This book is the first grammar on Ternate Malay , a local variety of Malay spoken on the island of Ternate , North - Moluccas , Indonesia . It is a language with words flexible in function and meaning , which do not bear overtly expressed features to indicate grammatical functions . Linguistic tools traditionally used to distinguish between word classes do not work satisfactorily for this language . Certain lexical items and their position in a string of words serve as indicators of relationships between the words and determine the meaning they express . The preference for particular types of constructions and other combinatory abilities serve to limit the number of plausible interpretations and facilitate the determining of meaningful word constructions . The linguistic context and the non - linguistic situation determine the most appropriate interpretation of structures and the meaning they express . Various kinds of constructions are analyzed , described , and illustrated with examples from stories , told by a young Ternate Malay speaker . The word order , different types of possessive constructions , spatial orientation , and other linguistic topics of interest are described and discussed . The grammar aims to complement linguistic descriptions of Malay varieties in general , and particularly those in eastern Indonesia . The Ternate Malay texts and examples display spontaneous and naturally spoken Malay used as the daily language of communication in Ternate . The accompanying CD - rom contains texts with sound files and a Ternate Malay - English wordlist .