Indonesian Affixes

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by bart150, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. bart150 New Member

    Netherlands / West Java
    British English
    I’m studying the way affixes work in Indonesian. Here, just as an example, is a set of words from the dictionary, that are all based on the root ‘tanya’, to ask (arranged in a sequence to make the differences of meaning as clear as possible).

    ber+root - bertanya
    to ask a specific question; eg he asked how old her husband was

    ber+root-root - bertanya-tanya
    (1) to ask a specific question repeatedly; eg he asked again and again how old her husband was but he got no answer
    (2) to wonder (ie to ask oneself repeatedly); he wondered how old her husband was

    root - tanya
    to ask a question or a few questions about one relatively small-scale topic as opposed to asking a specific question; eg he asked how her husband was getting on

    men+root - menanya
    same meaning as tanya

    men+root+kan - menanyakan
    to ask a series of questions about a relatively large-scale topic; eg he asked her about the history of the Sultanate of Sumedang

    memper+root+kan - mempertanyakan
    to ask a series of questions about a relatively large-scale topic in a sceptical way; eg he questioned her about how she expected the new shop to make a profit

    men+root+i - menanyai
    to ask a series of questions about a relatively large-scale topic in an, intensive, aggressive way; eg the police interrogated her about her husband’s death

    This is my interpretation of the explanation and examples that I found in the dictionary. I would be extremely grateful to any knowledgeable speaker of Indonesian or Malaysian who was kind enough to examine whether I have got the different meanings right.
  2. xavierxavier New Member

    Indonesian, English
    The last time I studied grammar was in highschool, so here's my amateurish observation of Indonesian grammar. Affixes that we chose depended on the object of the sentence and the meaning you want to convey. Sad to say that there are no rules governing the relation between all these affixes, each affix has their own list of meanings (that's how we learned it in highschool).

    There is no such form as "menanya" or "mencinta", because it is directly followed by objects (I guess?). Each of these affixes may have a list of meanings, I have listed here only those that I can think of.

    Hope this helps ;)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  3. anzhyo New Member

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