19th Edition



A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Basa Mathura, Madhura, Madurese

6,770,000 in Indonesia (2000 census), decreasing. 86,000 Bawean. 2000 census reports large population decrease. Due to intermarriage, language attitudes, and other socioeconomic issues, the Madurese population is likely underreported. Total users in all countries: 6,770,900.


Jawa Timur Province, coastal areas of main island south and west of Surabaja city, southwest of Madura island; other island groups with speakers include Sapudi, Bawean, and Kangean islands; Java Sea, assorted islands with language communities under jurisdiction of Kalimantan Selatan Province.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Bawean (Babean, Bhebien, Boyanese), Bangkalan (Bangkalon), Pamekesan (Pamekasan), Sampang, Sapudi, Sumenep. Dialect continuum. Reports differ about inherent intelligibility among dialects: some Sumenep and Sampang report they cannot understand Pamekasan or Sumenep. Difficult intelligibility with Kangean [kkv]. Bawean may be a separate language. Lexical similarity: 75% with Kangean [kkv].


SVO; nontonal; partial reduplication.

Language Use

Vigorous on Madura Island and East Java. All domains. All ages. Also use Indonesian [ind], Javanese [jav].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 40%. Literacy higher among Bangkalon. Taught in primary schools (religious education). Taught in secondary schools, (religious education). Poetry. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1994.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Mainly rural. Bawean consider their language separate from Madurese. East Madurese, especially Sumenep, is considered high, or standard Madurese. Sumenep is isolated culturally and geographically. Bangkalon, spoken in Surabaya, is important economically because that city is highly urbanized and is most affected by Bahasa Indonesia. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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