Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities’ Cryptolects (A Prelimenary Study)

By: Iqbal Nurul Azhar,
Instructor: Dr. Matthew Prior

There has been a relatively large body of literature on Madurese Antisocieties; a number of them deal with economy, and politics (e.g., Rozaki (2004).; Rachbini (1995); some of them deal with the social condition and culture (e.g., Wiyata (2002); Wiyata (2013); Rifai (2007); and Amirul (2017). However, despite the ubiquity of literature on Madurese antisocieties, and the relatively big amount of research on them, cryptolects especially which are produced by the Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities, have not received sufficient attention.

This research is intended to ultimately reveal the use of cryptolects in Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities. This research is guided by three research questions, those are 1) what linguistic aspects are manifested in Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities Cryptolects, 2) what are the social functions of Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities Cryptolects, and 3) what social dynamics of the Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities create the Cryptolects,

Theoretically, this project promises a significant breakthrough in Madurese Corpus-based studies which attempt to disclose Madurese Subculture Virtual Communities Cryptolects. It will enrich sociolinguistics study by providing new horizons related to the theory of language variations in sociolinguistics, as well as to propose an anthropological theory of how specific anthropological conditions can affect the Madurese language. Practically, this research would be useful for the local government. Over the last decade, Madura local governments have been dealing with the issues of the ignorance of many subcultures to participate in Madura tourism programs. By understanding their language, local governments will find better methods to approach them.

The data of this research (for the time being) were collected from some virtual subculture communities on facebook for approximately 3 weeks by using the ethnographic virtual approach (see Hine, 2005), by applying participant non participant observation method. To address the first research question, that is to reveal the cryptolect taxonomies, the collected data were analyzed by using the ethnographic methods proposed by Spradley (1980) and Bauer’s Cryptology Maxims Methods. To address the second and the third reseach question, O’Reilly’s method (2005) was used to reveal how Madurese societies made contact with the cryptolects and how the communities influenced the presence of the lects (the social dynamics). Because the previous research were not very much related to this topic, the approach of this research was grounded (bottom-up analyzes) by also considering various theories related to linguistics, sociolinguistics, and anthropolinguistics.

Based on the results of data analysis, the following results are found: 1) the most widely used forms of cryptolect used by Madurese Antisocieties are simple substitution (39 words) e.g. jury > puto (the jury), ba’na > ba’a (you), etc, polygraphic substitution (23 words) e.g. dissa (D155A) (there), permutation (17 sentences) e.g kamma tanangnga? > kamma tanganna? (where is your hand?), and transposition (9 sentences) e.g. kala’ dissa > dilla kasa’ (you can take that). The social factors that played roles behind the use of cryptolect were security factors, community bonds, and identity markers. 3) Cryptolects were used in a patterned manner. So far, the marker that could be revealed was a prefix with one letter of the alphabet such as a- which denotes an activity in Madurese language.

O’ Reilly, K. (2005). Ethnographic Method. New York: Routledge
Rachbini, D.J., (1995). Conditions and Consequences of industrialization in Madura, in van Dijk et al. (Ed). Across Madura Strait: The Dynamics of an Insular Society, Leiden: KITLV Press, Page. 209-220.
Rifai, A, M. (2007). Manusia Madura: Pembawaan, Perilaku, Etos Kerja, Penampilan, dan Pandangan Hidupnya Seperti Dicitrakan Peribahasanya. Yogyakarta: Pilar Media
Rozaki, (2004). Menabur Kharisma Menuai Kuasa. Pustaka Marwa (anggota IKAPI): Yogyakarta
Spradley, J. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. (Reissued Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2016)
Spradley, J. (1980). Participant Observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. (Reissued Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2016)
Wiyata, A. L (2002). Carok. Konflik Kekerasan dan Harga Diri Orang Madura. Yogyakarta: LKiS.
Wiyata, A. L. (2013). Mencari Madura. Jakarta: Bidik Phronesis Publishing.

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