Chapter published in:The Social Dynamics of Pronominal Systems: A comparative approach
Edited by Paul Bouissac
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 304] 2019
► pp. 253–287
Address, reference and sequentiality in Indonesian conversation
Indonesian has an open pronoun system that provides speakers with a range of first and second person terms. Drawing on data from informal conversation, we examine second person expressions used for address and reference in sequence initiating actions in multiparty interaction. Previous work on English has shown that address and reference are bound up in the systematics of turn taking, and that these practices are context-sensitive. We show this is also the case for Indonesian and that: (a) variation in sequential placement of person terms does stancetaking work; (b) speakers can choose between long and short forms of a name, with short names regularly used for strong exhorting, often in a double-address structure spanning two intonation units; (c) the availability of multiple second person terms means that, unlike a language with limited second person terms such as English, second person reference can also achieve explicit addressing; (d) indeterminacy in both the structure and social action of an utterance can arise due to the frequency of allusive reference and the flexibility of word order in Indonesian. Our study contributes to current literature by showing how the dynamics of address and reference play out in a language with a much richer and varied set of person terms than English has.
Keywords: address terms, Indonesian, conversation analysis, personal pronoun, kin term, name, sequentiality, stance
Published online: 23 July 2019
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