Makassar Indonesian is spoken in the city of Makassar, where it competes with Bugis and Makasar, both dominant local languages. Makassar Indonesian is best considered a regional, informal variety of Indonesian which has been influenced by the Makasar language, although it is now also spoken by people whose mother tongue is not Makasar (Cense 1978:426; Makassarese Malay 2003; Grimes 1991:119–120).
While Makassar has long been one of the principal seaports of eastern Indonesia, Makassar Indonesian is not related to the so-called eastern trade Malays spoken in other centers such as Manado, Ternate, Ambon and Larantuka. Although a Malay community existed in Makassar from after the fall of Malacca in 1511 and for several centuries thereafter, that community eventually dissolved toward the end of the nineteenth century and descendants adopted local languages, leaving little trace of what their variety of Malay was like (Cense 1978:425; Steinhauer 1988:111). In order to distinguish these varieties, we follow a proposal by Jukes (2011:27, footnote 3) and reserve the term ‘Makassar Malay’ for the historical language formerly spoken in the Malay quarter of Makassar, and employ ‘Makassar Indonesian’ for the current regional variety of Malay/Indonesian now spoken in the same city.
Some refer to Makassar Indonesian as ‘South Sulawesi Malay,’ with the implication that it is spoken more broadly than the city limits. However, no study has yet delineated the area of Makassar Indonesian influence. At present there is also no clear information on the total number of Makassar Indonesian speakers, let alone how many speak it as their first versus a second language. A previous estimate of around 1.9 million speakers as reported in the 15th and 16th editions of the Ethnologue (Gordon 2005:431; Lewis 2009:446) was based on an erroneous equation of Makassar Indonesian with the Makasar language.
Cense, A. A. 1978. Maleise invloeden in het oostelijk deel van de Indonesische archipel. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 134:415–432.
Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the world, 15th ed. Dallas: SIL International.
Grimes, Barbara Dix. 1991. The development and use of Ambonese Malay. Papers in Austronesian linguistics, no. 1 (Pacific Linguistics A-81), edited by Hein Steinhauer, 83–123. Canberra: Australian National University.
Jukes, Anthony. 2011. Aspectual and modal clitics in Makassarese and Makassar Indonesian. Proceedings of the International Workshop on TAM and Evidentiality in Indonesian Languages, 19–28. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Online. URL: http://repository.tufs.ac.jp/handle/10108/64517 (accessed February 29, 2012).
Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the world, 16th edition. Dallas: SIL International.
Makassarese Malay. 3 June 2003. Jakarta Field Station, Max Planck Institute for Evolutional Anthropology. Online. URL: http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/makassarese_malay.php (accessed January 13, 2012).
Steinhauer, Hein. 1988. Malay in east Indonesia: The case of Macassarese Malay. Rekonstruksi dan cabang-cabang bahasa Malayu Induk, edited by Mohd. Thani Ahmad and Zaini Mohamed Zain, 108–151. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia.