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EMPAN PAPAN ‘AGREE WITH THE SETTING AND SPEECH EVENT’ AS REFLECTED IN THE POLITENESS STRATEGIES USED IN THE PARLIAMENT OF YOGYAKARTA
Corresponding Author(s) : Dwi Santoso
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 7 No. 3 (2019): May
Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the reflection of one of the Javanese values called empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’ in the dialogues used by the MPs of Yogyakarta Provincial Parliament.
Methodology: The subjects of this study are all the MPs attending the RapatKerja ‘Working Meetings’ in a certain period. To see the reflection of this Javanese value, the writer applies to play back interviews. Passive participatory, video recordings and field notes are also conducted so as to support the findings.
Results: The results show the reflection of empanpapan “agree with the setting and speech event’ in the politeness strategies used in the meetings of Yogyakarta Provincial Parliaments.
Implications: Thus, the analysis shows that the reflection of empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’ can be seen in the use of Ngoko‘low Javanese’, indirect strategies, and pronoun kita ‘we (incl)’ instead of saya ‘I’ and kami ‘we (excl).
In the reformation era, it seems that there has been changes in the use of languages in the Indonesian Parliaments which tends to be free, expressing the ideas without considering others’ feeling. They seem to ignore the rules and regulation stated by the institution which suggest them to use the language appropriately and politely. This phenomena appear to be different from the Soeharto’s era where most of the politicians obeyed the rules and regulation. Falling to do so, they will be regarded as betrayers and have serious punishment from the government. 1 says that In the Indonesian parliament during the OrdeBaru however, the government often forced elected members of parliament to vacate their mandate with the so-called recall mechanism. In such case, a faction dismissed (recalled) - under pressure from the government – legislators who were judged as too critical and replaced them with more loyal Suharto supporters” 2,3,4.
Given the phenomena of the language use in the Indonesian Parliament after Soeharto era, the writer is just wondering whether or not the same phenomena also occurs in Yogyakarta Provincial Parliament, in which it has been characterised by the Members (hereinafter referred to as MPs) who mostly speak politely, following some Javanese values which guide them to use the language in more appropriate ways. More specifically, the writer is interested to seek the reflection of empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’) in the politeness strategies used by the MPs of Yogyakarta Provincial Parliament.
Politeness in Javanese
One of the classic studies in Javanese politeness that is still referred to by some researchers on linguistic politeness in Indonesian society is a paper written by 5,6 on ‘Language Propriety in Javanese’ in which it gives a more brief discussion on the principle of politeness in Javanese, which is actually an extension of his paper entitled ‘Language Etiquette in Indonesian’ 7,8. Although the idea is inspired by maxims, politeness principles, and politeness strategies as proposed by 9, 9; 10, 10, P1983; 11, 11, his theory is particularly appropriate for Javanese people. He further states that:
“Different from the situation in Europe or America where the normal individuals are monolinguals, most Javanese people are now bilinguals, speaking Javanese and Indonesian. Besides, the Javanese language makes use of distinct speech levels, which means distinct speech codes, hence reflect a slightly different practice of language propriety from those adhered to by most of the Europeans and the Americans ” 5,6.
Empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’
In Javanese, it is important for people to establishrukun ‘social harmony’ in their social conduct. In this regard, 5,6 suggests that one of the Javanese principles to establish rukun ‘social harmony’ is empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’. The speakers applying empanpapan are supposed to choose the topic suitable with the situation and objective of the discussion. They are not supposed to discuss personal matter in public as it can make the intended interlocutors feel embarrassed. For example, one is not supposed to collect a debt from an addressee while attending a wedding party, or during funeral ceremony. One is not supposed to talk about a terrible disease during dinner. In short, one is not supposed to talk about something that is not suitable to the speech events. Otherwise, s/he will be considered as someone who is benyunyak-benyunyuk ‘intrusive, repulsive’, mangkelke ‘annoying’, njelehi ‘boring’ or mbocahi‘childish’. As an interlocutor, s/he is also supposed to respond the topic similar or relevant to the one delivered by the speaker. By so doing, s/he will be considered as the one that is nyambung ‘relates to or connects with’ the topic being discussed. He also argues that the principle of empanpanpan is to some degree comparable to 12 acronym SPEAKING (setting, participants, ends, acts sequences, keys, instrumentalities, norms, and genres).
13 maintains that rukun ‘social harmony’ is highly preserved and prioritized by the Javanese people. One of the Javanese principles to create rukun‘social harmony’ is empanpapan ‘know one’s place, or conduct the right behavior in the right place’, which requires the people to know their place or position relative to others and behave accordingly. Otherwise, they will be given an impression as the under civilized and uneducated.
A similar expression related to EmpanPapan is also proposed by 14 as cited in 15. He suggests that empanpapanis almost similar to angonmangsaangonbásá. Angon means to have regard for; mangsa means circumstances, situation, time; andbásámeans language and manner. The idea of the principle angonmangsaangonbásáis that one is supposed to consider when, where, and how something is to be communicated. For example, if giving instruction the speaker of higher position is supposed to apply indirect strategies to the interlocutors of lower position.
The subjects of the study were selected from all the participants attending the RapatKerja“Working Meeting” from September 2012 to January 2014. It consists of 55 active Members of Parliament (including the Chairs) of Yogyakarta’s Provincial Parliament from 2009-2014 periods.
