Explanation about Prefixes meN- and peN in Bahasa Indonesia

Prefixes meN- and peN in Learning Indonesian

The capital N represents a sound which changes depending on the fi rst sound of the base. N can appear as one of the nasals m, n, ny, ng, or as zero. Sometimes the nasal comes before the fi rst sound of the base and sometimes it replaces the fi rst sound. (Initial p, t, s and k are fi rst sounds that, as a rule, are replaced.)
The rules are illustrated by meN- but apply equally to peN- and peN-…-an. Exceptions to the rules
and the affi xation with single-syllable. N becomes ng before a vowel

If the word begins with a vowel, prefi x meng- is attached:

meN- + ajar −> mengajar
meN- + ekspor −> mengekspor
meN- + erang −> mengerang
meN- + olah −> mengolah
meN- + urus −> mengurus

N becomes m with initial b, p, f  If the word begins with b, p or f, prefi x mem- occurs. Initial p
is lost:

meN- + beli −> membeli
meN- + pakai −> memakai
meN- + fi tnah −> memfi tnah

N becomes n with initial d, t, c, j, sy, z If the word begins with d, t, c, j, sy or z, prefi x men- occurs.
Initial t is lost:

meN- + dengar −> mendengar
meN- + tulis −> menulis
meN- + cari −> mencari
meN- + jual −> menjual
meN- + syarat + -kan −> mensyaratkan
meN- + ziarah + -i −> menziarahi

N becomes ny with initial s If the word begins with s, prefi x meny- occurs. Initial s is lost:

meny- + sewa −> menyewa

N becomes ng with initial g, k, h, kh If the word begins with g, k, h or kh, prefi x meng- occurs. Initial k is lost:

meN- + ganggu −> mengganggu
meN- + kirim −> mengirim
meN- + hilang −> menghilang
meN- + khawatir + -kan −> mengkhawatirkan

N is lost before other initial sounds If the word begins with l, r, m, n, ny, ng, w or y, prefi x meoccurs:

meN- + lihat −> melihat
meN- + rasa −> merasa
meN- + masak −> memasak
meN- + nanti −> menanti
meN- + nyanyi −> menyanyi
meN- + nganga −> menganga
meN- + wakil + -i −> mewakili
meN- + yakin + -i −> meyakini

Sometimes the same sequence of sounds can result from different combinations of N and initial base sound, so the initial sound of the base cannot be predicted from the form of the Sound changes in
derived verb. Thus, ny results both from meny + s (which is
lost) and from

me + ny: menyewa from meny- + sewa
menyanyi from me- + nyanyi

The sequence of ng and a vowel can result from three combinations:

Mengarang     from   meng- + karang
Mengarang     from   meng- + arang
Menganga      from   me- + nganga

N undergoes the same changes with affi xes peN- and peN-…-an as it does with meN-. For example:

peN- + tulis −> penulis
peN- + tulis + -an −> penulisan

Exceptions to the rules for N

If prefi x meN- is followed by prefi x per-, the initial p of per- is not lost:

meN- + per- + lebar −> memperlebar
meN + per- + oleh −> memperoleh

If the base begins with the sequence perC (that is, per followed by a consonant), the initial p is lost irregularly:
meN- + percaya + -i −> mempercayai
meN- + pergok + -i −> mempergoki,

meN- + percik + -i −> memerciki

The p of prefi x per- and of base-initial perC is lost following
prefi x peN-:

peN- + per- + satu −> pemersatu
peN- + per- + oleh + -an −> pemerolehan
peN- + perkosa −> pemerkosa

With some bases initial p, t, s and k are not lost. If s is not lost, N becomes n. With the exception of verbs beginning with perC, this is almost entirely confi ned to words borrowed from other
languages. The initial sound is most likely to be retained if the word is still felt to be foreign. Thus retention of the sound is common in words beginning with consonant clusters, which do not occur in indigenous words:

meN- + proklamasi + -kan −> memproklamasikan
meN- + traktir −> mentraktir
meN- + swadaya + -kan −> menswadayakan
meN- + klasifi kasi + -kan −> mengklasifi kasikan

Initial p, t, s and k are sometimes retained in borrowings, even where there is no initial consonant cluster. As a borrowing becomes more accepted as an Indonesian word, the tendency increases for people to use the more regular form without the initial consonant of the base. During a transition period, both forms occur:

meN- + protes −> memprotes,
meN- + taat + -i −> mentaati, menaati
meN- + sukses + -kan −> mensukseskan,
meN- + kritik −> mengkritik,

The time at which the ‘changeover’ occurs and the length of the transition period differs from word to word (and to some extent from speaker to speaker). Thus, mentaati and menaati ‘obey’ continue to exist side by side, while after many years of use menterjemahkan ‘translate’ was completely replaced by menerjemahkan in a very short period during the mid-1980s. In a few non-borrowed words, base-initial p remains. The word mempengaruhi ‘infl uence’, from base pengaruh, may
result from interpretation of the word as having prefi x peN-. However, mempunyai ‘possess’, from base punya, must be regarded as an exception in the modern language. With kaji both possibilities occur, but with different meanings: mengaji ‘recite the Quran’, pengajian ‘Quran reading’,
and mengkaji ‘to research, carry out study’, pengkajian ‘study, research’. Prefi x peng- occurs with the bases lihat, rajin and lepas:
penglihatan ‘sight’, pengrajin ‘craftsman’, penglepasan ‘release’ (as well as pelepasan). During the early 1990s there was an increasing tendency for pengrajin to be regularised as perajin.
The base tahu ‘know’ takes the prefi xes menge- and penge-: mengetahui ‘get to know’, pengetahuan ‘knowledge’. N becomes ny and initial sy is lost from the base syair:
menyair ‘write poetry’, penyair ‘poet’.

MeN- and peN- with single-syllable bases

With single-syllable bases, which are all borrowings from other languages, meN- and peN- optionally become menge- and penge-. The regular form of the prefi x can occur instead, in which
case initial p, t, s, k are not lost. Some people recognise only the menge- variant as being standard.4 The frequency of either form depends both on the individual base and personal preference:

meN- + pel −> mengepel, mempel
meN- + cek −> mengecek, mencek
meN- + bom −> mengebom, membom
meN- + tik −> mengetik, mentik
meN- + sah + -kan −> mengesahkan,

meN- + rem −> mengerem, merem

Derivatives with peN- and peN-…-an act similarly:

peN- + bom + -an −> pengeboman,
peN- + sah + -an −> pengesahan,

With passive prefi x di- the base occurs in the normal way: dibom, dipel and so on. With the borrowed word tik ‘type’ ke- optionally occurs in the passive: ditik, diketik. Because of
this, both ketik and tik are recognised as bases. Some people regard menge- as containing a prefi x ke-, which functions to form a two-syllable base, such forms being the most common base in indigenous words. The retention of nge in reduplicated
bases   strengthens this view.

Reduplicated bases with meN- and peN

When a base prefi xed with meN- is reduplicated, N is retained on the reduplicated base where the initial consonant has been lost. The symbol R represents full base reduplication

meN- + bagi-R −> membagi-bagi
meN- + amat-R + -i −> mengamat-amati
meN- + minta-R −> meminta-minta
meN- + pijit-R −> memijit-mijit
meN- + tulis-R −> menulis-nulis
meN- + kayuh-R −> mengayuh-ngayuh

When meN- is realised as menge- before a single-syllable base , the sequence nge occurs on the reduplicated base:

meN- + cek-R −> mengecek-ngecek

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