Not Just a Writing

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning : A Critical Appreciation

N.A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Final Project of Practical Criticism Class
January 2009

 

 Analysis

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning was written in 1611 when John Donne leaves his wife for an expedition (Jacobus and Moynihan, 1974: 220). A ‘valediction’ means a parting, leave-taking, and saying goodbye. The poem consists of nine stanzas, four lines each, in the first person point of view. The rhyme scheme of each stanza is the same, i.e. ABAB.

Generally, the poem is divided into two parts. The first part consists of stanza I to stanza IV and functions as an introduction to the following part. The second one consists of the rest. Here, the poet describes the subject matter of the poem, i.e. focusing on the love between himself and his lover related to his leaving. The following explanations are the analyses of each stanza.

 

Stanza I:      As virtuous men pass mildly away
And whisper to their souls to go
               While some of their sad friends do say
The breath goes now, and some say, no
 

This stanza has a visual imagery of the dying of virtuous men. If virtuous men die, they will die so smoothly and painlessly that their relatives almost did not realize his leaving and wondered whether he has gone or not yet.

Here, the idea of death is associated with peaceful acceptance and mild sadness. From this description, it is likely that the speaker wants to compare his love toward his lover is so true that when he dies or leaves the separation will be less painful. The description is emphasized in the next stanzas.

Stanza II:    So let us melt, and make no noise
                 No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move
                  T’were profanation of our joys
                  To tell the laity our love
 

With audial imagery, the speaker wants his lover not to cry and forbids her to make a big fuss upon his leaving because the speaker assumes that showing off the depth of their love is a betrayal to the joys they spent together.

From the description, it seems that the speaker wants his lover to be resilient when he leaves. He also wants her not to exaggerate her sorrow because the over-showed expression of sorrow only shows that her love is not deep. Since he forbids his lover not to exaggerate her sorrow, it is very likely that he wants to say that their love is extraordinary.

 
Stanza III:    Moving of th’earth brings harms and fears
               Men reckon what it did and meant
               But trepidation of the spheres
               Though greater far, is innocent
 

The stanza describes that the moving of earth brings harms and fears to human being. However, the movement of the spheres (of the Ptolemaic universe conception1) is innocent or pure.

It seems safe to assume that the speaker wants to say that the greater their love is, the less pain they show when parting. It is analogized with the earth and the universe. If something happens on earth, people will feel it; but if there are two planets colliding in the universe, people will not feel the great impact of it. And so is love. The greater the love, the deeper it touches people, the lesser pain showed when parting because the love is more complex and perfect.

However, the phrase “trepidation of the spheres” can be related to the Ptolemaic theory of universe. Allen claims:

The Ptolemaic theory envisions the universe as a series of concentric spheres … which move around the earth, and as they rub against each other they produce the music of the spheres, which … represents the perfection of God’s creation. Our problem is that as fallen humans, we have lost our ability to perceive the music of the spheres. Indeed, as a result of the fall of man, everything beneath the sphere of the moon is imperfect.  (Allen, “Ptolemaic Universe”)

Thus, it seems that the speaker wants to say that their love is like the celestial beings outside the moon’s sphere-it means that their love is so pure, perfect, and heavenly. Therefore, parting is not a problem for them.

Stanza IV:   Dull sublunary lovers love
                 (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
                 Absence, because it doth remove
                 Those things which elemented it

The love of human beings on earth is dull and cannot admit absence because it removes those things which become the elements of the love. The word “sublunary” refers to earth because, according to Ptolemaic Universe, earth is located in the center, followed by Mercury, Venus, the Moon, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Fixed Stars, and the Primum Mobile (Allen, “Ptolemaic Universe”). Related to this, it is generally believed that nothing beneath the moon is pure.

Here, the speaker wants to explain the ordinary love of human being in general. People love only for physical reason, and this love cannot admit separation-if they separate, the factors that bring them together will disappear.

Stanza V: But we by a love, so much refin’d
                 That ourselves know not what it is,
                 Inter-assured of the mind
                 Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss

The love between the speaker and his lover is so much refined until they do not know what it is, and this love does not care about eyes, lips, and hands (physical).

Here, the speaker compares the love between him and his lover to the ordinary love on the previous stanza. In this stanza (stanza V), he wants to convey that their love is pure and above the ordinary love. Their love does not mind physical contact because it is not a big matter in their love. Their love is more to spiritual love that needs no physical closeness to keep it growing.

Stanza VI:  Our two souls therefore, which are one,
                Though I must go, endure not yet
                A breach, but an expansion
                Like gold to airy thinness beat

 The soul of the speaker and his lover are actually one. Although the speaker has to go, it is not a break but an expansion, like gold beaten into airy thinness.

This stanza, especially lines one and two, shows that-actually-the soul of the speaker and his lover are bound to be one, so it cannot be separated. However, such as described in lines three and four, if they are separated, it is not a real separation that can break their love, but it is actually a means to develop and mature their love that is like gold: pure and unbeatable.

Stanza VII:   If they be two, they are two so
                  As stiff twin compasses are two
                  Thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show
                  To move, but doth, if th’ other do

The comparison between compass and the soul of the speaker is the central idea here. If the soul of the speaker and his love are two, they are like compass. His lover is compared as the stiff foot, while he himself is the moving one.

It is likely that the speaker wants to say that his lover is the main support and encouragement for himself, just like the stiff foot of a compass which supports the moving foot.

Stanza VIII: And though it in the center sit,
                 Yet when the other far doth roam,
                 It leans, and hearkens after it
                 And grows erect, as that comes home.

It is a description of a compass. Although the stiff foot stands in the center, if the other foot roams further, the stiff foot will lean. This stiff foot will stand again if the moving foot ‘returns’.

This stanza is the continuing part of stanza VII. In this stanza, the speaker wants to emphasize his previous idea that his lover is his supporter who will always welcome him and support him no matter what (as the leaning foot of a compass that supports the other foot when it roams).

Stanza IX:  Such will thou be to me, who must
                Like th’other foot, obliquely run;
                Thy firmness makes my circle just,
                And makes me end, where I begun.

The stanza describes the meaning of the lover to the speaker. While the speaker is like the other foot that moves, the firmness of his lover makes the speaker’s circle just and perfect and makes him end where he begun.

In this stanza, the speaker says that he compares his lover as the stiff foot while he himself is the moving one. It is clear that the speaker wants to say the real meaning of his lover to him. He wants to say that his lover is his everything; she is the one who makes his love and life perfect; and she is his sanctuary. The “circle” here is the representative of the speaker’s pure and perfect love that is like gold since “circle is a symbol of perfection and gold” (Allen, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”).

Conclusion

After analyzing each stanza, it seems safe to assume that this poem concerns on the meaning of real love and separation-not death (it is likely that death in the first stanza is an analogy of a parting). From stanza I to V, Donne explains a Platonic love. According to Connor, Platonic love means “a love between individuals which transcends sexual desire and attains spiritual heights” (Connor, “Metaphysical Poetry”). It is a love that is above physical love, simple, everlasting, and pure. This idea is proven especially in stanza V in which Donne says “but we by a love so much refin’d that … care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.”

Then, since their love is Platonic, separation, the main theme of this poem, is not a problem for them-as stated in stanza VI “though I must go, endure not yet a breach, but an expansion.” It is likely that Donne believes their love is unconditional and unaffected by distance. He does not emphasize that closeness can maintain love because sometimes stay close does not always mean that the heart are also close.

