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Thursday, October 10 • 3:20pm - 3:45pm
Ravindranath Abtahian et al.: Variation and change in Jakarta Indonesian first-person singular pronouns

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Variation and change in Jakarta Indonesian first-person singular pronouns

In this paper we investigate variation in overt 1sg pronouns in Colloquial Jakarta Indonesian (JI), considered a contact variety between Betawi Malay and Standard Indonesian (SI). We use a corpus of colloquial naturalistic data (MPI-Jakarta Field Station) to analyze the social and linguistic factors conditioning variation between gua/gue, associated with Jakarta identity and youth; saya, the SI variant; aku, from Javanese and associated with Javanese ethnicity; and kita ‘1pl inclusive’ occasionally used as singular. The analysis is based on 3796 tokens from 40 speakers (male and female, aged 18-83, and a mix of educational and linguistic backgrounds). We observe aku and gua/gue among both JI and Betawi speakers, with particularly low rates of aku. Overall rates of gua/gue are higher among JI speakers and younger speakers, consistent with its use as a marker of youth speech. However, comparison with data from the 1960s suggests this is an age grading effect.


Maya Ravindranath Abtahian

University of Rochester

Abigail C. Cohn

Cornell University

Ferdinan Kurniawan

Cornell University

Rachel Vogel

Cornell University

Thursday October 10, 2019 3:20pm - 3:45pm PDT
EMU Crater Lake S
  T: Language change
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Ceil Lucas