GAMKONORA DAN WAIOLI: BAHASA DALAM KONSTRUKSI IDENTITAS ETNIK

Ninuk Kleden, Imelda Imelda

Abstract

This paper compares and contrasts Gamkonora language with Waioli language
in west Halmahera, based on linguistic viewpoint. Lexicostatistical studies
have shown that Gamkonora language and Waioli language are two different
languages, though the dialect of Gamsungi, a variant of Gamkonora language,
is fairly closed to Waioli language. This language variation has a signifcant
role in constructing ethnic identity, particularly if it is connected to another
linguistic form such as narrative.
Whereas there is language variations in lexicostatistics, one will fnd various
versions in narratives. Both language variation as well as narrative versions
can become ideological persuasion that brings about group sentiments. The
construction of ethnic identity comes about owing to the fact that linguistic
conditions are in?uenced by political power in the form of social stratifcation.
This was the case with Gamsungi people who left the original village of
Gamkonora because of the pressure from the upper class. The same thing
happened to people of Talaga who went away from that original village
because they refused to pay tax. Islamic in?uence that was established during the Ternate Sultanate and becomes the religion of Gamkonora people, has to face the Christian in?uence embraced by people of Waioli. The paper
concludes that the characteristic of ethnic identity is consolidated by different
dialects and narrative versions as its linguistic underpinning.
Keywords: ethic identity, political power, language variation west Halmahera

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