[tex-hyphen] should bahasa be a synonym for Indonesian?

Jonathan Kew jfkthame at googlemail.com
Wed Nov 27 15:49:57 CET 2013

On 27/11/13 14:30, Arthur Reutenauer wrote:
>> The Universe of Discourse is the names of languages, not the set of
>> English nouns.
>    Yes, and "bahasa" is not the name of a language.

Actually, it may be. Yes, it is clearly a Malay word (derived from 
Sanskrit or Pali or whatever...) meaning "language", but in English it 
can be used by itself as a language name. As the Oxford English 
Dictionary defines it:[1]

 > Bahasa, n.  The variety of Malay used as the national language of the
 > Republic of Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia) or of Malaysia (Bahasa
 > Malaysia).

While it is most often (and less ambiguously) used in the compounds 
"Bahasa Indonesia" and "Bahasa Malay[sia]", it may also be used by 
itself, as shown in one of the OED's illustrative quotations:

 > 1970   Sruth (Inverness) 16 Apr. 2/1   UNESCO has said this about the
 > revival of Irish in Eire: ‘It is clearly silly and a waste of time to
 > scold the Irish, for instance, for reviving their ancient tongue, or
 > the Indonesians for adopting Bahasa in preference to a European
 > language of wide diffusion.’

I suspect that the same hyphenation patterns may well be suitable for 
both Indonesian and Malaysian usage; but if there's a distinction in 
other aspects of polyglossia's (or babel's) language support, then it's 
not obvious which of them 'bahasa' should provide. As such, it may be 
better not to support it as a synonym for either. If Babel needs to 
support it for backward compatibility reasons, it might be as well to 
document it as "deprecated" and recommend the use of 'indonesian' instead.


[1] http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/14666

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