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Malay Literature & Law: New Evidence from Pre-Islamic Times


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Friday, February 12 at 12:00 pm in Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room)
Presented by Dr. Uli Kozok, Associate Professor – Indonesian-Malay Language Program, Univ. of Hawai′i at Mānoa

The Tanjung Tanah code of law, dating to the late 14th century, was issued by the Maharaja of Dharmasraya, the former capital of the Malayu kingdom. This manuscript, written in both Sanskrit and Malay in Pallavo-Nusantaric script on bark paper, was a few centuries later reissued by the Sultan of Jambi, but this time on paper and in Arabic-Malay script. The two manuscripts, both in the possession of the same family, not only give us interesting insights into the changes that the Malay language underwent from the 14th to the 18th century, but also teach us the impact of Islamic law on the legal system of a Sumatran Malay polity.


Dr. Uli Kozok (MA, PhD Hamburg 1989,1994) is a Professor in Indonesian language and literature at the University of Hawai′i at Mānoa. His research interests include the paleography of Island Southeast Asia, Sumatran philology, and the development of authentic teaching materials and computer-assisted language learning applications for the Indonesian language.

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