Emily Gasser is a third year graduate student in the Yale Department of Linguistics. Her research interests include phonology, language contact and change, and language documentation, focusing especially on the languages of Indonesia. Current projects include the documentation and morphophonological analysis of Wamesa, an Austronesian language of West Papua; a phylogenetic study of the Bima-Sumba languages of Nusa Tenggara; and a study of phonotactic generalizations across Australian languages.

"The Use of Bahasa Daerah by Young People: Observations from West Papua"

Throughout the world, languages are becoming endangered as communities shift to majority varieties and parents cease to pass their heritage tongue on to their children. Once a language ceases to be spoken by children, it can be expected to disappear entirely as current speakers die and no younger speakers exist to replace them. This appears to be the situation for many local languages of West Papua: while children in villages and rural areas still use bahasa daerah as a mother tongue, those in more urban settings forgo their parents' languages in favor of local varieties of Malay. In this talk I explore the language situation in the region based on my interactions with speakers in the towns of Manokwari and Bintuni.


Kevin W. Fogg is a PhD Candidate in History at Yale University. His field research spanned sixteen provinces across Indonesia and included both local and national archives, along with oral history with Muslim activists from the 1950s. His dissertation examines the fate of Muslim nationalism in independent Indonesia and the dissonance between national political Islamic goals and grassroots Islamic social movements. Next year he will take up a position at Oxford University as a lecturer in the Faculty of History and fellow at the Centre for Islamic Studies.

"The Effect of Indonesian Language Standardization on Arabic Linguistic Influences"

As the Indonesian government and affiliated institutions standardized the Indonesian language in the 1940s and 1950s, Arabic influences in the language decreased markedly. The disappearance of the system of writing Indonesian in Arabic script (known as jawi or arab melayu) in popular usage, the elimination of certain sounds from the Indonesian palette, and the dearth of new words pulled from Arabic cognates demonstrate this decrease. This paper will outline the various ways in which Arabic influences in Indonesian disappeared during this period and the reaction from Islamic sectors of society that favored increased Arabic influence.


E-Ching Ng is a linguistics Ph.D. student at Yale University. Her work on Bazaar Malay and English in Singapore has been presented at the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics and published in the International Journal of Bilingualism. She is writing a dissertation on sound change under different conditions of cultural contact.

"Language and ethnic politics in Singapore"

Throughout its history, Singapore has been the site of rich linguistic diversity and intense contact between language groups. This talks looks at the history of Singaporean Malay, Baba Malay and Bazaar Malay in the context of national history and linguistic diversity.


Nancy Florida is Professor of Javanese and Indonesian Studies at the University of Michigan, where she also serves as Director of the Islamic Studies Program. She has worked extensively in the history and literature of Java through the use of several palace archives in Central Java. Manuscripts from these collections formed the basis for her classic study Writing the Past, Inscribing the Future: History as Prophecy in Colonial Java, and Prof. Florida has also published three volumes on various palace archival collections. In 2012, she was awarded a Special Ambassador Award from the Republic of Indonesia for Contributions to Indonesian Studies.

"Living in a Time of Madness: Last Days of Java's Last Prophetic Poet"
R.Ng. Ronggawarsita (1802-1873) is conventionally recognized both as the greatest and as the last of the prophetic court poets (pujongga) of Java. Remembered primarily for his prophetic insights, notably for his imputed foresight of Indonesian national independence, he is also celebrated for recognizing the end of "tradition" in the breaking modernity of his present time. Little or no attention, however, has been afforded to how some of his most influential writings work to overcome the rupture of modernity through strategic reinscriptions of past-times in ways that have, over the past 138 years, repeatedly elicited recognitions of their effective contemporaneity. This paper looks at the deployment of this strategy in one of his late (heteroglossic) works, against the background of the hotly contested discourses and projects of modernity that marked the final months of his life.


Annette Damayanti Lienau is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (on leave 2011-12) and currently visiting UCLA as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Yale (2011), and is working on a book manuscript (entitled Terms of Exchange) on the problem of language choice and ideology in the comparative literary histories of Indonesia, Egypt, and Senegal. Building on research materials in Arabic, French, Malay, and Wolof, her current book project addresses questions of script change (from Arabic to romanized forms), comparative legacies of devotional literature and sacralized language, and relationships between post-colonial literature, leftist transnationalism, and vernacular print-culture.

"The Ideal of Casteless Language in Pramoedya's Arok Dedes"
This paper centers on Pramoedya Ananta Toer's Arok Dedes. This work, as an emulation of socialist-realist prose and a vernacular Malay adaptation of a Javanese epic legend, posits the generic superiority of the Indonesian-Malay novel to the linguistic caste-consciousness (and relative monoglossia) of its Indic-Javanese, epic precedent. These arguments on the vernacular aspect of Pramoedya's work question Benedict Anderson's (and others') conclusions about the revolutionary quality of Pramoedya's nationalized Malay prose. My analysis builds through a close reading of Pramoedya's novelistic adaptation of the Javanese epic to consider the socialist-realist patterns within Pramoedya's adaptation and--in a departure from Soviet models of socialist-realism--to re-visit the novel's passage to literary self-consciousness, a passage which underscores the historical contingency of sacralized languages of prestige. I argue that, in addition to suggesting the historical telos of literary progress--away from the monoglossia of the epic as a form of court literature, a narrative of political patronage-- Pramoedya's novel exemplifies how a socialist-realist template changes in the hands of an opposition writer, writing beyond the state-centered enshrinement of official myth.


