According Tatabahasa Dewan Third Edition, the word 'banyak' (many) can be classied under two categories, namely 'kata bilangan' (counting words) and 'adjektif' (adjectives).
To tell readers the trick of recognising each of them, I need to illustrate it by using the following two sentences.
Banyak buku dibelinya di kedai itu. [Many books has he bought at the shop.]
In the above sentence, the word 'banyak' is under the 'kata bilangan' category.
Banyak tempat yang dikunjunginya selama ini. [The places he has visited so far are many.]
The above sentence is actually a 'ayat songsang' or 'reverse sentence' formed by placing the predikat in front of the subject. The original sentence is: Tempat yang dikunjunginya selama ini banyak where 'Tempat yang dikunjunginya selama ini' is the subject and 'banyak' is the predicate as this belongs to one of the four basic sentence patterns in Malay, namely Frasa Nama - Frasa Nama (Noun phrase - noun phrase), Frasa Nama - Frasa Adjektif (Noun phrase-adjectival pharase), Frasa Nama - Frasa Sendi Nama (Noun phrase - prepositional phrase) and Frasa Nama - Frase Kerja (Noun phrase - Verbal phrase)
The original sentence just quoted belongs to the sentence pattern Noun phrase - adjectival phrase. Let us convert this sentence into the 'ayat songsang' or the 'reverse sentence'.
Tempat yang dikunjunginya selama ini [subject] banyak [predicate] -->
Banyak [Predicate] tempat yang dikunjunginya selama ini [Subject]
The trick here is if you see 'yang' after 'banyak', the banyak belongs to the 'adjective' category whereas the 'banyak' that appears in the subject alone is categorised as 'kata bilangan'.
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