Dutch soldiers

Waruno Mahdi mahdi at fhi-berlin.mpg.de
Thu Apr 25 20:53:04 UTC 2002


As you know, _sama_ in the meaning of 'with' actually is Low Malay and
therefore one wouldn't expect to find it in classical Malay literature,
though one sometimes comes across suggestive passages in which it "seems"
to be used in that meaning.
I just for kicks made an online search in the Hikayat Hang Tuah at the
ANU Malay Concordance Project site, and came up with the following examples:

HT 225:4
Apatah gunanya patik hidup menanggung malu SAMA anak raja-raja dan tewas?
To what ends shall I live in shame [AMONGST] royalty, and perish?

but should more probably be translated LIKE, AS.

HT  99:14
Yang enggang SAMA enggang, yang pipit itu SAMA pipit juga!
Hornbills pair [WITH] hornbills, as too sparrows [WITH] sparrows!

but more likely....
A hornbill is  a hornbill's equal, as too a sparrow is a sparrow's equal


HT 100:12
Adapun yang pipit itu SAMA pipit juga, yang enggang itu SAMAnya enggang
juga, tuanku.
Well now the sparrow is the sparrow's equal, so too is the hornbill the
equal of a hornbill, milord.

here, the explicit possessive construction with -nya leaves no room for
doubt that (the second) SAMA is nominal and target of possession of the
second _enggang_ 'hornbill'.

I looked through some 17th century missionary publications of Dutch
translators who were known for their preference for Low Malay, particularly
that of Ambon, e.g. Sebastiaen Danckaerts, Daniel Brouwerius, but did
not immediately find any instances of use of _sama_ for 'with'. They
typically used _dengan_.

The 1623 dictionary of Wiltens & Danckaerts gives for _sama_ (p.108):

  Samma, seperti. ghelijk / als

i.e. the word is regarded as a synonym of _seperti_ 'like' and translated
with Dutch _gelijk_ 'equal, similar, alike, like' and _als_ 'as, like'.

Best,   Waruno

>                                                                       How
> old is the sama construction in Indonesian/Malay? Has it been attested in
> Classical Malay texts, for example?

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