variant of the standard Javanese language, it is only part of the story. Other variants of the Javanese language retain other words, so in the end they are all equally archaic or modern. What can be said is however that some dialects are indeed more archaic than other ones. But this only applies in certain fields. In certain fields or domains, the Banyumasan speech is more archaic, but in some other fields again, not.


The same can be also be said of the phonology. It is not true that an /a/ is always pronounced as an [ɔ] by speakers of standard Javanese. Only in open positions they are to be pronounced as such. In close positions, they are still to be pronounced as [a]. For example /lara/ is to be pronounced as [lɔrɔ]. But /larané/ is to be pronounced as [larané]. Then I think some variants of the Banyumasan speech do not retain the so called retroflex phonemes, but I am not sure. These are merged with the dental phonemes into alveolair ones. Furthermore there are other sound shifts as well. For example, Old Javanese ingwang has become inyong. So the /ŋ/ has become /ɲ/ while /wa/ has become /o/.

Number of speakers[edit]

I suspect you have also included speakers of others Western Javanese dialects as well.


Still one of the most reliable source for the languages of Java is:

  • E.M. Uhlenbeck, 1964, A Critical Survey of Studies on the Languages of Java and Madura, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Uhlenbeck doesn't consider the Banyumasan speech as a separate language. It is a member of the Western Javanese group of the Javanese language together with the speech of Banten, Cirebon and Tegal.

Well I think I have said enough for now. Feel free to comment on my commentary :-) Meursault2004 00:46, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Dears Conrad Leviston & Meursault, Well, I feel delighted for all of your comments, opinion including the sources you've been writen. Before I write my recomment, I'd like to tell you the background (in my mind of course), why do I propose The Banyumasan Language as a separate language. In Banyumasan region peoples speaking in 2 ways, first, using original Banyumasan language and secondly, using Yogyakartan/Surakartan dialect, I think it similar to ngoko and kromo in Yogyakarta/Surakartan (I brief it to "Y/S").

First, I'd like to elaborate the original Banyumasan language empirically. This language has highly percentage of differences with Y/S, their phonetic, vacabulary, and especially their tongue (I don't know how to tell this, I named it "cengkok") and the effect of their both lips (always morphing "O" shape, I named it "muncu"). I can proof that if two Banyumaser (Banyumasan man) make chatting in Yogyakarta using their original language, Y/S will understand only slightly of what their chatting about, I dare to bet. Can Y/S spoke using original Banyumasan language ? no, they can't. How to make them understand each other ? Banyumaser should spoke using Y/S dialect, and they can. Socondly, Y/S dialect is not part of original Banyumasan language it's completly imported. Banyumaser using this dialect only if they talking to Y/S peoples / outsider or stranger. Why do this happened ? In Banyumasan region grades/degree (like ngoko, kromo) of language are unknown. Banyumasan parent never teach Y/S dialct to their kids and it's mean Y/S dialect is not "mother language" (bahasa ibu) in Banyumasan region.

After I read again your comments, I think I need an expert to accompany me.

Banyumasan language is not the same as Western Javanese[edit]

Dear Slamet Serayu, the Banyumasan language is not the same as the Western Javanese language. It is rather part of this language group. Yes other western Javanese languages such as Banten Javanese and Indramayu/Cirebon Javanese are related to Banyumasan language, but they have different histories. Furthermore it is not a variant of Old Javanese. It is a variant of Modern Javanese. I bet modern Banyumasan speakers can't read and comprehend the 9th century Kakawin Ramayana for example. Meursault2004 08:41, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Thank's, now I know that. I didn't mean to make them identic historically, I just make a simple grouping. It's rather difficult to put Banten and Cirebon dialects in the same group with Yogyakartan/Surakartan.
  • Well, after all above discussions, it's no matter if Banyumasan language still part of Javanese language, my goal is just to utter to the public that there is an existing language named Banyumasan. So if experts saying or writing about Javanese language they don't forget to mention Banyumasan language too. Why I need to tell this ? Lately, Banyumasan culturist such as Ahmad Tohari, Enthus Susmono, M. Koderi etc oftenly said that they very worry about the fate of Banyumasan culture including Banyumasan language. So, we all need to do something to lift up this culture / language so that in the next time we will never seen them only in historical books.
  • Dear Meursault, if you don't mind, try to use search engine such as google or others and type "banyumasan punah". Punah means : extinct. Actually, I'm not from that region, but my wife yes. As the outsider I can see that extinction tendencies clearly and I have told this in my proposal (new language proposal to Wikipedia). If what I've done resulting a controversial or even totally breaking the rules of language science, please pardon me but on the otherhand, please help me.
  • Dear Meursault, thanks for corrections you have made.

