|Region||Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla|
|Native speakers||1 million (2006)|
|Writing system||Arabic Script|
Pattani Malay or Patani Malay, often referred to in Thailand as Yawi (in Thai) or Jawi (in Patani Malay), is a dialect of the Malay language spoken in the southernmost provinces of Thailand along the border with Malaysia. It is the primary spoken language of the Thai Malay ethnic group, but is also used as a lingua franca by ethnic Thai in rural areas, Muslim and non-Muslim, and the samsam, a mostly Thai-speaking population of mixed Malay and Thai ancestry.
Pattani Malay is a highly divergent dialect of Malay, influenced by Thai and isolated from the rest of the Malay world by high mountains. Several varieties exist, but they are mutually comprehensible. It is almost identical to the Kelantanese Malay spoken just across the border; sometimes the native speakers of one language cannot differentiate their language from the other. There has not been any detailed study to determine if they are in fact still the same language or have diverged.
Both Kelantanese and Pattani dialects are distinct enough that radio broadcasts in Standard Malay can only be understood with difficulty. However, one major difference is that, in Thailand, nobody is required to learn standard Malay and so there is potentially less language influence from standard Malay but potentially more from Thai, but in Malaysia, it is required by school curriculum. They are both different again from Terengganuan Malay.
The language is often referred to in Thai as Phasa Yawi (Thai: ภาษายาวี [pʰāːsǎː jāːwīː]), which is a corruption of the Malay name for the modified Arabic alphabet for writing Malay, Jawi (Yawi: جاوي, Rumi: Jawi, IPA: [dʑaˈwi]). It is also referred to in Thai as Phasa Malayu Pattani (Thai: ภาษามลายูปัตตานี [pʰāːsǎː mālāːjūː pàttāːnīː]) and similarly locally in Malay as Bahasa Malayu Patani (Jawi: بهاس ملايو ڤطاني, Rumi: Bahasa Melayu Patani, local pronunciation: [baˈsɔ ˈnːaju ˈtːaniŋ]). The dialect is often simply just called Bahasa Patani.
Pattani Malay is the main language of the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani where the Malay ethnic group is the dominant one. It is less spoken in Satun, where even the ethnic Malays generally speak Southern Thai and Kedahan Malay. It is also spoken in scattered villages as far north as Hat Yai. In the past, the Malay language was the main language as far north as the Isthmus of Kra, the traditional division between Central Thailand and Southern Thailand, based on the preponderance of etymologically Malay place names. It may be considered to be spoken in Malaysia by Malay immigrants from Thailand and by Thai settlements, especially in the border regions of Kelantan, Perlis, Kedah, and Perak. Due to internal migration for economic reasons, there are also Pattani Malay speakers to be found in the capital Bangkok.
Pattani Malay itself is generally not a written language, but it is sometimes written in informal settings. When writing is needed, an old-fashioned variety of standard Malay is used. It is written in a modified form of the Arabic alphabet adapted for writing Malay, known as Jawi (جاوي). This is also the norm for written communication across the border in Kelantan. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the general population of Malay speakers in both Malaysia and Indonesia that use the Latin script in daily communication, known in Malay as rumi (رومي). A phonetic rendering of Pattani Malay in the Thai alphabet has been introduced, but it has been met with cold reception due to the socio-religious significance of jawi to the Muslim Malays and for the numerous inconsistencies and inaccuracies.
Southern Thailand has continued to be a region affected by two cultural spheres: the mainly Buddhist, Thai-speaking Siamese kingdoms and the mainly Muslim, Malay-speaking sultanates. The region was a warehouse of trade where merchants from Europe, India, Arabia, China, Siam, and the other Malay world met. At first dominated by Hindu-Buddhist Indian influences, the great kingdom of Srivijaya would later fall in chaos. Islam was introduced by Arab and Indian traders in the 11th century and has been the dominant religion ever since, replacing the Buddhism and Hinduism that had held sway before. By the 14th century, the area became vassals to Ayutthaya, but the region was autonomous and never fully incorporated into the modern Thai nation-state till 1902. This political autonomy and isolation from the rest of the Malay world allowed for preservation of the Malay language and culture but also led to the divergence of the dialect.
Differences between Yawi and Standard Malay
The influence of Southern Thai and Pattani Malay upon each other is great, to the point that both have large numbers of loanwords from the other. The influence of the Thai language is one factor that makes comprehension between Pattani Malay and Standard Malay difficult, but there are also numerous other features that have developed in Pattani Malay that make the dialect quite different. Many of these differences involve regular sound changes.
- /a/ followed by a nasal consonant changes to /ɛː/
ayam ايم ('chicken') becomes aye; makan ماكن (to eat) becomes make
- /a/ at the end of syllables changes to /ɔʔ/
minta مينتا ('to ask') becomes mito
- /ah/ changes /ɔh/
rumah رومه ('house') becomes rumoh
- /a/ changes to /ɔ/
minta مينتا ('to ask') becomes mito; bewa بيوا becomes bewo
- /i/ changes to /iŋ/
sini سيني ('seat') becomes sining
- /ua/ changes to /ɔ/
buaso بواسو ('to become ordained') becomes boso
- /aj/ becomes /aː/
sungai سوڠاي ('canal') becomes sunga
- /aw/ becomes /a/
pisau ڤيساو ('knife') changes to pisa
- /ia/ before a nasal vowel changes to = /ijɛ/
siam سيام ('Siam') becomes siye
- /ia/ changes to /ɛ/
biasa بياسا ('once') becomes beso
- /s/ and /f/ at the end of syllables changes to /h/
malas مالس ('lazy') changes to malah
- /m/ and /n/ at the end of syllables changes to /ŋ/
hakim حاكيم (judge) changes to hakeng
- /r/ changes to /ʀ/
orang اورڠ ('person') becomes oghe
- final consonants are often only pronounced as a glottal stop.
bukit بوكيت ('hill') becomes buke’ (bukiʔ)
- words are distinguished between lengthened initial consonant
bule ('moon') vs. bːule ('many months'); katok ('to strike') vs. kːatok ('frog'); siku ('elbow') vs. sːiku ('hand tool')
- ประพนธ์ เรืองณรงค์. บุหงาปัตตานี: คติชนไทยมุสลิมชายแดนภาคใต้. กทม. มติชน. 2540
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- Cummings, Joe et al. (2005). Thailand Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-697-8.
- Laver, John. (1994). Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45655-X.
- Smalley, William A. (1994). Linguistic Diversity and National Unity. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76288-2.
|Pattani Malay test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|