08 August 2010


In Standard Malay (Bahasa Melayu), pernah is used for the perfective (roughly equivalent to English have). But what about in Brunei Malay?

My colleagues suggest that pernah does exist in Brunei Malay; but if so, how is it pronounced? In theory, Brunei Malay only has three vowels: /i, a, u/, and my dictonary of Brunei Malay lists the word as parnah; but UBD colleagues I have asked reject parnah and claim they say pernah. If so, is the use of a central vowel an influence from Standard Malay? And if so, did the word parnah really exist in traditional Brunei Malay?

I was just looking for examples from BruDirect, where Brunei Malay seems to be used increasingly often; and I found this:
mama ku ane ada pernah memohon yayasan
"my mother has applied to yayasan (a charitable fund)"
However, it is hard to know what this tells us, as the language usage on BruDirect is so mixed, so it is hard to determine whether a particular usage is Brunei Malay or not.