Wayang Properties in The Use of Indonesian and Javanese

Author: I Dewa Putu Wijana (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia)
Speaker: I Dewa Putu Wijana
Topic: Language, Community, Ethnicity
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


“Wayang” (puppet) is one of the most popular traditional performances in Indonesia. The story, originally from India, has undergone transformations, and the Indonesian people have regarded it as their own, instead of foreign to the community. More over, for many Indonesian people, wayang stories differ to other stories in that they present ethics and moral teachings as an important provisions for way of life. The central role played by wayang renders wayang properties easily accessible in many aspects of social life, and the use of language is no exception. This paper will accordingly discuss the properties of wayang reflected in the use of Indonesian and Javanese. The data are collected through observing the use of Indonesian and Javanese for talking and discussing wayang matters and referring, naming, or comparing everything surrounding their lives. The data are further classified on the basis of their speech type modalities. As far as the wayang properties are concerned, there are at least three types of language use, i.e. literal, metaphorical, and symbolic. These types of languages are used by society for referring, symbolizing, and comparing various social aspects, states, and activities of a community’s daily life. All of these matters have not so far been revealed by scholars who use wayang as the object of their study (Nurhayati, 2005 and Hazim, 1991). More specifically, the use of wayang properties as the source domains of metaphorical expressions has not been discussed by linguists who have conducted significant studies on metaphors (Wahab (1990, 5) and Wijana (2016, 56-67)


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Keywords: wayang, properties, literal, symbolical, and metaphorical