The Reflection of the Javanese Cultural Concepts in the Politeness of Javanese

  • Sukarno Sukarno English Department, Faculty of Letters, Jember University
Keywords: speech levels, politeness, tata krama, andhap-asor, tanggap ing sasmita


Every language may have some entities which may not be owned by another language. The uniqueness of a language is strongly influenced by the culture of its native speakers. Therefore, languages vary cross-culturally. I strongly believe that the way the Javanese people (one of the Indonesian ethnic groups) express politeness is also influenced by the Javanese culture. This article tries to examine the reflection of some concepts of Javanese cultures such as: tata krama, andhap-asor, and tanggap ing sasmita (the language styles, humbling oneself while exalting others, and being able to catch the hidden meaning). The approaches used in this study are based on politeness theory, e.g. Brown and Levinson (1987), Leech (1983), Grice (1975, 1981), and Lakoff (1973, 1990). Finally, this study proves that the forms and the politeness strategies used in Javanese are really bound by the Javanese concepts. As a result, it is almost impossible to conduct politeness in Javanese without comprehending and applying those cultural concepts.


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