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English in Political Discourse of Post-Suharto Indonesia.

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This paper illustrates increases in the use of English in political speeches in post-Suharto Indonesia by analyzing the phonological, morphological, and syntactic assimilation of loanwords (linguistic borrowing), as well as hybridization and code switching, and phenomena such as doubling and loan translations. The paper also examines the mixed public reaction to this increase in English usage. It analyzes examples of borrowing from political speeches of former President Habibie and current President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur). Analysis of English loanwords from these speeches indicates that most of the loanwords were phonologically and morphologically assimilated to different degrees into Indonesian (some had been around long enough to appear in the dictionary). One reason for the use of English loanwords, even when there was an Indonesian equivalent, was the connotative meaning of the words involved. Another reason was economy (one short word versus a long word). In regard to public reaction, some Indonesians have tried to imitate the political leaders' use of English, while others have felt excluded by the use of a code they cannot understand. An appendix presents types of lexico-grammatical transfer in speeches by Habibie and Gus Dur. (Contains 17 references.) (SM)

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Author:Bernsten, Suzanne
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Dec 14, 2000
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