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Semelai language

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Title: Semelai language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Austroasiatic languages, Aslian languages, Bangladeshis in Malaysia, Filipinos in Malaysia, Kenyah people
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Semelai language

Native to Malaysia
Region Malaya
Ethnicity 6,300 (2008)
Native speakers
4,100  (2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sza
Glottolog seme1247[2]

The Semelai language is a language spoken by the Semalai people, one of nineteen groups called Orang Asli or "original people" by the Malaysian government. The Semelai reside in the region between Segamat (Johore) and the Pahang River. The Semelai are classified as so-called "Proto-Malays", one of three categories into which the Orang Asli are officially divided. Actually the Semelai language is an Austroasiatic language, while the other groups classified as "Proto-Malay" speak Austronesian languages.

Further reading

  • Gianno, Rosemary. 2004. Women are not brave enough: Semelai male midwives in the context of Southeast Asian cultures. Bijdragen Tot De Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde. 160, no. 1: 31.
  • Hoe, Ban Seng, Adela S. Baer, and Rosemary Gianno. Semelai Communities at Tasek Bera: A Study of the Structure of an Orang Asli Society. Subang Jaya, Malaysia: Centre for Orang Asli Concerns, 2001. ISBN 983-40042-3-0
  • Hood, M. S. Semelai Rituals of Curing. University of Oxford, 1978.
  • Kruspe, Nicole. A Grammar of Semelai. Cambridge grammatical descriptions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-521-81497-9
  • Santharamohana, Mohala. Knowledge, Culture and Beliefs of the Semelai People in Tasek Bera. Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia: Wetlands International, Malaysia Office, 2002. ISBN 983-40960-4-6


  1. ^ Semelai at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Semelai". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links

  • More support for indigenous Semelai at Tasek Bera Ramsar Site
  • Knowledge, Culture and Beliefs of Tasek Bera's Semelai People. Tasek Bera, Malaysia's first Ramsar site, is important not just for its flora and fauna. It is also home to the Semelai, the indigenous Orang Asli people who inhabit the area around the lake. WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL reports on their unique culture and beliefs.
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