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Tetun Dili

A language of East Timor

ISO 639-3tdt

Population  50,000 (1995).
Region  North coast of East Timor, L1 in Dili area; L2 scattered in west part of East Timor.
Language map  East Timor
Alternate names   Dili Tetum, Tetum, Tetum Dili, Tetum Praça, Tetum Prasa, Tetun
Dialects  Important differences with Tetun [tet] in grammar, morphology, functors, and much of the lexicon. Heavy Portuguese and Mambae [mgm] influence; some Indonesian [ind] or Malay [mkn] loans.
Classification  Creole, Tetun based
Language use  Language of wider communication. Increasing in use predominantly in urban areas. There are 3 L2 varieties spoken by different people: (1) fluent Tetun Dili spoken throughout the western part of East Timor, primarily by those who have lived in Dili for one or more years, (2) occasional Dili residents with significant influence from their own L1s, and (3) people originally from East Timor who are overseas residents in Portugal or Australia, with higher portion of inflected Portuguese vocabulary and almost complete lack of Indonesian or Malay loans. Tetum Ibadat or liturgical Tetum is not spoken by anyone for everyday communication, nor as L1, with a lot of vocabulary and some grammar not understood widely. All domains. All ages. North and South Tetun speakers have significant difficulty understanding it in many speech domains, and vice versa. Some L1 speakers of Tetun Dili consider themselves bilingual in Tetun [tet] because of contact, but when pressed, admit there are domains in which communication is completely blocked.
Language development  Grammar. Bible portions: 1996–2002.
Comments  Cultural rituals and themes in Tetun [tet] are not as deeply rooted in Tetun Prasa. Compared to Tetun: many more Portuguese loanwords; does not inflect V-initial verb roots for person or number; uses more periphrastic constructions than morphological constructions (e.g., causatives); differences in possessive constructions and negatives. Christian.
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