Donne also emphasizes the meaning of his wife in stanza VII to IX. It seems that Donne’s admiration to his wife is so pure. Here, in those stanzas, a description of the position of a woman as a supporter to his husband while they are separated is clearly made by the description of the leaning position of the stiff foot of a compass while the moving foot roaming and its stand position when the other foot comes back. It is like a wife who follows the motion of his husband and then receives him home.

Thus, from those analyses, it is important to emphasize that A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning is a poem that gives the description of an unconditional love. It is a love that is so fine that do not care about physical contact and separation. Although the couple was separated, they will be fine and their love will not fade.

 
3. References

Paper based sources

Abrams, M.H. 1976. The Mirror and The Lamp: Romantic Theory and The Critical Tradition. United States of America: Oxford University Press.

Bennet, Joan. 1957. Four Metaphysical Poets. London: Cambridge University Press.

Gardner, Helen. ed. 1961. The Metaphysical Poets. Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd.

Grierson, Herbert J.C. 1958. Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century. London: Oxford University Press.

Griffith, Kelley, Jr. 1986. Writing Essays about Literature: A Guide and Style Sheet. Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers. 

Holman, Clarence Hugh. 1981. A Handbok to Literature. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merril Education Publishing.

Jacobus, Lee A. and William T. Moynihan. 1974. Poems in Context. United States of America: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

 

Internet sources

Allen,  Rosemary. “A Valediction:  Forbidding  Mourning.” Georgetown  College  Online. Accessed: 10 January 2009. <http://www.spider.georgetowncollege.edu/english/allen/donne4.htm>

Allen, Rosemary. “Ptolemaic Universe”. Georgetown College Online. Accessed: 10 January 2009. <http://www.spider.georgetowncollege.edu/english/allen/ptolemaic.htm>

Connor, Marguerite, Dr. “Metaphysical Poetry.” Fu Jen University Taiwan Online. Accessed: 10 January 2009. <http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/English_Literature/metaphysicals.html>

 

 

1    Ptolemaic Universe was the idea of the universe that was current throughout the Middle Ages and into the early renaissance. It was advocated by Aristotle and was refined by Ptolemy. The concept was based on a geocentric model: the belief that the earth was at the center of the universe. The earth was surrounded by a series of nine concentric spheres, each of which was associated with celestial motions (Allen, “The Ptolemaic Universe”).
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The Influence of Javanese Culture Concerning Age and Social Status on English Criticism Made by Javanese English-Learners

The Influence of Javanese Culture Concerning Age and Social Status on English Criticism Made by Javanese English-Learners:
A Sociolinguistics Approach

N.A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Research Paper for Linguistic Seminar Class
January 2009

 

Introduction

Learning foreign language is not only understanding the language itself but also the social and cultural value of the community in which the language is spoken, since there are relationships between language and society. Wardhaugh asserts that there are four types of the relationship. First, social structure affects or determines language structure. Second, language structure influences or determines social structure. Third, language and social structure influence each other. Fourth, there is no relationship at all-meaning that both language and social are independent of the other (1988: 10-11).

Sociolinguists such as Janet Holmes believe that there are several factors influencing the way a speaker makes an utterance. These factors are divided into two main groups. The first group is social factors such as participants, setting, topic, and function of the interaction. The second group is social dimensions such as social distance scale, status scale, formality scale, and functional scale (Holmes, 1992: 12).

However, the assessment on these factors is sometimes different from a community to the others since each community has different cultural value. In Javanese culture, for example, people will use krama inggil (the highest level of Javanese language) to a higher-status hearer or stranger; the utterance will also become more indirect than to a lower status hearer (Magnis-Suseno, 2001: 62). Contrarily, English native speakers prefer to be direct. Nevertheless, it is crucial to judge the politeness of a person without considering that she/he knows the social and cultural value of the target language. Holmes claims:

Clearly rules for polite behavior differ from one speech community to another. Linguistic politeness is culturally determined. Different speech communities emphasize different functions, and express particular functions differently.” (Holmes, 1992: 285)

 F.X. Nadar also brought a similar topic of cultural influences in his research on the influence of Javanese culture in making criticism in English which mainly focuses on the socio pragmatic aspect. In the research, it is proven that socio pragmatic plays important role in the production of one’s utterance. Furthermore, Eko Satyono also had done a parallel research on how Javanese culture influence Javanese English-Learners in producing criticism. His paper focuses on the influence of gender seen through pragmatic approach.

In addition to that, Bou Franch says that sociolinguistic norms of the learners’ mother tongue affect their utterance (1998: 5). The result of her research is in line with Ellis and Keeper’s research that indicates the existence of influences of sociolinguistic factors (Bou Franch, 1998: 5). Ellis’s research “has shown that learners regularly perform speech acts such as request, apologies, and refusals in accordance with the sociolinguistic norms of their native language” (Bou Franch, 1998: 5).

In accordance with those previous researches, this sociolinguistics research studies the influence of Javanese culture on Javanese English-Learners’ criticism in English. This research tries to illustrate the most frequent semantic features used in their criticism. Furthermore, this research attempts to investigate if status and age of the participants, as social factors and social dimensions, affect their criticism in English.

To increase the validity of this research, data of criticism in English by Javanese English-Learners (JEL), Javanese criticism made by Javanese Native Speakers (JNS), and data of criticism by English Native Speakers (ENS) are employed in this research. However, this research emphasizes on the characteristic of criticism by JEL that is influenced by Javanese culture. Therefore, the data of criticism in English by ENS taken from F. X. Nadar’s research only become the reference to prove the hypothesis that JEL’s utterance has less characteristic of ENS’s utterance.

 

Data and Methods

1.  Data

The data used in the research are written-criticisms as the responses of four different situations. There are two corpora, referred as JEL (Javanese English-Learners) for data collected from English Department students who are Javanese; and JNS (Javanese Native Speakers) for data collected from Javanese speaking respondents.

The data collection was conducted using DCT (Discourse Completion Task) method distributed to forty respondents. This technique is chosen due to the limited time of conducting the research. Although there is a possibility that the responses may be unnatural, it is likely that this method is the most effective one since DCT can provide a large amount of data. Furthermore, the written data are easier to be analyzed and encoded. As a consideration also, it is difficult to lead people to converse under a controlled situation in order to obtain their responses of the situations provided.

Four different situations requiring respondents to deliver their criticism are set in the questionnaire. The first situation sets the speaker as the younger party having lower social status than the hearer. The second situation is a condition where the speaker is older but has lower position than the hearer. The third situation places the speaker as the younger party having higher social status than the hearer. The last situation puts the speaker as the older party with higher social status than the hearer. All of them are included in two categories of DCT.

 The first category is Javanese who learn English (JEL-Javanese English-Learners); it was distributed to twenty English Department students year 2005 and 2006. This DCT uses English and the responses are also in English. The second one is Javanese Native Speakers (JNS); it was distributed to twenty Javanese living in Jogjakarta and Solo. This DCT uses Javanese language and the responses are also in Javanese.

As the reference for the analysis, another category of data is used, namely ENS (English Native Speakers). Instead of using DCT, this data was acquired from previous research on criticism that was conducted by F. X. Nadar (Nov. 2006) because of the limited respondents that can be found and the limited time.

