Madurese language

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Madhura, Basa Mathura بَهاسَ مَدورا
Region Island of Madura, Sapudi Islands, northern coastal area of eastern Java, Singapore
Ethnicity Madurese
Native speakers
15 million (2007)[1]
Latin script
Arabic script (Pegon alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 mad
ISO 639-3 Either:
mad – Madurese proper
kkv – Kangean
Glottolog madu1247[2]
Madurese in Javanese script

Madurese is a language of the Madurese people of Madura Island and eastern Java, Indonesia; it is also spoken on the neighbouring small Kangean Islands and Sapudi Islands, as well as from migrants to other parts of Indonesia, namely the Tapal Kuda ("horseshoe") area of neighbouring Java (comprising Pasuruan, Surabaya, Malang to Banyuwangi), the Masalembu Islands, and even some on Kalimantan. The Kangean dialect may be a separate language. It was traditionally written in the Javanese script, but the Latin script and the Pegon script (based on Arabic script) is now more commonly used. The number of speakers, though shrinking, is estimated to be 8–13 million, making it one of the most widely spoken language in the country.

Links between Bali–Sasak languages and Madurese are more evident with the "low" form (common form). There are some common words between Madurese and Filipino languages as well as between Madurese and Banjar. There are several dialects of Madurese.



Front Central Back
unrounded rounded
Close i ɨ u
Mid ɛ ə ꦄꦼ ɤ ꦄꦼꦴ ɔ
Open a


Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m ɳ ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p ʈ c k ʔ Wignyan.png
voiced b ɖ ɟ ɡ
aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ
Fricative ʂ h
Trill r
Approximant central j w
lateral l

Madurese has more consonants than its neighboring languages due to it having voiceless unaspirated, voiceless aspirated, and voiced sounds. Similar to Javanese, it has a contrast between dental and alveolar (even retroflex) stops .[3]


Madurese nouns are not inflected for gender and are pluralized via reduplication. Its basic word order is SVO. Negation is expressed by putting a negative particle before the verb, adjective or noun phrase. As with other similar languages there are different negative particles for different kinds of negation.

Common words[edit]

  • Man: lalake
  • Woman: babine
  • Yes: iya
  • No: enja
  • Water: aeng
  • Sun: are
  • Three: tello'
  • I/me: Engko'
  • You: be'na


  1. ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Madurese". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Stevens, Alan (2001) "Madurese", in Facts About the World's Languages, Jane Garry (ed.) & Carl Rubino (ed.), New York: H. W. Wilson