Norafidah Tajuddin, Noor Aishah Salleh, Roshidah Hassan
Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University
A Comparative Study of
Adjectives in Two Austroasiatic Languages in Penisular
In Penisular Malaysia the indigenous people are anthropologically classified into 3 groups; the Negritos, the Senois and the Proto-Malays. However based on linguistics grouping they are divided into two; the Austronesian group and the Austroasiatic group. Speakers of the Austronesian group are mainly the Temuan and the Jakuns. Whereas the Austroasiatic group includes the Semai, Jahut, Mah Meri and Semelai. The Austroasiatic group which is said to be related to the Mon-Khmer language branch is the bigger of the two groups.
Thus this paper will look at the adjectives used by two Austroasiatic languages in the Penisular which are the Mah Meri and the Semelai. It is hypothesized that there will be some differences and similarities in the adjectives used by the two communities. The reason being the Mah Meri people in this study are found in the coastal areas of Sepang, Selangor and they are surrounded by the Selangor dialect Malay speakers. Whereas the Semelai in this study are found in the inland areas of Negeri Sembilan and are surrounded by the Minangkabau and Negeri Sembilan dialect Malay speakers. Therefore it is assumed that there will be some differences and similarities in the adjectives used by these two groups even though they belong to the Mon Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic family due to language assimilation and borrowing.