Preserving accuracy with my edits[edit]

Hi everyone. I'm doing some edits for clarity and english grammar (I'm a native english speaker), but I don't know much of anything about linguistics or the languages of that region, so please review my work for accuracy. Thanks. Bubamara 17:17, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Some questions:

  • re: genetic classification - I re-ordered to make Javanese language a subgroup of Sundic language instead of vice versa. With this discussion of Banyumasan as a dialect or sister branch of Javanese, is "Sundic >> Javanese >> Banyumasan" proper, or should it be "Sundic >> Banyumasan?
  • Is North Banten a city in Banten Province? Or is it just the northern region of the Province? Or is it a totally seperate area?

Mostly, I compacted the format and merged redundant information. Bubamara 18:58, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well most linguists consider the Banyumas dialect as a Javanese dialect and not as a sister language of Javanese. This is also my main objection of this article. Furthermore the Western Javanese language group is not the same as Banyumasan language. North Banten is a region in Banten province where Javanese is spoken. The variety of Javanese spoken there, Banten-Javanese is not a variety of Banyumasan language, albeit it is related. Meursault2004 07:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Speaking of accuracy, I added the {accuracy} tag to the page, since the info is inconsistent at best. Even though there seems to be clear agreement from everyone on this page that Banyumasan is a dialect, not a "language" per se, the content of the article doesn't adequately reflect that. I'm going to wait a week or so for new info to be added, then I'll mercilessly edit for language, consistency and, hopefully, accuracy. Bubamara 09:10, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Swadesh list[edit]

A table highlighting the differences between 'Standard'-Javanese and Banyumasan language is provided. Besides the fact that some Banyumasan words also occur in Standard Javanese as synonyms, I am afraid this table doesn't say anything. Have you ever heard of Swadesh list? Although a bit controversial in some circles, this so called Swadesh list can provide relevant information about relationships between languages. Meursault2004 20:56, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Dear Meursault, all I've writen including that table, shouldn't assumed that Banyumasan and standard Javanese is completly / absolutly different, that they're totaly separated or that I have intention to separating them. As I wrote before, my main goal is to gain sufficiently space to raise up Banyumasan (characteristic, culture, arts, language etc) so that they wouldn't vanished sooner. Banyumasan is yes as part of Javanese in the whole aspects, it mean Banyumasan is yes a subsidiary of Javanese. But in fact, both have a lot of differences and moreover if we put standard Javanese in the central, Banyumasan is in the farthest side. All Javanese agree that if Banyumasan language is laughable even laughingstock. Please read below, I knew you're Indonesian and sorry for the Others.

We can't simply put Banyumasan spoken in the midle of standard Javanese because they'll laughing and none of Banyumasan will do it. We also can't just put Banyumasan writing in there, they don't automatically understood, they need times. I'm not a linguist, culturist or other experts, I'm even not originally Banyumasan, I'm from west Borneo, but I have chance to do something (good in my mind) and it's free (I'm not richman), so I did it, it's simple. Not only for Banyumasan, I'll do it for the others. Dear Meursault, as a matter of fact, I need supporters and I'm hopeful of your helps in order to gain space here in Wikipedia for Banyumasan. To Bubmara thank for your attantions and supports I appreciated it, and sorry for my english.

Reply/reaction is posted in your personal page User:Slamet Serayu. Meursault2004 08:30, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

too much general material about Javanese[edit]

This article has a lot of general information about Javanese that should be merged into that article (if not there already). Here we should just cover distinctive features of Banyumas dialect. -- Danny Yee 04:54, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Should this be moved to Banyumasan (Javanese dialect)? It is classified a dialect and in Indonesian is even called Bahasa Jawa Banyumasan (Banyumasan Javanese). Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:45, 11 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]