Joel Kuipers is Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington DC. Since completing his PhD at Yale University in Anthropology in 1982 with a dissertation on the ritual speech of Sumba in eastern Indonesia, he has continued to investigate the relation between language and authority in various religious, political, educational and clinical contexts. After completing two books about ritual speech and political authority in Indonesia, he worked on language, literacy and scientific authority in US middle school classrooms from 2002-2008. He is now working on a study of scientific argumentation in middle schools, and developing a book manuscript on Arabic as a language of religious authority in Islamic Indonesia.

"Ideologies of Arabic in Islamic Java"

Very few Indonesians can speak Arabic well. However, this sacred language increasingly forms an indispensable set of practices with which the Muslim majority organizes its ideas about moral, political and religious identities. Although widely revered as a distinctive speech register, Arabic evokes a wide range of attitudes among Indonesians. The variations in orientations towards it organize practices that range from exuberant aesthetic celebrations of its distinctive sacredness, to efforts to de-register it as situationally and contextually discrete, i.e. make it part of everyday life. Based on transcripts of recordings collected in schools, day care centers, and talk shows, and over 200 interviews in central Java, this paper examines the situated and interested partialities associated with the 'language of heaven' in Islamic Java.


Nancy J. Smith-Hefner is associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Anthropology at Boston University where she has been teaching since 2001. Her areas of specialization include linguistic anthropology, gender and sexuality, Southeast Asia, youth culture, and Islam. She is the author of Khmer American: Identity and Moral Education in a Diasporic Community (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). Among her recent publications are "'Hypersexed Youth and the New Muslim Sexology in Contemporary Java" (Review of Indonesian and Malay Affairs. 2009, 43(1):209-244.); "Women, Language Shift, and Ideologies of Self in Indonesia" (Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 2009, 19(1):57-77); "Youth Language, Gaul Sociability, and the New Indonesian Middle Class" (Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 2007, 17(2):184-203); and "Muslim Women and the Veil in Post-Suharto Java" (Journal of Asian Studies. 2007, 66(2):389-420). She is currently working on a book manuscript based on a 12 year study of Javanese Muslim youth in the south-central Javanese city of Yogyakarta, tentatively entitled New Muslim Youth: Gender, Sexuality and Islam in Post-Suharto Java.

"Gaul and Islami: Youth Language, Islam, and Sociability in Popular Indonesian Literature"
This paper takes up the articulation and negotiation of Indonesian youth identities through the analysis of the language and discourse of popular pocketbooks for young people (buku kantong) that have flooded the Indonesian market. A key feature of many of these publications is the use of an informal, slang-inflected register known as gaul "social or hip" which indexes a relaxed, cosmopolitan youth style. Gaul as a social style is often juxtaposed with another pervasive category of contemporary youth identity referred to as Islami "Islamic," here perhaps more aptly "pious." Gaul and Islami and their associated social and linguistic styles are indices of on-going and contested social change among Indonesian youth; they are both catalysts and contributors to emergent categories of popular youth culture and identity in contemporary Indonesia.


James T. Collins is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Illinois, where he is also director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He received his PhD (Linguistics) from the University of Chicago with a dissertation entitled "The Historical Relationships of the Languages of Central Maluku, Indonesia." He has taught at universities in Kuala Lumpur and eastern Indonesia as well as the University of Hawaii, conducted extensive fieldwork in Indonesia, and served as co-editor of the Echols and Shadily Indonesian-English Dictionary (Third edition). In addition to historical linguistics, his research interests include lexicography, Malay dialectology and the social changes impacting minority languages in Southeast Asia.

"Malay in Ambon, Indonesian in Maluku: Shifting images, changing roles"
In the early 16th century Europeans noted the use of Malay in Ambon and thoughout Maluku, not only as a language of trade but also of religion. Jesuit missionaries in the region, thus, chose Malay as their language of proselytization. In the 17th century Dutch Protestants, somewhat reluctantly, continued that policy in churches and schools. By the 18th century some Christian communities had chosen to become monolingual speakers of Malay as their home language--a process that continued through the 19th and 20th centuries. Malay, known as "bahasa Ambon", had become a distinctive marker of that ethnic group that served the colonial state as soldiers in Aceh, medical staff in eastern Borneo, catechists in the Sulawesi highlands and teachers in Papua. The perception of Malay in Ambon as the distinctive language of a specific ethnic minority began to change after more and more secondary schools were opened in the late 20th century and, all the more so, after sectarian violence erupted in Maluku. If in the 1970's one could observe advanced obsolescence among those indigenous languages spoken by Christian communities, in 2012 all indigenous languages are threatened with extinction in central Maluku. Changing attitudes and shifting perceptions have changed the geography of language and identity in the region.


