A Comparative Study on Personal Deixis of English and Tukang Besi Language

Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as reflections of reality. In Oxford learner’s pocket dictionary, language means ‘a system of communication in speech and writing used by people of a particular country’. From the definition above, It is clear that language is a system. And as a system, language can be observed and learned. In this point, Communication will proceed in a good way if the target language is used appropriately. It means that the language used in accordance with the circumstances of the speaker. The use of such language called pragmatic. According to Levinson, pragmatic is the study about the grammatical relation between language (text) and context (Levinson,1983). One of the prestigious study about Pragmatic is the study of Deixis.

Levinson (1983) states that, deixis is an important part of the study of the pragmatics that concerns itself to the ways in which languages encode features of the context of utterance and thus also concerns ways in which the interpretation of utterance/es depends on the analysis of that context of utterance. Deixis is one of the most salient universals of natural language. So the study about deixis also appear in cross cultural study, especially the ways in which different languages link utterances to pragmatic factors such as speech time, speech place, and speech participants show a rich variation.

In English, familiar ways in which deictic-roles are encoded in language are personal, spatial and temporal deixis. Deictic expressions are traditionally divided into three categories: person, place and time. For Levinson (1983:64), deixis is organized in an egocentric way, constituting the deictic center as follows: (i) the central person is the speaker, (ii) the central time is the time at which the speaker produces the utterance, (iii) the central place is the speaker‘s location at utterance time or coding time, (iv) the discourse center is the point which the speaker is currently at in the production of his utterance, and (v) the social center is the speaker‘s social status and rank, to which the status or rank of addressees or referents is relative. Commonly, there are three deictic expression in English, they are personal deictic, spatial deictic and temporal deictic. Personal deictic such as the usage of I, we, you, she, he, them, they, etc. Temporal deictic such as the usage of now, then, tomorrow, yesterday, today, etc. and spatial deictic such as demonstratives (ie. that, what, this) and locative adverbs (ie. here, there, where).

Considering the complexity of Deixis study, this study is specifically concerned to the personal deixis of Tukan Besi language. The Tukang besi language is spoken in the archipelago that bears the same name, the Kepulauan Tukang Besi, east of of the island of Buton in the province of South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Kepulauan Tukang besi also known as Wakatobi Archipelago. It has four small islands which are have similar language, but different in dialect, they are Wanci or Wangi-wangi island, Kaledupa island, Tomia Island and Binongko island. A linguist, Mark Donohue has done his Research in one island in Tukangbesi archipelago, Kaledupa island, His research about Grammar in Tukang besi language. In his research Donohue did not put deixis in Tukangbesi Language. Whereas, Deixis in Tukangbesi language has unique point of view that really interesting to be researched.

Name : Farah Novianty, Noer Jihad Saleh, Sukmawaty

Source : https://media.neliti.com/media/publications/261400-a-comparative-study-on-personal-deixis-o-e67b108b.pdf