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Open Access The discovery of Javanese writing in a Sri Lankan Malay manuscript

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The discovery of Javanese writing in a Sri Lankan Malay manuscript

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Beyond the boundaries of what is typically considered the Indonesian-Malay world, a small community known today as the Sri Lanka Malays continued to employ the Malay language in writing and speech long after its ancestors left the Indonesian archipelago and Malay peninsula for their new home. Although it is reasonable to assume that the ancestors of the Malays spoke a variety of languages, at least initially, no traces of writing in another Indonesian language have ever been found. Below I present the first evidence of such writing, in Javanese, encountered in an early nineteenth century manuscript from Colombo.

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