Toba Batak language
|Region||Samosir Island (2° 30′ N, 99°), and to the east, south, and west of Toba Lake in north Sumatra.|
|Native speakers||2 million (1991)|
|Writing system||Latin, Batak alphabet|
Name of the language
The name of this language arises from a rich and complex history of ethnic identity in colonial and post-colonial Indonesia. It is a generic name for the common language used by the people of the districts of Toba, Uluan, Humbang, Habinsaran, Samosir, and Silindung, centered upon the Island of Sumatra; more particularly, at Lake Toba. Linguistically and culturally these tribes of people are closely related. Other nearby communities such as Silalahi and Tongging may also be classified as speakers of Toba Batak.
The term "Toba Batak" is, itself, a derivation of the Toba Batak language. As such, it is used both as a noun and an adjective; both to describe a language, and also to describe the people who speak the language.
Among the aforementioned districts, Toba is the most densely populated and politically the most prominent district so that "Toba Batak" became a label for all communities speaking a dialect closely akin to the dialect spoken in Toba. In contemporary Indonesia the language is seldom referred to as "Toba Batak" (bahasa Batak Toba), but more commonly and simply as "Batak" (bahasa Batak). The (Toba)-Batak refer to it in their own language as "Hata Batak". This "Batak" language is different from the languages of other "Batak" people that can be divided in speaking a northern Batak dialect (Karo Batak, and Pakpak-Dairi Batak – linguistically this dialect group also includes the culturally very different Alas people), a central Batak dialect (Simalungun) and closely related other southern Batak dialects such as Angkola and Mandailing.
Description of the language
There are several dictionaries and grammars for each of the five major dialects of Batak (Angkola-Mandailing, Toba, Simalungun, Pakpal-Dairi, and Karo). Specifically for Toba Batak the most important dictionaries are that of Johannes Warneck (Toba-German) and Herman Neubronner van der Tuuk (Toba-Dutch).
- Reference to contemporary Batak Bible
- Example translation of Biblical Scripture (published by the Language Museum, a site published by Zhang Hong, an internet consultant and amateur linguist in Beijing China)
- Musgrave, Simon. Non-subject Arguments in Indonesian: Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. See page 112 (doc page 101) and reference to Cole, Peter & Gabriella Hermon (2000) Word order and binding in Toba Batak. Paper presented at AFLA 7, Amsterdam
- Sejara Indonesia An Online Outline of Indonesia History.
- Neubronner van der Tuuk, Hermanus. A grammar of Toba-Batak. The Hague, 1971. First English edition, first published in Dutch in 1864-1867. Translation J. Scott-Kemball, edited by A. Teeuw and R. Roolvink.
|Toba Batak language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|