 

2.  Methods

The data analysis was conducted based on Beebe and Takahashi’s model of semantic formula. This model was used since the focus of the research is to show the influence of Javanese culture for JEL when they produced English criticism by identifying and comparing the features in criticism utterance. Here are the semantic formulas used in Beebe and Takahashi’s research in making refusal:

Criticism Features

Explanation

ADJ1 (Expression of positive opinion or feeling) Expresses the speakers’s positive feeling, opinion, empathy, or agreement towards the hearer. E.g.: I’d love to…; I am very interested in the project.
ADJ2 (Pause fillers) Adjuncts functions as fillers. E.g.: hum, oh, well, er….
ADJ3 (Statement of gratitude) Expresses the speakers’s feeling of gratitude. E.g.: Thanks for offering the opportunity though.
ADJ4 (Statement of compliment and expression of appreciation) Expresses the speakers’s appreciation of the hearer. E.g.: You have done really good job.
NP1 (Non-performative statement) Statement that singly or independently as a part of speech act set of refusing expresses a refusal. E.g.: No.
NP2 (Statement of unwillingness) Indicates the speakers’s unwillingness to comply the hearer’s request. E.g.: I don’t really want to bring that up.
NP3 (Statement of inability) Expresses the speakers’s inability, difficulty, and impossibility to comply the hearer’s request. E.g.: I am not able to prescribe that pain-killer; It is difficult for me to give extension at present; I am unable to give the message.
SA1 (Statement of preference) Expresses the speakers’s preferences or choice. E.g.: I would prefer that your interview time remains as originally scheduled; If you don’t mind, I prefer that the window stay closed.
SA2 (Suggestion) Expresses suggestion of what the hearer or both the hearer and the speakers should do. it may be conventionally formed as an indirect request. E.g.: You could try the local bookstore; Perhaps we can share; Why don’t you ask someone else?
SA3 (Offer of alternative) Expresses the speakers’s offer to do something for the benefit of the hearer. E.g.: I could contact someone else who could do it for you; Maybe I could do small amounts in my spare time?
SA4 (Directive statement) Expresses the speakers’s direction to the hearer to do a particular action. It differs from suggestion that it is by nature stronger and the speakers is never involved in the action to be performed. E.g.: See the boss and ask him if he can find someone; Go and buy yourself a dictionary; Ask the other student.
SA5 (Statement of obligation) It is the speakers’s statement of what the hearer is obligated to do to achieve the requested act. E.g.: You’ll have to buy the book elsewhere; You’ll just have to ask someone else.
SAC1 (Statement of acceptance) Shows apparent compliance with the hearer. E.g.: Please, sir, if you require the pen; OK, I’ll help you.
SAC2 (Limited acceptance) Shows apparent compliance with some limitation expressed. E.g.: I’ll raise the matter, but actually it’s not right to talk about it at the meeting; I’ll finish it tomorrow but a bit late in the afternoon.
SAD1 (Statement of negative warning) Expresses refusal in which the speakers warns the hearer of some negative consequences. E.g.: You get out now and you could get killed and I go to the jail.
SAD2 (Statement of negative feeling) Expresses the speakers’s feeling of either mild or strong dislike, disagreement, criticism, annoyance, or anger to the hearer. E.g.: You should have been sensible in the first place; Your driving was quite reckless; Who do you think you are?
SAD3 (Request for help, empathy, and assistance) Expresses the speakers’s request for help, empathy, or assistance to the hearer. E.g.: Do you mind if I keep it closed as I have cold?
SAD4 (Statement of self-defense) Expresses the speakers justification or defense of what the speakers has done. E.g.: I do nothing wrong; I’m trying my best; I’m doing all I can do.
SAV1 (Decision postponement) Expresses the speakers’s postponement to perform the action requested or to question the desirability of doing the requested action at this time. E.g.: I’ll think about it; I’ll consider it.
SAV2 (Hedging statement) Expresses a commitment that is not made by the speakers. E.g.: I’m not sure if I’ll have time today; What makes you think that you deserve a promotion?
SC (Conditional offer) Expresses the speakers’s willingness to do actions for the benefit of the hearer under certain condition. E.g.: If you have a good reason for needing an extension, I will see what I can do; Once I can finish it, I’ll help you.
SE (Statement of specific reason for non-compliance) Expresses a specific reason, either implicitly or explicitly stated. E.g.: I have a headache; I’m going overseas and I won’t have time to mark your paper.
SP (Statement of principle) Expresses the speakers’s principle related to belief and attitude towards law, rules, regulation, convention, and morality. E.g.: I need special authorization to prescribe it; Dangerous driving must be punished; It is the law and it must be respected.
SPh (Statement of philosophy) Expresses the speakers’s philosophical belief. E.g.: Better to lose your job than your and other’s lives; One can’t be too careful
SR (Statement of regret) Expresses apology which forms a set of speech act with other acts. E.g.: I feel terrible that…; I’m afraid that…; I’m sorry….
SW (Statement of wish) Expresses the speakers’s wish to comply with the request. E.g.: I wish I could help you; I wish I could stay.
TAdd (Term of Address) Pronouns and term of address used to show familiarity and respect. E.g.: Sir, mate, Mr.

 After being identified, the data analysis was continued to the analysis based on the situation. To obtain the usage percentage of a feature used, the number of the feature analyzed was divided by the number of all features found in a certain situation in the same category of DCT (JEL or JNS), and then it was multiplied by 100%. The result is the usage percentage of the feature.

Since the research is going to prove whether the choice of certain criticism features is also linked to some social factors and social dimensions, the percentages of three most frequently-used features were compared to find the similarities or the differences.

After identifying and comparing data upon criticism features between JEL and JNS, the data was compared to the ENS findings. The comparison was not in detail based on situation, but merely on the features since the aim is to analyze the reason behind the occurrence of the most frequent features in JEL compared to JNS and ENS.

 

Results

The first situation describes a condition in which the speaker is younger and his social status is lower than the hearer. From the data of JEL, the most frequent appearing categories are Suggestion (SA2), Term of Address (TAdd), and Statement of Specific Reason (SE). Suggestion is used by 22.73% of the respondents; Term of Address is used by 20.46% of the respondents, while 18.18% of them also use Statement of Specific Reason. Similar to JEL, the most frequent appearing features in JNS are Statement of Regret (SR), Term of Address (TAdd), and Suggestion (SA2). It is 26.47% of JNS use Statement of Regret in their criticism, while Term of Address is used by 20.59% of them. Suggestion is used by 17.65% of the respondents.

From the results, it is safe to assume that Javanese native speakers in delivering their criticism for the older and higher-position hearer use Statement of Regret in the first place because they realize that they are on the weaker position. They are younger and their social status is lower. In addition, it is clear that JEL respondents put SA2 or Suggestion on the first place in their criticism.

However, both groups of respondents put TAdd on the next priority, on the second place. While JEL respondents put SE is on the third place, the JNS put Suggestion on the third place. It is likely that TAdd has an important role for both groups of respondents but in contrast to that, they have different perspective on using suggestion.

