Batavia Creole

Batavia Creole is an extinct Portuguese-based creole once spoken in the city of Batavia (now Jakarta), on the island of Java (now Indonesia). Batavia Creole originated after 1619, the year when the Dutch occupied the city; the decline of the language started in the second half of the eighteenth century (when it started to be replaced by Malay), and the language was extinct by the end of the nineteenth century. Since the Portuguese never occupied Batavia, this creole must have been brought to Batavia from outside. Strong structural similarities point to Papiá Kristang spoken in Malacca as its source, but the language has also been influenced by southern Indo-Portuguese varieties. Note that from the first half of the seventeenth century onwards, both Malacca and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) were occupied by the Dutch.

The default lect chosen for APiCS is based on one single written source: the Nieuwe Woordenschat, uyt het Nedertuitsch in het gemeene Maleidsch en Portugeesch, zeer gemakkelyk vor die eerst op Batavia komen (‘New vocabulary, From Dutch to Common Malay and Portuguese, very convenient for those coming to Batavia for the first time’), which was published in 1780 in Batavia. This source contains a narrative texts, dialogues, and about 1,400 lexical entries.

The other lect which is dealt with in APiCS, called Batavia Creole (Tugu), refers to Tugu Creole, which is an offshoot of Batavia Creole brought during the 1660 to Batavia’s hinterland by about 150 members of Batavia’s Portuguese community which were slaves who were freed and who were given land because they converted from Catholicism to Calvinism. Nowadays, the small village of Tugu is a neighbourhood of North Jakarta called Kampung Tugu. Tugu Creole became obsolete in the first half of the twentieth century. This Portuguese creole variety is characterized by a strong influence from spoken Malay at all levels of its grammar, an influence which is not that strong in Batavia Creole.

No. Feature Value % lect Details Source
No. Feature Value % lect Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

ʎvoiced palatal lateral approximant - Exists (as a major allophone)

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % lect Details Source