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An Analysis Of Language Code Used By The Cross Married Couple, Banjarese- Javanese Ethnic Group (A Case Study In Pelaihari Regency, South Kalimantan)


A. Research Background

People use language to communicate in their every day social interactions. Thus, language becomes an important medium of communication. In communication, language makes people easier to express their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and so on. Wardhaugh (1998: 8 ) explains that, “language allows people to say things to each other and express communicative needs”. In short, language is constantly used by humans in their every day life. Many linguists have tried to make definitions of language. According to Hall (in Lyons, 1981: 4)
“Language is the institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oralauditory arbitrary symbol”.

Meanwhile in language: The Social Mirror, Chaika (1994: 6) states:
“Language is multi layered and does not show a one-to-one correspondence between message and meaning as animal languages do. For this reason, every meaning can be expressed in more than one way and there are many ways to express any meaning. Languages differ from each other, but all seem suited for the tasks they are used for. Languages change with changing social conditions”.

In all human activities, the language use has an important correlation with the factors outside of it. People commonly use language in accordance with social structure and system of value in the society. The internal and external differences in human societies such as sex, age, class, occupation, geographical origin and so on, also influence their language. Most of us speak differently to different people or to the same people in different circumstances. One of the interdisciplinary sciences, which studies the relation between sociology and linguistics, is called sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics is defined as the study of language in relation to society (Hudson, 1996). Meanwhile, Chaika (1994: 3) defines it as follows:
“sociolinguistics is the study of the way people use language in social interaction of all kinds”. It is divided into macrosociolinguistics and microsociolinguistics. According to Trudgill (1992) microsociolinguistics discusses the study of face- toface interaction, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and other areas of sociolinguistics involving the study of relatively small group of speakers. Based on the definition above, the research covers conversation involving the Cross Married Couple, Banjarese- Javanese Ethnic Group in Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan.

The use of different languages in different nations or islands causes language varieties or linguistic diversities. In a social interaction, the contact between one language and other languages may happen. Bilingualism and multilingualism then occur. According to Lado (in Asril Marjohan, 1976) bilingualism is: “popularly the ability to speak two languages equally or most equally well, it is used technically to refer to any degree of knowledge of two knowledges by the same person”(p.124).

As an archipelago’s nation, Indonesia has a composition of the various ethnic groups that settle such as Banjarese, Javanese, Bataknese, Bugesnese and so on. Of course, every ethnic group possesses its own indigenous languages that come into contact with each other. Therefore, these lead an Indonesian nation to be not only multicultural but also multilingual ethnic groups. Here, the Cross- Married Couple, Banjarese- javanese Ethnic group in Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan, for example, constitutes an ethnic group of having a different cultural background and language, which has become a bilingual and multilingual community of linguistic groups.

In a bilingual and multilingual situation, language variation may occur. It is common that the Cross-Married Couple use more than one variety, switch and even mix those varieties. A variety or code refers to any kind of language, dialect, accent, sociolect, style or register (Trudgill, 1992). The setting of this research is in Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan, it is known that many ethnics come to this town, and one of them is a Javanese ethnic. A Javanese ethnic comes to this town for various aims such as looking for the job, joining the transmigration program, being invited by the Banjarese husband and so on. Since he or she has lived and worked in this town, and finally he or she does a mixed marriage with one of the Banjarese ethnics or natives of Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan. He or she interacts and communicates with his or her couple, so contact with another language occurs. As Cross- Married Couple, they do not only use Banjarese language but also Javanese language and even mix or switch their language between Banjarese+ Javanese, Banjarese+ Indonesian, and Javanese+ Indonesian.

The Cross-Married Couple, who use more than one code to communicate, for many occasions, would face a problem. They should choose which code is appropriate in a certain occasion. Language code is usually connected with certain domains. It happens because it is a constellation of topic, setting, and participant. Certain domains determine a certain code that should be used in order to make a conversation run well. There are certain domains in this research that determine the choice of codes. Furthermore, every code chosen by them has social meanings. Many sociolinguists argue that the existence of varieties spoken by the member of society gives us a clue that there is correlation between linguistic diversities and social backgrounds. It is supported by Peter Trudgill’s statement that: “the internal differentiation of human societies is reflected in their language” (1974: p.35). In this research, most of the participants are members of family; there are differences between them that perform linguistic varieties in their conversations.

