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Academic Paper

Title: Language Varieties and Youthful involvement in Indonesian Fiction
Paper URL:
Author: Dwi Noverini Djenar
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Sydney
Author: Michael Carter Ewing
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Melbourne
Linguistic Field: Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Indonesian
Subject LANGUAGE Family: Austronesian
Abstract: This article explores new functions served by language varieties in fiction. Focusing our analysis on two types of texts in Indonesian – teen fiction and comics – we examine the interplay between standard and colloquial varieties to show how they are used together with non-verbal elements to promote youthful involvement. We identify three ways in which involvement is created in the texts: through free indirect discourse, non-verbal cues, and the gradual building of empathy indicated by shifting perspectives. We show that shifts from narrator’s to character’s perspective are shifts in alignment. By shifting to colloquial language, the narrator aligns their perspective with that of both the character and the reader, thus blurring the divisions between them. Non-verbal cues can also signal a shift in narrator roles, from a teller to a keen commentator and interlocutor who directly addresses the reader and invites them to share story-world experience. The frequent shifts between varieties represent a new style of writing which gives salience to the role of narrator as agent with a double persona: an anonymous agent who tells the reader about the characters in relation to the unfolding events, and an agent-participant who makes their presence known to the reader through direct address and evaluative commentary.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: International conference on genre and grammar, Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
Publication Info: Djenar, Dwi Noverini & Ewing, Michael C. 2015. Language varieties and youthful involvement in Indonesian fiction. Language and Literature 24(2): 108-128.
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