Scott Paauw is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Rochester, where he has taught since 2005. He has a PhD in Linguistics from the University at Buffalo, as well as an MA in Theoretical Linguistics from York University (Toronto) and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. His primary areas of interest are language contact, language description and documentation, pidgins and creoles, bilingual issues, historical linguistics, typology, applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. He is particularly interested in these topics as they relate to Malay/Indonesian, Austronesian languages, the languages of Papua, and the languages of South Asia. From 1977 to 2002, Dr. Paauw was involved in the field of Applied Linguistics in Indonesia. He was the director of one of Indonesia's largest EFL institutions, and also served as project coordinator and headmaster for a bilingual school in Jakarta, and on the school board of a bilingual school in Bali.

"The Spread of the Malay Language in Indonesia"

The Malay language has a long history as an important language in Indonesia which far exceeds the relatively small historical population of native speakers of the language. This overview traces the development of the language, from its beginnings on the island of Borneo, through its spread to Sumatra and the Malay peninsula before its first appearance in the historical record, through its role as a trade language in the millennium before European contact, up to its current status as a national language in four nations. The division between High Malay, a literary language which formed the basis for the modern formal language, and Low Malay, the colloquial language in the Malay homeland which served as the basis for the trade language which gave rise to the varieties of Malay found in such far-flung locations as the islands of eastern Indonesia and Sri Lanka, is a significant distinction, which has led to two, and sometimes three, competing varieties of the language in some locations.

The nature of the Low Malay-derived varieties spoken in seven locations in eastern Indonesia (Manado, North Maluku, Ambon, Banda, Kupang, Larantuka and Papua) is examined, and linguistic evidence is given which shows that six of these varieties are descended from a previously unknown single variety of Malay, called Eastern Indonesia Trade Malay. The structure of this language and its lexicon has provided important clues to the historical development of the Malay language throughout the archipelago.

The modern Indonesian language, with its many dialects and varieties throughout the archipelago, owes its current form and status to these historical forces, and an understanding of the history of the language helps us to understand the role and form of the language in Indonesia today.


Yusuf Sawaki is the co-founder and director of the Center for Endangered Languages Documentation at Universitas Negeri Papua (Unipa) in Manokwari, West Papua and a lecturer in the Faculty of Letters at Unipa. He is currently completing a PhD in Linguistics at the College of Asian and Pacific Studies at the Australian National University. His dissertation is a descriptive grammar of Wooi, an Austronesian language of the Yapen Island, Western New Guinea.

"Where have Dusner, Tandia and Wawiyai gone? What about Munggui, Batanta and Marori? Mapping linguistic situation and language endangerment in West Papua"

The expression "one village-one language" has often been used to describe the socio-linguistic situation in West Papua. It is common for each village to speak its own language, distinct from that used in neighbouring communities, but this pattern is changing. Although Papuan Malay is still used as a lingua franca and certain dominant indigenous languages are still used for cultural and linguistic identity purposes, the current socio-cultural, economic, and political situation forces West Papuans to move toward the use of Bahasa Indonesia in their daily routines. Regional, provincial and central governments have not yet seriously seen the need to protect and conserve indigenous languages as a part the nature of multilingual communities in the country, and of nation-state building. Although the value of these languages is recognized in the national constitution, and several language institutes have been established, there are no concrete efforts to support indigenous languages. Rather, the priority remains supporting of the use of Bahasa Indonesia as the national language. Consequently, West Papua lacks programs and financial support for the development of indigenous languages. This situation raises serious questions about the future existence or extinction of small languages such as Munggui, Batanta, Marori, and others. Many indigenous languages in West Papua are facing similar challenges and will potentially disappear in next few decades.


J. Joseph Errington is an anthropological linguist who is interested in languages as conventional systems, key modalities of everyday life, and as social institutions. As an Indonesianist he has done research on these issues in situations of rapid social change in Central Java during the 1980's and in three outer island towns (Pontianak, Ternate, and Kupang) at present. Modernization in Indonesia has created situations of extensive contact between Indonesian and local languages, and he has studied patterns of sociolinguistic variation in some of these in an effort to understand the larger urbanizing dynamics accompanying the formation of a new, national, middle class. His current work in this area is part of a larger project called "In Search of Middle Indonesia" (http://www.kitlv.nl/home/Projects?id=14), sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. Professor Errington has been in Yale's department of Anthropology and the Council on Southeast Asian Studies since 1982, serving as Council chair for 18 years."




Sponsored by the
Council on Southeast Asia Studies
Department of Anthropology and Department of Linguistics,
Yale University
Conference Co-Coordinators: Andrew Michael Carruthers; Emily Gasser; Kevin Fogg

For information, contact yifconference@gmail.com