Language and Power among Language Speaking Communities in North of Papua, Indonesia

Hendrik Arwam ., Yusuf W. Sawaki .


The article aims at describing the interrelated factors between language and power among language speaking communities in Papua, Indonesia. It focuses on the connection between language use and unequal relation among language speaking communities in West Papua, Indonesia, especially among Biak, Wandamen and Waropen speaking groups and other small-size speech communities. In terms of ecology of language in Papua, the diverse linguistic situation is equal to the diversity of language speech communities in different ecological environment. Besides, the diversity of languages is also contributed by the diversity of non-linguistic factors such as imbalances in economic, social, politic, and cultural powers. This condition creates unequal power among language speaking communities living closed to each other that has a connection to language use. Language use provides evidence between language and power between more dominant speech communities and less dominant ones. Thus, this creates sociolinguistic phenomena such as multilingualism, lingua franca, language shift, and language endangerment.


Language and power, language use, non-linguistic factors, language speaking community, Papua, Indonesia

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