The second situation describes a condition in which the speaker is older but he has lower social status than the hearer. From this situation, the most frequently used features by JEL are TAdd (19.44%), SA2 (16.67%), and SE (11.11%); while by JNS are SE (27.27%), SR (24.24%), and TAdd (21.21%). Actually, the features are the same as situation 1 but the frequency percentage is different. In Situation 1, SA2 is the most frequent in JEL while in Situation 2 the most frequent in it is TAdd. The same condition of changing percentage of the same feature also happens in JNS.

The change occurring in both JEL and JNS is possibly caused by the age of the speakers in which it is older although the status is lower. In JNS, the speakers tend to emphasize their reason while making criticism since the speaker realizes that although he is older but his social status is lower.

The third situation sets the speaker as the younger party having higher social status. Here, the most frequently used features by JEL are TAdd (24.32%), SE (18.92%), and SA2 (16.22%). JNS frequently uses TAdd (28.57%), SA2 (25%), SE and SR (each 14.29%). In this situation, the features often used are similar to the previous two situations with a change on the percentage that affects the level of its usage.

Term of address is still important in the situation, along with statement of specific reason and suggestion. Thus, it is apparent that both groups try to deliver the criticism indirectly regarding the position of himself/herself as the speakers towards the hearer.

The last situation puts the speaker as the older party having higher social status. The most frequent features in JEL are TAdd (19.23), SE (15.39%), SA2, SA4, ADJ1, ADJ4, SAD1, SAD3, and SW (each 7.69%). NJS frequently uses SA2 (34.78%), TAdd (30.43%), and SR (13.04%). In this situation, the usage of TAdd and SE in JEL decreases, but as the substitution, there are more features having same frequent, such as SA4 (directive statement), ADJ1 (expression of positive opinion or feeling), ADJ4 (statement of compliment and expression of appreciation), SAD1 (statement of negative warning), SAD3 (request for help, empathy, and assistance), and SW (statement of wish).

From the findings above, it is clear that both JEL and JNS use TAdd (Term of Address), SA2 (Suggestion), SE (Statement of Specific Reason), and SR (Statement of Regret). It is safe to assume that both respondents use indirect criticism in the form suggestion since this feature appears almost in the whole responses of all situation responded by JEL and JNS. It is in line with the assumption that due to their cultural background, Javanese tend to use indirect speech unlike ENS and hide their real feeling very often, that “truth and straightforwardness may sometimes not be desirable in interaction among people” (Nadar, 2007: 169). In addition, Subroto claims that because of the ‘harmony principles’ in Javanese culture, anything that has likelihood to raise conflict-including criticism and refusal-should be avoided or should be minimized (2001, 48).

Those are the comparisons between JEL and JNS. Below is the comparison between JEL, JNS, and ENS:

Criticism features

ENS

JEL

JNS

S1

S2

S3

S4

Σ

S1

S2

S3

S4

Σ

SAD2 (Statement of negative feeling)

266

0

4

2

2

8

8

2

4

0

14

SR (Statement of Regret)

53

10

6

6

2

24

18

16

8

6

48

SE (Statement of specific reason)

44

16

8

14

8

46

10

18

8

6

40

ADJ1 (Shows positive opinion/feeling)

41

8

4

0

4

16

0

0

2

2

4

SA2 (Suggestion)

33

20

12

12

4

48

12

6

14

16

42

SA3 (Offer of alternative)

30

4

0

0

0

4

2

2

0

4

8

ADJ2 (Pause fillers)

30

0

2

2

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

SA4 (Directive statement)

22

0

0

0

4

4

0

2

0

0

2

NP3 (Statement of inability)

18

0

4

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

TAdd (Term of Address)

18

18

14

18

10

60

14

14

16

14

58

SA5 (Statement of obligation)

8

0

2

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

0

SAD3 (Request of help, empathy, etc)

8

4

0

2

4

10

0

0

0

0

0

SC (Conditional offer)

7

0

2

6

0

8

0

0

0

0

0

SAD4 (Statement of self-defense)

7

0

2

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

2

SAC1 (Statement of acceptance)

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SW (Statement of wish)

5

2

0

0

4

6

0

2

0

0

2

SAV2 (Hedging statement)

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ADJ4 (Stmt of complimnt/appreciation)

4

2

0

0

4

6

0

0

0

0

0

SAV1 (Decision postponement)

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SAC2 (Limited acceptance)

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ADJ3 (Statement of gratitude)

1

0

2

2

0

4

4

2

2

2

10

SAD1 (Statement of negative warning)

0

2

4

0

4

10

0

0

0

0

0

SP (Statement of principle)

0

2

2

2

0

6

0

0

2

0

2

NP2 (Statement of unwillingness)

0

0

2

2

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

SPh (Statement of philosophy)

0

0

2

2

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

 Note:  
S1         : Situation 1
ENS     : 20 respondents (taken from Nadar’s research report)
JEL      : 20 respondents
JNS      : 20 respondents

The table shows that the most frequent features of criticism in ENS are SAD2, SR and SE; in JEL are TAdd, SA2, and SE; while in JNS are TAdd, SA2, and SR. Term of Address in JEL and JNS is relatively flat-means it does not fluctuate much, while Suggestion is a different story. In JEL, it decreases, while in JNS it increases. Statement of Regret in both JEL and JNS experiences a decrease; Statement of Specific Reason in JEL fluctuates while in JNS constantly decreases.

It is likely that the fluctuative percentage of the features used is due to the influence of Javanese culture. Javanese people tend to use polite language while conversing in a formal event or conversing to respectable hearer, such as people who is older, has higher social status, or even a stranger. Nevertheless, although the percentages are different, it can be seen that Javanese English-Learners’ most frequently used features of utterances in English tend to be more similar to utterances in Javanese native speakers rather than utterances English native speakers.

However, the decrease of Suggestion in JEL gives an indication that JEL has been touched by English culture-or English mindset-in which they are able to deliver their opinion more openly. It seems that JEL has found a way to deliver criticism more directly especially for the hearer who is younger and has lower social status than the speakers, that resulted in the decrease usage of Suggestion as a medium to deliver criticism among the Javanese.

Compared to ENS, it is quite different. English native speakers mostly use Statement of Negative Feeling in their criticism to show that they disagree towards something and they criticize it in a direct way instead of criticizing through Suggestion. It seems that it cannot be used in Javanese since in Javanese culture it is a kind of consensus that people should not express their disagreement directly (Subroto, 2001: 48). JEL uses Term of Address as frequent as JNS while ENS does not use it as much as Javanese do.

Conclusion

From the findings above, it is evident that Javanese English-Learners are influenced by Javanese culture when they produce criticism. They tend to be indirect. However, a touch of English culture has colored Javanese English-Learners’ choice of their expression. Since culture is not something inborn but learnt, this change is possible to happen, for example is the decrease of Suggestion while criticizing hearer who is on the lower position than the speaker.

Their choice of semantic features shows that there is influence from social factor, in this case is participants, and social dimensions-in this case are age and social status. It is clearly found in the number of the features in each situation that fluctuates and does not show constant quantity. It changes depending on the hearer; the higher the hearer is, the more polite the utterance. In Javanese, it means the more indirect the utterance will be. Thus, it is worth pointing out that social factors and social dimensions do influence and affect somebody’s utterance.

 

References

Beebe, L. M., T. Takahashi and J. Uliss-Weltz. “PragmaticTransfer in ESL Refusals.” Developing Communicative Copetence in a Second Language. New York: Newbury House. 1990.

