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Malay, Baba

A language of Singapore

ISO 639-3mbf

Population  10,000 in Singapore (Pakir 1986). Ethnic population: 250,000 to 400,000 (1986).
Region  Mainly in the Katong District on the east coast and the surrounding districts of Geylang and Jao Chiat. Also in Malaysia (Peninsular).
Alternate names   Baba, Chinese Malay, Straits Malay
Dialects  It developed since the 15th century from Low Malay with many Min Nan Chinese [nan] borrowings. Regional variants between Malacca and Singapore. Partially intelligible with Standard Malay [zsm]. It is generally believed that the Baba of Malaysia is more ‘refined’, and that of Singapore more ‘rough’. Most have learned Standard Malay and English in school. Lim (1981) and Holm (1989) treat it as a Malay-based creole. It is different from Peranakan Indonesian [pea].
Classification  Creole, Malay based
Language use  Mainly in the home. Mainly older adults. Some who grew up with Chinese neighbors know Min Nan Chinese [nan], Teochew dialect of Min Nan Chinese, and Cantonese [yue]. Children now learn Mandarin [cmn] in school rather than Standard Malay [zsm].
Language development  NT: 1913.
Writing system  Latin script.

Also spoken in:

Malaysia (Peninsular)

Language name   Malay, Baba
Population  Ethnic population: 5,000.
Region  Peninsular Malaysia, Melaka Tengah, Malacca Straits.
Language map  Malaysia - Peninsular, reference number 8
Alternate names  Chinese Malay, Straits Malay
Language use  Mainly older adults.
Comments  Developed since the 15th century from Low Malay with many Hokkien Chinese borrowings. Lim (1981) and Holm (1989) treat it as a Malay-based creole.
 
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