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Our countrymen seem to have been indebted to the latter for their first Malay vocabulary. The purely native element in Malay furnishes all the necessary terms to express the physical objects surrounding men leading a primitive life in the forest, and all that has to do with their food, dwellings, agriculture, fishing, hunting, and domestic affairs. The Portuguese had preceded them by a century, and the Dutch had been a little earlier in the same field. The aboriginal dialect, prior to the admixture of Sanskrit, must have been but the poor vocabulary of men hardly raised above savage life. The experience of Crawfurd sufficiently proves this; there are words in his dictionary which are transliterated in as many as four different ways. |Cotton | |kâpas | | |karpâsa | | | |J., S., and D. The spelling of Malay words in the native character is hardly yet fixed, though the Perso-Arabic alphabet has been in use since the thirteenth century; and those follow but a vain shadow who seek to prescribe exact modes of spelling words regarding which even native authorities are not agreed, and of which the pronunciation may vary according to locality. Logan supposes that the earliest inhabitants of the Archipelago were tribes of Africo-Indian origin, who peopled the Eastern islands as well as the more accessible portions of the Continent, descendants of whom he recognises in the negro and quasi-negro tribes that are still preserved in some of the mountains of the Malay Peninsula, Siam, and Anam. The syllable _bu_, _bun_, or _bung_, for instance, occurs in a considerable number of words conveying an idea of roundness:-- _Bu-lan_ the moon. Crawfurd asserted that the Sanskrit words adopted in Malay came originally through the Hindu priesthood, and that the priests through whom this was effected belonged to the Telugu race, this, in his opinion, being the people who, commencing by trading with the Malays, proceeded to partial settlement in their country, and ended by converting them to Hinduism and introducing the language and literature of the Hindus. Their presence suffices without other evidence to show that for their knowledge of the commercial value of many products the East Indian islanders were indebted to traders from Hindustan, who, indeed, probably introduced not only the names of, but the use of, their weights and measures. No other language of the Eastern Archipelago is understood over such an extensive area, and it is the common means of communication between the numerous tribes and races of the Malay family whose languages and dialects differ. 569.] [Footnote 5: Idem.] Malay is mainly dissyllabic, but there are not wanting evidences of a former monosyllabic tendency. The word “rulers” is used advisedly, for the theory of Marsden as to the manner of the introduction of Hinduism seems to possess greater claims to general acceptance than that advocated by certain other writers, notably Leyden and Crawfurd. Another group of Sanskrit words found in Malay is that comprising articles of commerce, weights and measures, &c. The language is not ennobled by having been the speech of men who have made their mark in the world’s history. |Sugar | |gûla | | |guḍa (molasses) | | | |J., S., and D.

Malay is the language not of a nation, but of tribes and communities widely scattered in the East, and is probably spoken with greatest purity in the states of Kedah and Perak, on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Many of the incidents of commerce, most of the metals and precious stones, the pomp and ceremony of royalty, and the use of the elephant, are shown, by the Sanskrit nomenclature employed in describing them, to be of Hindu importation.

To the Dutch their colonies in the Eastern seas are what our Indian Empire is to us; and with them the study of Malay, Javanese, Kawi, &c., takes the place of Persian, Hindustani, Tamil, Sanskrit, &c., which occupy our civilians in India. A sketch of the Sanskrit element in Malay is all that there is space for here.

The limited extent of our Malay possessions, when they are compared with the magnificent islands which make up Netherlands India, excuse us, no doubt, for the secondary place which we occupy in all researches connected with the language and literature of the Malays. The Arabic element in Malay is not accurately determinable, for new expressions are constantly being introduced.

To these may be added the English communities of Labuan and Sarawak, and merchants, traders, and seamen all over the Eastern Archipelago. For the most part, they consist of terms incidental to the ethical and religious teaching of the Muhammadans.

MALAY-ENGLISH VOCABULARY, containing 6500 Malay words and phrases. 272.] At present the use of Malay, as far as Englishmen are concerned, is chiefly confined to the officers of the Colonial Government in the British possessions in the Straits of Malacca and in the native states adjoining them, and to other residents in those parts, and in the Dutch settlements in the East. _lún_, Burmese), used with such words as _chin-chin_, a ring; and _kail_, a fishhook. As soon as the analysis reaches moral ideas, or objects requiring some advance in civilisation, it is found that they are expressed by words of foreign origin. The latter require no notice here, for they are of comparatively recent introduction.

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