Bou Franch, Patricia. “On Pragmatic Transfer.” Studies in English Language and Linguistics. University of Valencia. 1998.

Holmes, Janet. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. England: Longman Group Ltd. 1992.

Magnis-Suseno, Franz. Etika Jawa: Sebuah Analisa Falsafi tentang Kebijaksanaan Hidup Jawa. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama. 2001.

Nadar, F. X. Pengaruh Budaya Jawa pada Penyampaian Kritik dalam Bahasa Inggris. Research report, unpublished. November 2006. 

Nadar, F. X. “The Prominent Characteristics of Javanese Culture and Their Reflections in Language Use.” Humaniora. Vol.19 (2 June 2007). (p.168-174)

Satyono, Eko. The Influence of Gender in the Javanese Culture in Expressing Criticism. Graduating paper, unpublished. 2008.

 Subroto, Ph. and Suhardi. “Norma-norma dan Kebiasaan dalam Kehidupan Masyarakat Jawa”. Masyarakat Jawa dalam Keseharian. Research report, unpublished. May 2001. (p. 37-80).

 Sunarso. Variabel Kelas Sosial, Umur, dan Jenis Kelamin Penutur dalam Penelitian Sosiolinguistik. No IV. Yogyakarta: Badan Penelitian dan Publikasi Fakultas. 1997.

Wardhaugh, Ronald. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd. 1988.

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Kontak Suku Aborigin dengan Bangsa Makassar di Australia Utara

Kontak Suku Aborigin dengan Bangsa Makassar di Australia Utara

N. A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Final Exam Kelas Arkeologi Pasifik
Chapter 03

Daerah Australia Utara merupakan daerah yang ideal bagi pelayaran—khususnya dari kawasan Asia Tenggara—mengingat kawasan Australia Utara ini merupakan sabuk monsoon, di mana dalam beberapa bulan angin monsoon barat laut bertiup dari kawasan Asia Tenggara sehingga memudahkan pelayaran. Selain itu, perairan Australia pun kaya akan teripang yang merupakan komoditas perdagangan utama yang dikirim ke Cina.

Kontak suku Aborigin di kawasan Australia Utara dengan orang Makasar terjadi karena perdagangan teripang. Orang Makasar mengambil teripang dari kawasan Australia Utara kemudian memasaknya langsung di tempat—menjadi semacam industri pengolahan teripang. Tentunya proses ini tidak akan selesai dalam waktu singkat sehingga mereka membuat tempat tinggal semi permanen untuk tinggal dan mengolah teripang.

Kedatangan bangsa Makassar ini diperkirakan sekitar tahun 1780M. Pertanggalan ini diperoleh dari botol-botol liquor berbentuk persegi yang diperkirakan diproduksi pada abad ke-19, serta koin perunggu berlambang VOC yang bertuliskan tahun 1780. Pertanggalan dengan karbon tidak begitu relevan karena diperkirakan pohon bakau telah terkontaminasi sehingga mempoduksi karbon secara berlebih. Secara garis besar, Macknight menyimpulkan kedatangan bangsa Makassar dimulai sekitar tahun 1700 Masehi stelah Belanda menguasai Makassar pada 1667.

Ada dua wilayah yang diperkirakan menjadi tempat pertemuan suku Aborigin Australia dengan bangsa Makassar. Yang pertama adalah di kawasan Arnhem Land di sekitar Teluk Carpentaria dan Pantai Kimberley di kawasan Australia Barat Laut (tetapi perjalanan ke kawasan Australia Barat Laut jauh lebih berbahaya sehingga lebih sering bangsa Makasar mendarat di Arnhem Land).

Dua budaya berbeda berada dalam satu lokasi yang sama. Kontak yang terjadi pasti akan memberikan pengaruh satu sama lain. Oleh karena suku Aborigin dan bangsa Makassar berada dalam area yang sama maka kontak antara mereka kemungkinan besar terjadi, dan dalam kontak ini bukan tidak mungkin ada aspek budaya dari dua bangsa berbeda tersebut yang diserap oleh kebudayaan masing-masing.

Contohnya, secara linguistik, ada beberapa bahasa Makasar yang diserap dalam perbendaharaan kata bangsa Aborigin pesisir dan menjadi nama beberapa wilayah, dan memunculkan lingua franca atau bahasa pidgin di kawasan pesisir. Selain dari segi bahasa, penyakit pun ikut menular seperti cacar air. Juga terdapat suku bangsa Aborigin—yaitu suku Yolngu—yang menunjukkan kemiripan dengan bangsa Indonesia. Howard Morphy pun menyebutkan bahwa interaksi bangsa Makassar dan Yolngu menpengaruhi bidang seni, ritual seremonial, dan lagu.

Dari segi antropologis, adanya pengaruh Makasar secara seremonial dan mitologis dalam ritual dan kepercayaan suku Aborigin Arnhem Land, yang menurut para antropolog dinilai sebagai hal yang sangat vital. Terkait dengan ini, Donald Thomson menemukan simbol totem dari suku di kawasan Glyde River yang berupa botol persegi, sebuah imitasi dari botol minuman keras yang banyak ditemukan di kawasan situs Makassar. Yang menarik, imitasi tersebut diukir dari kayu dan motif yang mewarnainya merepresentasikan ritual kompleks yang terkait dengan industri teripang. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa hal asing telah diterima di mitologi Aborigin dan organisasi sosial mereka.

Selain kontak secara non-material, ada peninggalan arkeologis yang menunjukkan adanya kontak antara suku Aborigin dan bangsa Makassar. Salah satu situs yang dianalisis adalah situs di Anuru Bay oleh Campbell Macknight. Di situs ini ditemukan ratusan pecahan semacam kendi, 14 struktur batu yang masing-masing bisa digunakan untuk menaruh 5 wadah besar, serta tungku yang digunakan khusus untuk pengasapan teripang.

Selain pengolahan teripang, ditemukan pula dua makam Makassar di Anuru Bay. Sebagian berpendapat bahwa makam tersebut menunjukkan tingginya angka kematian dalam pencarian dan pengolahan teripang.

Di situs pengolahan teripang pun ditemukan pecahan kaca dari botol persegi yang beberapa di antaranya tercantum nama penyulingan Belanda. Juga ditemukan banyak keramik impor yang kebanyakan berwarna merah polos. Meskipun demikian, tidak ada bukti bahwa gerabah juga dibuat di Australia oleh bangsa Makassar karena ada gerabah yang mengandung usur vulkanik yang tidak terdapat di Australia tetapi melimpah di Makassar.

Works cited and References

“Asian and European Newcomers”. Prehistory of Australia. (p.407-424). An additional handout of Pacific Archaeology lecture.

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Asal Kompleks Kebudayaan Lapita

Asal Kompleks Kebudayaan Lapita

N. A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Final Exam Kelas Arkeologi Pasifik
Chapter 02

Pada dasarnya, kebudayaan Lapita ditandai dengan kompleks atau seri gerabah (atau keramik) yang memiliki ciri yang unik, terutama pada bentuk dan ornamen yang terdapat di gerabah tersebut (Kirch, 1996: 58). Gerabah Lapita terbuat dari tanah dengan pembakaran yang tidak terlalu tinggi, mencakup teko, piring, mangkuk, serta semacam kendi-kendian. Dari jenis tersebut, kebanyakan tidak didekorasi, tetapi antara 5-15%-nya didekorasi dengan motif –motif antropomorfis, bentuk geometris, serta transformasi wajah manusia. Teknik pendekorasianpun berbeda-beda, ada yang diukirkan dengan teknik dentate stamp atau berupa pita merah di leher kendi.

