Dialogical Voices: How Are We To Understand The Marriage Proposal Event In Pakkado’ ?

Authors: Nirwan (Pertiwi School of Foreign language, Indonesia)
Speakers: Nirwan
Strand: Anthropological Linguistics
Session Type: General Session


The topic of this writing is a genre of poetic conversation, a marriage proposal event, within the society of Pakkado’ West Sulawesi Indonesia. This event performed by social actors involved as the step of connecting a couple: ana’ muane and ana’ dara/baine who are loving each other into new legal family, through wedding ritual. It is interesting to linguistic anthropologist researchers—especially in the field of conversational analysis—because in this marriage proposal social situation performs verbal contestation between two actor specialists called tobara’. By using tools of metaphor, parallelism, various deictics, the actors show the competence of using language that contested in the beginning of the conversation. There are three ways to responds the question above: Identify all main actors involved, the setting event and the activity of the actors in performing the language competence. By elaborating these categories, the question can be answered clearly. The rationality of this research is to give better understanding of marriage proposal as a cultural practice in the society of Pakkado.

I use functional semiotics to see this conversational event. This approach is taken from the discipline of linguistic anthropology which talks about three kinds of text: denotational text, interactional text, and mediational text. Denotational text relates to all sentences that emerge in the event of conversation. Interactional text speaks about the ongoing process of conversation—what is really happening? The last, interactional text functions to connect certain relevance text and the ongoing proposal event, in other word: to connect between denotational and interactional. The basic concept of functional semiotics comes from the sign ‘index’ proposed by Peirce than this developed by Michael Silverstein at the University of Chicago. In Indonesia, Sandarupa, a linguistic anthropologist researcher used this approach to understand the Torajan Ritual speech.

Keywords: Marriage proposal, conversation, poetic contestation, pakkado’