Related to all the explanations above, the researcher is interested in exploring language choice. The researcher does a research on language choice used by the Cross Married Couple, Banjarese- Javanese Ethnic Group in Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan. In this research, there are interesting phenomena about language choice. It tells about a certain community, the Cross Married Couple, Banjarese- Javanese Ethnic Group who have lived and worked in Pelaihari Regency South Kalimantan. As Cross Married Couple, Banjarese- Javanese Ethnic Group, he or she absolutely faces many problems where he or she interacts with certain families and societies.

Based on the phenomena above, it is interesting to study about language choice used by the participants in interacting with the others in certain domains. The following examples will help us understand them:
1) The researcher (Banjarese) : Ooo… pian suwahlah ka Java ? (have you ever been to Java?).
Wife (Javanese) : Da….kada suwah, disini- sini aja…selawas belaki lawan urang sini pang. (never…only here, since I have had a husband here).
Husband (Banjarese) : Rami gerang di Jawa to…? (is in Java really crowded there?).
Wife : Raminya di Jawa to…kada sakira tupang. (yes, it is very crowded …it has no equal). (p.2).

The conversation above took place at home between the Javanese wife and her Banjarese husband. Both of them have a different ethnic group background. Here, the researcher is also involved in the conversation but he only tries to elicit their reaction about what language choice they use to communicate in the members of family. The topic is about a Java’s situation. In this conversation, the researcher uses Banjarese language to elicit their language by asking “pian suwahlah ka Jawa? (have you ever been to Java?)”, and then they choose Banjarese language to respond the researcher’s question. For examples, the Javanese wife replied the researcher’s question “Da….kada suwah, disini- sini aja…selawas belaki lawan urang sini pang. (never…only here, since I have had a husband here)”. After replying that question, suddenly the Banjarese husband laughed and he felt it funny and then her wife also laughed.

Therefore, the factor that influences their language use is a situational factor in which they try to create a relaxed situation. It is possible to say that Banjarese language enables them to choose appropriate utterances when talking to the members of the family or the natives of South Kalimantan. “Pian (you)” Banjarese word is used by the researcher to respect her. It is usually used to address to older people, respectable people, or having higher social status in family or in the society. This word is a high language. The same words from “pian (you)” Banjarese word are “ikam (you) and nyawa (you)”words. But, these words are low language. “ikam (you) and nyawa (you)” Banjarese words are used to address to younger people or having the same status in the members of family or in the society. Here, “ikam (you)” word is used in a Hulu Banjarese dialect, while nyawa (you)” word is used in a Kuala Banjarese dialect.

2) Daughter : Abah nengdi ma ? (where is dad, mum ?).
Mother (Javanese) : Aku gak ngerti Vi, mungkin diadah embahmu (I do not know Vi, perhaps your dad is in your grandfather’s house).
Daughter : Baapa kesana ? (what will he do there ?).
Mother : Ada nang ditakunakan. (he will ask something). (p.19)

In this second example, the conversation took place at home. This dialog was obtained in Bpk Jamaluddin’s family. Here, in the dialog above consists of participants between daughter and her Javanese mother. The topic of this conversation was about asking her father who was going out the house. The daughter looked for her father by asking her mother “abah nengdi ma? (where is dad, mum?)”. Then, her mother replied her daughter’s question “aku gak ngerti Vi, mungkin diadah embahmu (I do not know Vi, perhaps your dad is in your grandfather’s house)”. From this conversation above, the participants employ language mixing (code mixing) between Banjarese and Javanese language in their utterance.

The language use above is also influenced by the situational factor in which they create a relaxed situation and at that time the mother replied her daughter’s question while watching sinetron at one of television programs in the living room. Actually, her mother is from a Javanese ethnic. Here, the daughter mixed her speech between Banjarese and Javanese language. It is an indication that her mother has taught her daughter Javanese language in the member of family. Hence, they mix their languages in the conversation. Their relationship is intimacy.

Based on those two examples above, there are different codes used for a certain domain that are influenced by situational factors, ethnicity and so on and has certain social meanings. To make a detail analysis of such phenomena, the researcher would like to conduct an analysis, entitled AN ANALYSIS OF LANGUAGE CODE USED BY THE CROSS MARRIED COUPLE, BANJARESE- JAVANESE ETHNIC GROUP (A CASE STUDY IN PELAIHARI REGENCY, SOUTH KALIMANTAN).

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