Kebudayaan Lapita tidak hanya terdiri dari keramik saja, tetapi juga kompleks budaya budaya lain seperti pola pemukiman yang unik, strategi ekonomi, serta budaya material non-keramik seperti alat-alat scrapers, adzes yang terbuat dari batu dan kerang, pisau pengupas, serta alat memancing, bahkan ditemukan semacam ornamen yang diduga sebagai shell money (Kirch, 1996: 60).

Secara geografis, kebudayaan Lapita terbentang dari Kepulauan Bismarck di barat, melalui pulau-pulau utama Melanesia (Solomon, Vanuatu, New Caledonia) ke Fiji, lalu mencapai Kepulauan Polinesia Tonga dan Samoa, menempuh jarak sekitar 4.000 km. Dari penggalian situs-situs di daerah tersebut diketahui bahwa pertanggalannya sekitar 1.500 sampai 500 tahun SM. Situs paling awal ditemukan di Kepulauan Bismarck, dengan pertanggalan sekitar 3.500 tahun lalu, dan situs di Samoa dan Tonga dating-nya sekitar 3.200 sampai 3.000 tahun yang lalu (Kirch, 1996: 61).

Masalah yang timbul adalah: dari manakah kebudayaan Lapita berasal?

Karena pertanggalan tertua berada di Kepulauan Bismarck, menurut Kirch (1996: 64) ada beberapa poin yang harus diperhatikan dalam menganalisis asal kebudayaan Lapita, yaitu:
1. Kebudayaan Lapita seakan muncul secara tiba-tiba pada 3.500 tahun yang lalu, dengan tidak teridentifikasinya tahap perkembangan yang mendahului
2. Gerabah Lapita dari periode awal banyak memiliki ornamen
3. Alat kerang, kait pancing, serta ornamen yang ada di situs Lapita yang lebih tua sangat berbeda dengan alat semacamnya di wilayah yang sama
4. Situs-situs Lapita yang lebih tua diwarnai dengan jaringan perdagangan yang kompleks.

Empat hal tersebut mengacu pada gagasan bahwa kebudayaan Lapita adalah hal yang benar-benar baru di kawasan tersebut. Menurut Bellwood dalam Kirch (1996: 65), kunci asal kebudayaan Lapita terletak pada keramiknya, di mana motif yang ada merupakan motif lokal Melanesia tetapi kompleks gerabahnya sendiri kemungkinan dibawa dari tradisi gerabah yang menyebar di kawasan Asia Tenggara pada 4.000-2.000 tahun SM.

Ciri-ciri gerabah Asia Tenggara yang tercermin dalam gerabah Lapita adalah aspek pembuatan, bentuk kendi, serta teknik dekorasi. Menurut Aoyagi yang dikutip Kirch (1996: 65), ada gerabah dari Filipina—yang disebut kendi Magapit—dan Kalumpang dari Sulawesi yang menggunakan teknik ornamen dentate stamp, serta kendi berpita merah yang ditemukan di Halmahera (Bellwood, dalam Kirch 1996: 65). Selain itu, situs-situs tersebut juga mengandung alat kerang, ornamen, serta adzes batu dan kerang yang mirip dengan yang ada di situs Lapita di Kepulauan Bismarck.

Selain itu, data tentang kebudayaan Polinesia menunjukkan karakter linguistik yang terkait dengan pengguna bahasa Austronesia, yaitu bahwa bahasa di tiga daerah tersebut semuanya berasal dari bahasa Austronesia Proto-Central Pasifik. Karena kebudayaan Polinesia merupakan perkembangan dari kebudayaan Lapita yang berada di wilayah Fiji, Samoa, dan Tonga (Kirch, 1996: 64), maka ada kemungkinan bahwa kebudayaan Lapita terkait dengan orang yang berbicara bahasa Austronesia pula.

Oleh karena itu, dapat dikatakan bahwa Kebudayaan Lapita berasal dari wilayah Asia Tenggara. Kebudayaan Lapita ini diperkirakan meneruskan perkembangan kebudayaan Neolitik yang telah ada di wilyah ini pada masa-masa sebelumnya.


Works cited and References

Kirch, Patrick V. “Lapita and Its Aftermath: The Austronesian Settlement of Oceania”. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, Vol. 86, No. 5, Prehistoric Settlement of the Pacific (1996): 57-70. Accessed: 08 January 2009, 20:43.

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Review: Tim Flanery’s The Future Eaters

Review: Tim Flanery’s The Future Eaters

N. A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Final Exam Kelas Arkeologi Pasifik
Chapter 01

Secara garis besar, ada dua opini utama tentang penyebab kepunahan hewan di muka bumi. Yang pertama yaitu karena adanya perubahan iklim, sedangkan yang kedua karena ulah manusia (overkill-perburuan yang tidak terkendali). Pendukung teori perubahan iklim percaya bahwa kepunahan adalah akibat dari perubahan iklim yang dramatis—terkait dengan zaman es yang terakhir. Namun, pendukung teori overkill berargumen bahwa manusialah penyebab kepunahan hewan di muka bumi.

Pendukung teori overkill, Prof. Paul Martin, mengemukakan hipotesis Blitzkrieg yang menyatakan bahwa kepunahan terjadi nyaris bersamaan dengan kedatangan manusia di wilayah tersebut. Alasannya adalah bahwa hewan besar dan burung yang tidak dapat terbang merupakan target perburuan yang mudah karena tidak menganggap manusia sebagai predator mereka.

Selain dua teori tersebut, ada teori ketiga yang muncul belakangan, yaitu teori yang menggabungkan keduanya. Teori penengah ini percaya bahwa bersamaan dengan saat manusia mulai memburu hewan, iklim di bumi mulai berubah sedemikian rupa sehingga hewan-hewan tidak bisa bertahan. Akan tetapi teori ini memiliki celah yang diperdebatkan karena ada yang menganggap bahwa teori ini tidak jauh beda dengan teori kepunahan yang disebabkan oleh manusia.

Terlepas dari adanya teori penengah tersebut, hipotesis bahwa iklimlah penyebab kepunahan masih merupakan topik debat yang tidak kunjung usai. Hipotesis ini tergantung pada asumsi bahwa perubahan di zaman es terjadi sangat cepat yang membuat air di muka bumi berubah menjadi es secara simultan. Hal inilah yang menyebabkan banyak area mengalami kekeringan. Selain itu, temperatur pun menurun drastis dan cenderung kering. Dengan minimnya air dan suhu yang sangat rendah, tidak banyak vegetasi yang sanggup bertahan. Kekeringan pulalah yang menyebabkan hewan besar—yang diasumsikan memerlukan asupan air yang sangat banyak—tidak bisa bertahan. Selain itu, perubahan iklim yang sangat cepat memungkinkan hewan tidak sempat beradaptasi, begitu pula tanaman.

