An Overview on Baba Malay and Its Research Work


  • Yan CUI


China had a long history of contact with south-east Asia, and Chinese businessmen had long traded with the people of Malay Archipelago. Intermarriage as well as continuous interact with the local people, had led to the descendants of the early Chinese settlers forming a very unique group who is called Baba. The term Baba has different meanings. In this article, it means the Malay-speaking Chinese. From Ming Dynasty, Chinese businessmen came to Malacca and married the local Malaysian women. Their descendants formed a group called Baba, the boy is called Baba and the girl is called Nyonya. The language they speak is Baba Malay which is mixed Malay with Chinese Hokkien Dialect. Baba Malay is a famous phenomenon of language contact. Baba Malay experienced flourishing, brilliant and decline. It is a dying language now. Linguistic scholars didn't pay attention to the Baba Malay until 1970. Some linguistics investigated Baba Malay and discussed its nature, character, status and decline reason, etc. Most of the articles and works are written in English and seldom Chinese linguistics scholars know this kind of language. This article will introduce the Baba Malay and its research work according to the present research in order to acquaint Chinese scholars with this kind of language and help the scholars to do the further research work.

Keywords: Baba Malay, Language Nature, Language Character


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