The writer has applied a triangulation approach to collect the data: 1) a passive participatory observation, 2) field-note, 3) documentation, 4) video recording, and 5) playback interviews. The rationales to use multiple sources to gather the data is to obtain rich data and to seek convergence and support for the study. Besides, I try to avoid getting the result which may create potential bias due to the use of a single method and source. 16,17 says: “By triangulating data, the researcher attempts to provide “a confluence of evidence that breeds credibility”. Also, 18 says that triangulation helps the researcher guard against the accusation that a study’s findings are simply an artifact of a single method, a single source, or a single investigator’s bias”.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In this section, the writers shows the reflection of empanpapan ‘‘agree with the setting and speech event’ in the politeness strategies used in the meetings of Yogyakarta Provincial Parliaments.
Empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’
In the context of Yogyakarta’s Provincial Parliament, the practice of empanpapan can be seen in the polite language used by the participants, they are 1) code mixing from Indonesian to Ngoko‘low Javanese’ despite the Indonesian as the official language, 2) indirect strategies, and pronoun kita ‘we (incl)’ instead of saya ‘I’ and kami ‘we (excl). The following video excerpts display some practices of empanpapan by the Chair and the MPs.
Table 1: Video Excerpt: An MP suggesting to all participants
Table.2: Video Excerpt: The chair suggesting MP
Table3. Video Excerpt: The chair suggesting MP
Having had the interviews with the participants, regardless of the position, status and power; it has been noted that empanpapan has been generally practiced by the participants as the essential guidance every time they want to conduct any communication one another.
From the interview with the MP based on the use of code switching from Indonesian to Ngoko‘low Javanese’as can be observed in the Table.1: Video Excerpt line 1,5,14 and 15, it has been noted that he normally applies such strategies as he knows that he is having RapatKerja, which to some degree allows him use Ngoko in the interaction despite the fact that Indonesian is the official language. In this regard, he has said
“Regarding the use of Ngoko ‘low Javanese’ when I speak in the RapatKerja, I sometimes use it spontaneously as I never pay attention to the language I use during the meeting. It is because of my habit at home when I speak with my family and staffs. However, rarely do I use Ngokoin the RapatParipurna as it is very formal. Even, I almost never use Ngoko but rather formal Indonesian from the beginning to the end of the meeting” (Mr.Arfi Harman, 19/09/2014, my translation).
Another argument related to the choice of the language in the meeting as the reflection of empanpapan is also delivered by one of the MPs arguing that
“I will use formal Indonesian from the beginning to the end of meeting when I follow the RapatParipurna as it is very formal and is mostly delivered on the stage or podium. I have to see the situation when I want to use the language. However, to some extent I sometime use Arabic in the RapatParipurna when it is related to the values quoted from Al-Quran. Also, when I want to remind the Governor regarding the smoking regulation, I usually switch to KramaInggil, i.e., nyuwunsewuNgarsoDalem ‘Excuse me Your Highness’ so as to make what I say is delivered without hurting his feeling as I know that he is a smoker” (Mrs.Intisari, 23/09/2014, my translation)
Based on the interview conducted with the Chair relative to the practice of empanpapan in kita ‘we (incl) instead saya ‘I’ and kami ‘we (excl)’, it has been noted that the Chair has applied such pronouns for some reasons. He will use kita when he wants to give any suggestions to all the participants in the Hall as can be elicited in Table.3:Video Excerpt line 10 and 21. In this, he acts as if he were the one whose position is equal to the other participants in the Hall. In the interview, it is also noted that he will apply kami ‘we (excl) when he wants to bring his party or faction’s opinion, and saya (I) when he wants to make a decision which is urgent and warn the other participants to be in order. Even so, the use saya ‘I’ is rarely applied by the Chair as he does not want to be considered as the leader who is dominating.
“It is correct that I sometime use kita ‘we (incl)’ and kami ‘we (excl)’ in the meeting. I usually use kitawhen I want to give some suggestions in the meeting in that I want to show that I am not the dominating person in the meeting. I usually use kamiwhen I have to speak on behalf of my faction. While, sayais my last choice and usually used when it is really needed, for example, there are discenting opinions among the members of different factions which requires me to select the best decision” (Mr.Chair, 18/09/2014, my translation).
Given the practice of empanpapan, it appears to be comparable to the study conducted by 15. In his finding, he argues that the practice of empanpapan has been regularly practiced by the Superiors and Subordinates of the Yogyakarta Local Government in their interaction both formally and informally. The superiors tend to use two languages (Indonesian and Javanese) interchangeably depending on the situation and topic of the discussion. He argues that to be a real Javanese s/he is supposed to apply empanpapan, in that s/he is supposed to know how to use a certain code. Falling to do so, he will be considered as oranjawani ‘not Javanized’ or durungngerti ‘s/he has not understood yet’
This study has investigated the reflection of empanpapan ‘agree with the setting and speech event’in the dialogues used by the Members of Yogyakarta Provincial Parliament attending the RapatKerja ‘Working Meeting’. From the finding, it shows that the MPs use 1) code mixing from Indonesian to Ngoko‘low Javanese’ despite the Indonesian as the official language, 2) indirect strategies, and pronoun kita ‘we (incl)’ instead of saya ‘I’ and kami ‘we (excl) because they want to be sumanak and empanpapan. Also, these findings confirm that empanpapanis still reflected in the language used so as to create rukun and avoid conflict.
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