Papua Language Linguistic Diversity You Should Know About

Get to Know Papua Language Linguistic Diversity

Papua does have a different culture and ethnicity from most parts of Indonesia or even the Dutch East Indies in the past. The richness and diversity of Papua itself are also more in terms of language than other regions in Indonesia.

Get to Know Papua Language Linguistic Diversity

It is enough to illustrate that Papua is indeed an exceptional nation. One of Papua’s wealth that is quite prominent compared to other regions in the archipelago is language. The types of Papua language are very diverse, and the number reaches more than 700.

Grouping of Languages ​​in Papua

According to historical linguistics and language typology, the Papua language are classified into two major groups: Austronesian and non-Austronesian. Austronesian language is better known as a clause structure typology, namely SPO. 

Meanwhile, non-Austronesian languages ​​or better known as Papuan languages, ​​have a typology of SOP clause structures. This clause structure is the basis that distinguishes Austronesian and non-Austronesian (Papuan) languages.

These two language groups also have various grammatical structures, such as phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. These differences are the main characteristics at the language group level. 

However, each individual language has unique grammatical characteristics both in the Austronesian and non-Austronesian groups. For example, Tobati is an Austronesian language from the Oceania group, but this language is more familiar with the use of postpositions than prepositions.

This postpositional structure is more like the adpositional structure of non-Austronesian languages.

The Origin of Language Diversity in Papua

Long-standing language contact between Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages ​​both in the Jayapura region and in the Bird’s Head region of Papua makes the Austronesian languages ​​in Jayapura have many characteristics of non-Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages. -Austronesian (Papuan) in Bird’s Head has many linguistic features similar to Austronesian languages.

This diversity makes the Papua language a linguistic area with a very high level of diversity. This diversity needs to be studied so that it can add to the treasury of research results that will add to linguistic intellectual property to develop knowledge.

Characteristics of Papua language

  • The Replacement of the Phoneme /i/ → /e/ 

The phoneme /i/ in the Indonesian Papuan accent cannot be preserved. The phoneme /e/in words ade, aer, bae, bale, gale, maen, kael, mengaler should be filled by the phoneme /i/. 

The analysis obtained based on these data is that there is a replacement of phonemes caused by other phonemes in the vicinity. The phoneme /i/ will be replaced with the phoneme /e/ if it is located near a laminoalveolar consonant (l, n, r) and a dorsovelar consonant.

  • Intonation

Papuans use intonation to mark the level of language (speech level). For example, the intonation used is fast and loud for someone who talks to peers. The intonation is low if someone is talking to a respected or older interlocutor. Game intonation of language by the people of Papua to show the level of politeness in language.

  • Language Particles

The language particles used are: e/eh, so, jih, ka, ne, until, and to. Here is the presentation. 

The particle e/eh in Indonesian Papuan accent functions as affirmation in a sentence. Here’s an example: 

    • “Pak Samberi is also fluent in Javanese e” 
    • “Eh, why don’t you eat there!” 
  • Syntax

Another peculiarity of the Indonesian Papuan dialect is found in the construction of ownership phrases. Indonesian Papuan accent adds the word pu as a marker of ownership in the sentence. 

sentence “your place of practice” in standard Indonesian changes to “you have a place of practice” in Indonesian with a Papuan accent. The construction of ownership phrases in traditional Indonesian is owned + owner, while ownership phrases in Indonesian with Papuan accents are owner + ownership marker + owned.

  • Paralinguistics

In the oral conversations of the Papuan people, especially in Kampung Kimi, emotional states and attitudes are shown through gestures, expressions, friendliness, and loudness in speaking. Speakers often use hand gestures to reinforce the statement of speech intent. 

For example, in the speech “kasi toki-toki,” the speech partner from outside the Papua language does not understand the meaning, so the speaker shows a hitting hand movement. Toki-toki in Indonesian means hitting. In addition to hand gestures, people also often use a nod to approve a statement.