Akan tetapi, asumsi-asumsi tersebut dinilai memiliki banyak kelemahan. Pertama, 16 dari 17 zaman es di muka bumi terjadi tanpa kepunahan massal, jadi zaman es yang ke-17 pun memiliki kemungkinan yang sama dengan 16 zaman es sebelumnya. Kedua, waktu kepunahan hewan tersebut meleset dari zaman es dan tidak terjadi secara bersamaan. Puncak zaman es terjadi sekitar 25.000-15.000 tahun yang lalu, tetapi ada kepunahan yang terjadi sejak 35.000 tahun yang lalu bahkan terjadi “baru” pada abad ke-12 sampai abad ke-16 Masehi. Ketiga, ada spesies yang secara teori seharusnya tidak terpengaruh ternyata punah, dan spesies yang seharusnya punah ternyata bertahan. Dengan adanya tiga lubang besar tersebut, Tim Flanery berusaha membuktikan bahwa hipotesis kedualah, kepunahan karena ulah manusia, yang lebih masuk akal.

Pada dasarnya, hipotesis bahwa punahnya hewan disebabkan oleh manusia mendapat sandungan yaitu asumsi bahwa perilaku hewan liar saat ini sama persis dengan perilaku hewan liar zaman dulu. Akan tetapi, asumsi ini dapat dipatahkan dengan fakta-fakta yang menunjukkan bahwa perilaku hewan liar zaman dulu sangat berbeda dengan hewan liar saat ini.

Pertama, catatan Charles Darwin tentang hewan-hewan di Pulau Galapagos—yang pada saat itu belum dirambah manusia—menunjukkan adanya dua kura-kura Galapagos yang tidak takut dengan dirinya. Kedua, Cowley menyatakan bahwa merpati di Galapagos berani hinggap di lengan atau topi pengunjung. Ketiga, di Pulau Kangaroo dan Pulau King tahun 1801-1803, François Péron menyatakan bahwa saat itu wombat berani dekat dengan manusia, padahal saat ini wombat dikenal sebagai binatang pemalu yang saat didekati pun akan kabur. Contoh lain yang disebutkan François Péron adalah gajah laut yang sangat mudah didekati bahkan dibunuh. Keempat, Matthew Flinders menulis bahwa kangguru di Pulau Kangaroo sangat jinak bahkan dapat dibunuh hanya dengan menggunakan tongkat.

Mudahnya hewan liar didekati terjadi karena secara fisik manusia tidak menunjukkan ciri-ciri ataupun perilaku predator sehingga hewan-hewan tersebut tidak merasa takut atau terancam. Bahkan, proses inisiasi “manusia adalah predator” pada spesies tersebut mungkin sangat sulit terjadi, khususnya di Australia, mengingat predator di Australia rata-rata reptil yang jelas-jelas sangat berbeda dari manusia. Selain itu, tidak diketahui berapa lama waktu yang diperlukan bagi suatu spesies untuk belajar menghindari manusia. Oleh karena itu, hewan liar zaman dulu lebih mudah dekat dengan manusia sehingga lebih mudah diburu.

Selain bukti tertulis tersebut, juga ada bukti arkeologis yaitu situs “dapur” bangsa Maori yang dipenuhi sisa-sisa moa. Situs semacam ini sangat banyak ditemukan, diantaranya adalah situs Kaupokonui.

Di situs yang terdapat di gurun pasir Kaupokonui, Distrik Taranaki, ditemukan sisa-sisa paling tidak 3 spesies moa dan 55 spesies burung. Sementara di satu situs dekat Wairau Bar, diperkirakan sekitar 9.000 moa terbunuh dan sekitar 2.400 butir telur diperkirakan dikonsumsi. Angka tersebut belum seberapa jika dibandingkan dengan situs Waitaki Mouth di Distrik Otago. Di situs ini moa yang terbunuh diperkirakan antara 30.000-90.000 ekor.

Dari situs-situs tersebut dapat diperkirakan bahwa banyaknya daging moa yang terbuang percuma—mencapai sepertiganya—menunjukkan bahwa moa mudah diburu, karena jika sulit diburu maka pasti akan dimanfaatkan sebaik mungkin. Selain itu, semakin banyak jumlah moa yang terbunuh di suatu situs menunjukkan bahwa tempat itu tadinya dihuni banyak orang, yang diperkirakan menyusut seiring dengan punahnya moa. Moa punah sekitar 300-400 tahun sejak kedatangan bangsa Maori. Katakanlah bangsa Maori yang pertama datang hanya beberapa ratus orang. Dengan pertumbuhan konstan 1% per tahun misalnya, maka dalam waktu 400 tahun akan berkembang menjadi puluhan ribu, dan hal ini sebanding dengan tahun punahnya moa.

Fakta-fakta tersebut semuanya mengacu pada kepunahan hewan besar (megafauna). Tetapi, selain kepunahan megafauna, kepunahan mamalia berukuran sedang di Australia yang terjadi sekitar 30-40 tahun belakangan ini juga menarik perhatian. Ada asumsi bahwa hewan tersebut punah karena keberadaan predator alami (rubah, kucing) atau kalah bersaing dengan herbivora lain (kelinci), yang dua-duanya dibawa oleh bangsa Eropa. Akan tetapi, spesies yang punah hanya yang berbobot antara 50 gram sampai 5 kilogram dan berhabitat di daerah kering, itu pun setengahnya adalah spesies pengerat yang dikenal mudah beradaptasi. Selain itu, kepunahan tidak berpengaruh terhadap hewan yang berukuran sama di daerah hutan atau basah, mamalia yang lebih besar atau kecil di daerah kering, serta burung, reptil, dan katak.

Baru-baru ini, berdasar riset Dr. Ken Johnson dan Dave Gibson, diketahui bahwa kepunahan tersebut terjadi sekitar tahun 1960an, mengikuti kepergian suku Aborigin dari daerah tersebut. Mereka menyebutkan bahwa pertanian dengan sistem patch burning (pembakaran sebagian) yang dilakukan oleh bangsa Aboriginlah yang menjaga keberadaan spesies mamalia berukuran sedang tersebut.

Sistem patch burning hanya membakar sebagian kecil dari suatu wilayah. Hal ini memberi keuntungan bagi mamalia ukuran sedang. Area yang tidak dibakar bisa menjadi tempat berlindung, dan tempat yang dibakar kaya akan makanan. Diperkirakan sistem ini muncul untuk mencegah kebakaran alami yang biasanya bersifat luas dan periodik. Ada asumsi bahwa mungkin dulu pernah terjadi kebakaran liar yang memunahkan spesies yang ada dan berpengaruh pada suku Aborigin yang bergantung pada spesies tersebut.
Saat suku tersebut pergi, kebakaran alami bisa terjadi dengan mudah, terutama di daerah kering karena tidak ada penghalang api yang menjalar. Tetapi, masalah justru terjadi pasca-kebakaran. Mamalia mencari makan di daerah bekas terbakar yang terbuka, dan hal ini menarik perhatian predator. Dengan adanya area yang tidak terbakar, predator mudah untuk bersembunyi.

Dari uraian tersebut, dapat ditarik kesimpulan bahwa Flanery mendukung pendapat bahwa kepunahan terjadi akibat ulah manusia. Data yang disajikan pun dapat mengungkapkan alasan kepunahan yang tidak terjadi secara bersamaan, yaitu karena kedatangan manusia tidak terjadi secara serentak. Namun, di sisi lain, ada juga upaya Aborigin untuk melindungi spesies tertentu walau itu demi keuntungan mereka, dan justru dengan kepergian merekalah kepunahan terjadi.

