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(Sanskrit for “poet”), the ancient Javanese literary language formed in the second half of the first millennium A.D. when Indian cultural influence was established in Indonesia; also, the Kawi script. Numerous inscriptions on stones and metal plates dating from the late eighth and early ninth century, fictional works on subjects from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and historical chronicles have been preserved. Although the Kawi vocabulary is predominantly of Sanskrit and Pali origin, its grammatical structure is purely Javanese. In the 14th century Kawi was supplanted by the language known as Middle Javanese, although Kawi continued to be used as the language of law and religion until Islam became firmly established in Java (15th to early 16th century). Kawi still partly fulfills these functions on the island of Bali.
REFERENCESTeselkin, A.S. Drevneiavanskii iazyk (kavi). Moscow, 1963.
Uhlenbeck, E. M. A Critical Survey of Studies on the Languages of Java and Madura. Bibliographical Series, no. 7. The Hague, 1964.