LINGUISTIC SITUATION AROUND EAST FLORES AND ALOR-PANTAR ISLANDS IN EAST INDONESIA

Main Article Content

Yunus Sulistyono
Inyo Yos Fernandez

Keywords

Linguistic situation, East Indonesia, Austronesian languages, Papuan languages, East Flores, Alor-Pantar Islands, Alorese, Kedang, Lamahot

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the linguistic situation around East Flores and Alor-Pantar islands in terms of language change and contact within the area, including Austronesian languages and Papuan languages.


Methodology: The linguistic features discussed in this research were based on data collected directly by paying a visit to the village of Baranusa in West Pantar; Tanjung Bunga, in East Flores; and Lewoleba in Lembata. The instruments include 200 Swadesh word list and 646 words referring to cultural vocabulary.


Results: Results shows that it is based on research that has been conducted since 2014 which covers identification on the genetic identity and historical relations of Alorese, Kedang, and Lamaholot. These three languages are spoken in many different locations in East Flores-Pantar-Alor. We compare their phonological and lexical evidence to reveal their historical relations which leads to the historical changes from the protoforms as reflected in the present languages. We also consider the fact that there are also some contacts with Papuan speakers and the role of Indonesian as the national language and as the new lingua franca.


Implications: Thus, East Indonesia has been known for its unique linguistic situation. Its geographical condition enables every language and its varieties to develop their own DNA. Linguists from all over the world see this area as a major contact area that is defined by a single wave diffusion heading in various directions. It shaped the linguistic area in East Indonesia as it is now. This situation reflects some patterns that can be seen from certain changes in terms of phonological and lexical aspects through some languages that exist in the present. This situation covers languages spoken in certain areas, such as languages spoken in the area of Lesser Sunda islands.

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