References

Flanery, Tim. The Future Eaters (p.180-198, p.237-241).

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Domestikasi Tanaman di Papua

The English version is available here.

BERCOCOK TANAM DI PAPUA:
SUATU CENTER AWAL?

N.A. Angayomi
English Dept. UGM
Paper Presentasi Kelas Arkeologi Pasifik
15 Desember 2008

Secara umum, domestikasi tanaman dapat diartikan sebagai proses yang mengarah pada pemanfaatan tanaman dengan genotype yang dimodifikasi (Matthews and Chris Gosden, 1997:130). Menurut beberapa ahli, di dunia ini ada beberapa center atau pusat perkembangan bercocok tanam (Harlan, 1971:469). N. I. Vavilov menyebutkan ada delapan center yang meliputi kawasan Indocina, Asia Tenggara dan India, Pakistan, Timur Tengah, Afrika Timur, Eropa Selatan, Amerika Tengah, dan Amerika Selatan. Zhukovsky juga menyebut area yang sama, hanya ditambah beberapa detail. Yang menarik, kawasan Papua dan Pasifik tidak tercantum di dalamnya, padahal di daerah ini pun ada pertanian.

Denham berargumen bahwa arborikultur dan beberapa komponen agrikultur muncul di New Guinea secara independen pada masa awal hingga pertengahan Holosen (Denham, 2004:611). Sementara, Harris menyebutkan bahwa di New Guinea, manusia telah memodifikasi ekosistem highland dan lowland sejak sebelum masa Plestosen Akhir (Harris, 1995:851). Hal ini didukung dengan temuan arkeologis Jack Golson yang meneliti area Kuk Swamp di highland Papua Nugini sebelah barat. Pertanggalan situs ini menyebutkan bahwa di lapisan 9000 tahun yang lalu ditemukan bukti-bukti aktivitas bercocok-tanam, seperti stake-holes, basins, hollows, dan saluran pengairan artifisial (Harris, 1995:851).

Menurut Tushingham, berdasar kajian ulang atas data dari situs Kuk Swamp, pertanian di Papua melalui tiga fase. Fase I (sekitar 10.220-9.910 tahun lalu) merupakan fase domestikasi tanaman dan bercocok-tanam di sekitar daerah perairan dan lembah highland. Fase II (sekitar 6.950-6.440 tahun lalu) meliputi bercocok-tanam yang lebih intensif di daerah perairan dan berkembangnya pembabatan dan pembakaran hutan untuk memperluas lahan. Fase III (4.350-3.980 tahun lalu) merupakan fase bercocok-tanam dengan menggunakan parit sebagai media pengairan (Tushingham, 2004:abstract).

Pendapat ini didukung oleh temuan Golson yang terkait dengan situs Kuk Swamp tersebut, yaitu hasil penelitian palynology yang dilakukan oleh Haberle dkk di Lembah Baliem, situs yang dianggap memiliki kontrol pengairan agrikultur yang berkembang dengan sangat tinggi di kawasan Papua. Di situs ini, dengan pertanggalan yang lebih tua dari 7000 tahun lalu, ditemukan bukti pembersihan lahan di sekitar Kelala Swamp (Yen, 1995:842). Bukti mikrofosil yang berupa starch yang berasal dari area ini mengindikasikan pengaruh manusia pada tanaman secara terus-menerus, ditunjukkan dengan butiran starch yang lebih besar jika dibandingkan dengan starch yang berasal dari tanaman yang tumbuh secara alami (tidak didomestikasikan). Mikrofosil lain yaitu pollen mengandung karbon yang diperkirakan berasal dari pembersihan hutan dengan cara dibakar—karakteristik dari pertanian sistem slash-and-burn di daerah kering (Yen, 1995:842).

Terlepas dari itu, bukti pertanggalan yang ada sangat menarik perhatian. Dengan pertanggalan yang mencapai angka 9000 tahun yang lalu, maka asumsi bahwa pertanian di kawasan Papua mungkin berasal dari China runtuh. Harlan menyebutkan bahwa situs bercocok tanam tertua di China adalah situs Yang-shao dengan pertanggalan yang diperkirakan tidak lebih tua dari sekitar 4000 tahun sebelum Masehi atau sekitar 6000 tahun yang lalu (Harlan, 1971:472). Jika situs di Papua mencapai angka 9000, maka tidaklah mungkin bahwa pertanian di Papua berasal dari China yang baru muncul sekitar 6000 tahun lalu.

Selain perbedaan pertanggalan yang cukup signifikan, objek pertaniannya pun berbeda. Di kawasan China lebih terfokus pada padi-padian, sementara di kawasan Papua yang cenderung kering tanaman yang didomestikasi adalah umbi-umbian serta buah ataupun tanaman khas tropis lain. Sumber starch utama kawasan Papua adalah umbi-umbian seperti taro atau Colocasia esculenta dan yam atau famili Dioscorea, tanaman sagu (Metroxylon sagu) untuk daerah perairan sungai, pisang Musa jenis Eumusa di daerah perairan pantai, serta Eumusa dan Australimusa di kawasan yang lebih tinggi (Yen, 1995:833).

Menilik banyaknya bukti arkeologis ataupun botanis mengenai pertanian di Papua yang mengindikasikan adanya perbedaan yang cukup signifikan dengan pertanian China, dapat ditarik kesimpulan sementara bahwa Papua memiliki sistem pertanian tersendiri. Pertanggalan yang lebih tua dari pertanggalan pertanian di China, serta perbedaan tanaman yang didomestikasi merupakan pendukung asumsi ini. Namun demikian, diperlukan penelitian yang lebih lanjut mengenai hal ini agar dapat ditarik kesimpulan yang lebih akurat. Tidak menutup kemungkinan pula bahwa dengan perkembangan teknologi dalam bidang arkeologi serta botani, asumsi yang telah ada selama ini runtuh dan digantikan dengan penemuan baru yang lebih akurat.

Works Cited

a. Paper Based

Harris, David. “Early Agriculture in New Guinea and the Torres Strait Divide”. Antiquity 69 (1995): 848-854.

Tushingham, S. “New Guinea as a Primary Center of Domestication”. Current Anthropology Vol. 45, Number 1 (February 2004): abstract.

Yen, D. E. “The Development of Sahul Agriculture with Australia as Bystander”. Antiquity 69 (1995): 831-847.

b. Internet Sources

Denham, Tim. “The Roots of Agriculture and Arboriculture in New Guinea: Looking beyond Austronesian Expansion, Neolithic Packages and Indigenous Origins”. World Archaeology, Vol. 36, No. 4 (December 2004): 610-620. Accessed on 11 December 2008, 02:03 pm

Harlan, Jack R. “Agricultural Origins: Centers and Noncenters”. Science New Series, Vol. 174, No. 4008 (29 October 1971): 468-474. Accessed on 11 December 2008, 02:00 pm.

Matthews, Peter J and Chris Gosden. “Plant Remains from Waterlogged Sites in the Arawe Islands, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea: Implications for the History of Plant Use and Domestication”. Economic Botany, Vol. 51, No. 2 (April-June 1997): 121-133. Accessed on 11 December 2008, 01.47 pm.

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