|Prefix||Meaning in Malay||Example|
|1.||al (al – definite article the)||mostly used as style or to indicate relation to Arabic language||al-kitab
|2.||darul (darul – district, state or abode)||state or abode||darussalam
Table 1: Arabic prefixes adopted in Malay
The table above shows that there are only two prefixes from Arabic which Malay adopts. Although morpheme al means the definite article the, in Malay, it is mostly used as style, which is to give the context a touch of Arabic. Morpheme darul does not undergo any changes in meaning in Malay.
|Suffix||Meaning in Malay||Example|
|1.||in/un (in – to show singular masculine un – to show plural masculine)||to show masculine||muslimin
|2.||ah/at (ah – to show singular feminine at – to show plural feminine)||to show feminine||muslimah
|3.||i/iah (i/iah – used with nouns or adjectives to show having the attributes or characteristics of the noun or adjectives)||unclear meaning in Malay||amali
Table 2: Arabic suffixes adopted in Malay
In suffix borrowing, only three suffixes are adopted by Malay. Even so, this study found that these suffixes are only used with another loanword from Arabic. Rules of plurality and gender differences in suffix un/in and ah/at are generally ignored when the lexemes are used in Malay. The meaning of the suffix i/iah is not clear in Malay, but we can presume it is to indicate attributes of the lexemes with which it is used.
In derivational morpheme transfer from Arabic into Malay, we can see that the borrowing involves only whole-word transfer. The morphemes are not used with another Malay word. Malay uses the lexical items only to refer to the core meaning of the lexical items, disregarding the Arabic rules of plurality and gender differences. Perhaps because of the prestigious status of Arabic in Malay as the language of the Quran and Islam, we do not see Arabic morphemes being used with Malay lexemes.
Beg, Muhammad Abdul Jabbar (1979). Arabic Loan-words in Malay: A comparative study. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press
Nik Safiah Karim (Ed.) (1996). Unsur Bahasa Asing dalam Bahasa Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Zainal Abidin Safarwan (2002). Kamus Besar Bahasa Melayu Utusan. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications & Distributors.
* Adapted from Abdul Rahman Rukaini in Nik Safiah Karim, ibid, pg. 37-48, with reference to Zainal Abidin Safarwan, ibid and Beg, Muhammad Abdul Jabbar, ibid.