Linguistics Seminar | Eri Kurniawan Universitas Pendidikan
Language Patterns and Ethnic Identity Among the Indigenous Sundanese Baduy of Banten, Indonesia
Eri Kurniawan | Linguistics, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Numerous investigations have focused on language documentation, the linguistic landscape, and language use in urban Indonesian contexts, particularly addressing the decline of indigenous languages and the shift towards the national language. However, research into the same issue among rural populations within indigenous communities remains underexplored. This presentation aims to address this gap by reporting on two research projects (2016-2023) that conducted language documentation, an in-depth examination of the linguistic landscape, language patterns, and their intricate relationship with ethnic identity in the Sundanese Baduy communities of Banten, Indonesia. To achieve this goal, we compiled a dataset consisting of questionnaires, elicitation sessions, interviews, naturally occurring conversations, and monologues from both the inner (Baduy Dalam) and outer circles (Baduy Luar) of the communities. The findings reveal two key insights. First, the communities primarily speak a Sundanese variety closely related to the Sundanese dialect of Banten, characterized by distinctive features in morphosyntax and lexicon. Second, when it comes to language use, the Sundanese language emerges as the dominant first language across various domains, including familial, friendship, neighborhood, and religious contexts.
Eri Kurniawan is a professor of (interdisciplinary) linguistics at the Indonesia University of Education. Upon graduation from the linguistics department of the University of Iowa, US, he’s quite intensively looked at language documentation of the Sundanese language and English for research publication purposes.
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