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The Origin of the Acehnese Language


The Origin of the Acehnese Language

The Origin of the Acehnese Language

The Acehnese language is one of the regional languages in the province of Aceh. Based on the language mapping carried out since 2008 by the Banda Aceh Language Center, it can be seen that there are around 8 regional languages in Aceh Province. The language mapping carried out uses the dialectometric method which can determine with certainty the area of use of a language or the pockets of users of a particular language. Aceh language is one of the languages with a large number of speakers. The Aceh language-speaking area covers almost the entire east coast of Aceh Province from Langsa to Banda Aceh in the far north. The number of Acehnese speakers on the west coast of Aceh is also no less. Starting from Lhoong to Blang Pidie. Therefore, it is only natural that the Acehnese language dominates the acquisition of the language of the people in Aceh.

However, until now there are still very few people who know for certain the country of origin of the Acehnese language. Structurally, the Aceh language has many uniqueness. One of the uniqueness of the Acehnese language is in the aspect of phonology or language sounds. The Acehnese language has a higher number of phonemes when compared, for example, with Indonesian. Another uniqueness, for example, is in the aspect of vocabulary. The Acehnese language has a syllable vocabulary which generally consists of one to two syllables. In short, the vocabulary of the Acehnese language looks so simple or simple, for example for 'water'; bu means 'rice'; u means 'coconut', and there are many other things that show this tendency.

Geographically, the Aceh region is on the island of Sumatra which is not too far from the country of origin of Indonesian, namely Malay. Until now, language theory still believes that the Malay language which is considered standard and became the embryo for the birth of Indonesian is the Malay language which is on Penyengat Island, Riau Archipelago. Although recently a new theory has emerged that the country of origin for the Indonesian language is in the interior of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan Province. Geographical proximity does not necessarily lead to structural similarities between Acehnese and Malay, even though both belong to the same Austronesian language family. Then where do you think the Acehnese language came from?

Some opinions that are a play on words arise when the author tries to ask Acehnese speakers, where do you think they come from? This is what seems to be commonly known by people who play ACEH with Arabs, Chinese, Europeans, and the Indians (India). Is that right? It should be noted that a language cannot be forever autonomous or independent in terms of its vocabulary. Of course he will absorb or borrow terms/vocabularies from other languages. This seems to be the argument for this opinion. Indeed, in the Acehnese language we can find Arabic vocabulary, for example the word sikin which means 'knife'. The word sikin with the same meaning also exists in Arabic. However, scientific proof needs to be carried out, especially to calculate the percentage of Arabic vocabulary in the Acehnese language. The same goes for the word get which means 'good' in the Acehnese language. Some people then argue that the word comes from English because it has a correlation with the word good which also means 'good'. Things like that are almost certain to happen in every local language. Moreover, past cultural differences led to the borrowing of vocabulary from other cultures in a speaker of a different language. On the scientific side, language kinship is more possible if these languages are in the same language family. Just for the reader to know, the Acehnese language belongs to the Austronesian family, Chinese belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, while Arabic belongs to the Afro Asiatic/Semitic family; English belongs to the Indo-European family, and Indian languages belong to the Dravidian family. It is clear that each language that was spoofed earlier has a different family. Therefore, it is impossible to make the four regions (Arabic, Chinese, European, Indian) the country of origin for the Acehnese language.

A rather scientific opinion about the country of origin of the Acehnese language says that the Acehnese language originates from the Kingdom of Campa, which is currently part of the territory of Vietnam. This opinion is based on the vocabulary similarities between the Acehnese language and the language in the Kingdom of Campa. This opinion is written in a book with explanations on a very limited scientific side. One of the sides mentioned in the book is about the historical side. It is possible that there used to be a process of migration of people from the Kingdom of Campa in Vietnam which eventually reached the Sumatran peninsula, namely in Aceh today. However, this second opinion needs further proof. This proof is to test the provisional hypothesis (hypothesis) about whether or not the Aceh language vocabulary has many similarities to the vocabulary in the Kingdom of Campa, Vietnam. The test will be more valid if it uses the scientific method.

Linguistics or language science has one applied field, namely Comparative Linguistics. Comparative Linguistics is divided into two types, namely Comparative Historical Linguistics and Typological Historical Linguistics. Opinions about the kinship relationship between the Aceh language and the language in the Kingdom of Campa, Vietnam, can be traced by doing a vocabulary comparison. Currently the most popular way to make comparisons is in the form of basic vocabulary lists. The basic vocabulary that is often used for language comparison is the 800 basic vocabulary created by a person named Swadesh. This basic vocabulary covers various fields, for example agriculture, fishing, or tools that cover certain fields. In the fishing sector, for example, a comparison is made of the names of the fish or the names of fishing boats and the fishing gear they usually use. There are still many other areas regarding material for language comparisons contained in the list of 800 basic vocabulary. Unfortunately, until now this has not been done comprehensively.

If a scientific comparison of languages has been made, the next step can be taken by looking for historical aspects of the kinship. This means that the history of population migration that occurred in the past must be traced. What is migration from Vietnam to Aceh? Or vice versa. Research support on this historical aspect will further strengthen the movement of population and their language from one region to a different area. If this is done consistently in the future, it is not impossible that we will soon know about the country of origin of the Acehnese language. The next step is to determine the standard dialect of the Acehnese language. Which dialect of the Acehnese language is considered representative or represents the existing dialect?

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