Borneo And The Homeland Of The Malays: Four Essays.

On 10—11 April 2000, the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, convened an international colloquium, Borneo as the Homeland of Malay: The Implications for Research. The principal invited speakers were internationally well-known professors in comparative Austronesian linguistics and Austronesian archaeology. Other invited participants represented a broad diversity of academic disciplines, including economics, history, linguistics, oral literature, sociology, anthropology and geography.

This book, Borneo and the Homeland of the Malays: Four Essays, presents an introductory essay by Professor James T. Collins on the idea of language homelands, with particular reference to the Austronesian family of languages. There follow the three principal papers presented at this foundation colloquium in 2000. Professor Peter Bellwood offers an assessment of the archaeological arguments regarding the Malay homeland and the need to take into account other evidence, especially linguistic evidence. In his essay, Professor Robert Blust makes it clear that any discussion of the homeland of Malay and Malayic must also consider the homeland of Chamic languages, an Austronesian branch closely related to Malay and Malayic, spoken in Indo-China. Similarly, Professor Bernd Nothofer presents linguistic arguments that suggest that some of the languages, such as Sasak and Madurese, spoken in islands to the southeast of Borneo most likely also had their homelands in Borneo. After these four essays, Professor Bernard Sellato discusses the geographic, historic and economic implications of Borneo as the Homeland of Malay.

By presenting the foundation essays that launched a series of fieldwork investigations in Western Borneo (2000—2005), it is hoped that other scholars in diverse ‘‘ fields will continue to test and refine the hypothesis that Borneo is the homeland of Malay.


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