Bengkulu language

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Bengkulu Malay
Melayu Tengah
RegionBengkulu Province, Sumatra
Native speakers
1.6 million (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pse

Bengkulu or Central Malay, is a Malayan language spoken on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, around the city of Bengkulu. It is more closely related to other Malay variants in Sumatra such as Col, Jambi Malay and Palembang Malay as well Minangkabau spoken in neighbouring West Sumatra than to Rejangese language, which is also spoken in the province.


Bengkulu language using Latin alphabet and sometimes using Rejang script.


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stops p p - b b t t - d d c - j k k - ɡ g ʔ k (coda)
Nasals m m n n ɲ ny, n (before c/j) ŋ ng
Fricatives f f - v v s s - z z ɕ si/sy h h
Lateral l l
Tap ɾ r
Semi-vowel j y/i w w/u

Letter F, SY, V and Z are used in loanwords of Indonesian.


Front Central Back
Close i i u u
Middle ɛ e/é ə e ɔ o
Open a~ɑ a

This language diphthongs are ai, au, oi, ia and ua (where "ia" and "ua" used in loanwords).


  1. ^ Bengkulu Malay at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Central Malay". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.