|? Basa Mangkasara'|
|Region||South Sulawesi (Sulawesi)|
|2.1 million (2000 census)|
Old Makassarese (historical)
Makassarese (basa Mangkasara'), sometimes spelled Makasar, Makassar, or Macassar, is a language of the Makassarese people, spoken in South Sulawesi province of Indonesia. It is a member of the South Sulawesi group of the Austronesian language family, and thus closely related to, among others, Buginese.
The following description of Makassarese phonology is based on Jukes (2005).
Makassarese has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u.
All consonants except for can appear in initial position. In final position, only and are found.
Consonant clusters only occur medially and (with one exception) can be analyzed as clusters of or + consonant. These clusters also arise through sandhi across morpheme boundaries.
|nasal/lateral||voiceless obstruents||voiced stops + r|
The geminate cluster /rr/ is only found in root-internal position and cannot be accounted for by the above rules.
Sequences of like vowels are contracted to a single vowel, e.g. sassa "to wash" + -ang 'nominalizing suffix' > sassáng "laundry", ca'di "small" + -i 'third person' > ca'di "it is small".
Although Makassarese is now often written in Latin script, it is still widely written using Lontara script, which once was used also to write important documents in Bugis and Mandar, two related languages from Sulawesi.
Some common words/phrases in the Makassar language, transcribed in the Latin script, are as follows ( ' = glottal stop):
|sallo||lama / lambat||slow / long (time)|
|apa kareba?||apa kabar?||how are you?|
|?||lakeko mae?||kamu mau ke mana?||where are you going?|
|ammotere'||pulang ke rumah||return home|
Old Makassarese / Makassarese bird script
Makassarese was historically written using Makasar script (also known as "Old Makassarese" or "Makassarese bird script" in English-language scholarly works). In Makassarese the script is known as ukiri' jangang-jangang or huruf jangang-jangang ("bird letters"). It was used for official purposes in the kingdoms of Makasar in the 17th century but ceased to be used by the 19th century, being replaced by Lontara script.
In spite of their quite distinctive appearance, both the Makasar and Lontara scripts are derived from the ancient Brahmi script of India. Like other descendants of that script, each consonant has an inherent vowel "a", which is not marked. Other vowels can be indicated by adding diacritics above, below, or on either side of each consonant.
The Unicode block for Makasar is U+11EE0-U+11EFF and contains 25 characters:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)