Language of Slang in the Perspective of Anthony Giddens’ Theory of Structure

The word slang appears for the first time in the Malay Concordance Project, to be precise in the text of Hikayat Amir Hamzah dated 1380. The word appears side by side with mixed words . Mixed with slang means ‘hanging out, making love, making friends with’ (Council Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 2007). Meanwhile, slang wordsitself is interpreted as’ mixed; diffuse ‘(see also KBBI, 2017). From this definition, it can be seen that the function of slang is friendly or mingling. KBBI (2007) defines slang as ‘a non-formal dialect of Indonesian used by certain communities for association’. The vocabulary of this language comes from various sources, such as the Indonesian Jakarta dialect, slang, regional languages, and foreign languages. Apart from that, slang also creates new vocabulary which is formed through certain rules.

The duality of structure in the use of slang

Structuration theory is a theory that combines agents and structure. The relationship between the agent and the structure is in the form of a duality relationship where the two elements support each other. This duality occurs in social practices that are repeated and patterned across space and time. The social practice that will be discussed in this paper is the use of slang among young people in post-New Order Jakarta. Why young man? Because slang is a variety of language that is closely related to young people. Why in Jakarta? Because Jakarta is the capital city of the country where Indonesian is spoken, the Jakarta dialect is the most dominant variant used in communication in various spheres. Migrants who move to Jakarta usually leave their local language and replace it with the Indonesian dialect of Jakarta for one or two generations (Sneddon, 2003: 11). Why post-New Order? After the fall of the New Order regime, the use of slang began to grow among young people. This evidence has been strengthened since its publicationThe Slang Dictionary (1999) – contains vocabulary used by transgender women in Jakarta – compiled by Debby Sehertian. Slowly the use of the vocabulary is reaching young people. In 2005 the alay language — derived from the acronym for kite, which is a “hometown” child because playing kites is not their era nowadays — first appeared on the Friendster social network .

Where is the duality between agent and structure in the use of the slang? Its duality lies in the fact that the “guideline-like structure” on which the slang is used is the result of the repetition of the youth’s actions. However, schemata that are similar to “rules” are also a means or medium for the practice of using slang. As a principle of using language, the nature of structure is to transcend time and space so that the structure can be applied in various situations and conditions. In contrast to Durkheim’s understanding of a more constraining structure, the structure in Giddens’ idea is also enabling), namely enabling social practice (Herry-Priyono, 2002: 23). In this context it can be described in the following situation which is quoted from Yuwono (2010: 80).

Baba: I told you yesterday, Jay has a new crush , you …

Ipul: Yes, Bohay has the word

Ali: Eh, Jay’s bokin is cute, lo …

Baba: Oneng , oneng ! We’re talking about him now!

When reading the above conversation, readers who do not understand the vocabulary of slang will be confused by the words gebetan , bohay , bokin , and oneng . Compared to the words cuakep and ngomongin , the meanings of these two words can still be guessed by using the standard Indonesian language structure even though there are slight modifications. However, unlike the previous four words, these words are a little difficult to guess the meaning, unless the reader knows the vocabulary that applies in the slang. In slang, the word gebetan means’ potential boyfriend ‘, bohay means’ sexy; plump ‘, bokinmeans’ boyfriend; chant ‘, and oneng means’ stupid; foolish; idiot ‘. The existence of this schemata — in this case the slang vocabulary — allows one to understand the meaning of the above conversation.

In slang, the most important element is vocabulary. Most of the slang vocabulary is formed through a process of abbreviation or borrowing . Abbreviations include acronyms and shortening. Borrowing includes non-formal social and regional dialect words and phrases as well as borrowed words and phrases from foreign languages, especially English. In practice, the two categories (abbreviations and loans) often overlap and loans also undergo a shortening process as in Indonesian words and phrases.

Abbreviations are the most productive process of forming words in slang. Words in the form of abbreviations include JJS ‘evening walks’, ABG’ big new kids’, PD ‘confident’, HTS ‘relationship without status’, PHP’ false hope ‘, and BPJS’ mediocre budget, socialite spirit ‘. Forms acronym of which curcol ‘vent colongan’ salting ’embarrassed’, Salkim ‘misdirected’, saltum ‘wrong’ costumes, telmi ‘late thinkers’ slow ‘ weak brain ‘, Asbun ‘ knee jerk ‘, sis ‘ postage ‘, pulkam ‘ go home ‘, kuper‘lack of association’ and mahmud ‘young mother’. Meanwhile, the shape of beheading include a restaurant into the restaurant , the minimum to be minimal, the administration into admin , skipper became agan , demonstrations into the demo , existence into existence , so be so , so be Gini , a little be little , and thanks be makasi. These abbreviations, acronyms, and shortening forms are the result of the process of forming words commonly found in standard Indonesian, and even the Government used them, both in the Old Order and the New Order era. During the Old Order era, abbreviations and acronyms could be found, such as NAM ‘Non-Aligned Movement, KAA’ Asia-Africa Conference ‘nekolim’ neocolonialism and imperialism ‘, nasakom’ nationalism, religion and communism ‘, and Ganefo’ The Games of the New Emerging Forces‘. In the New Order Era, the process of shortening this was more prevalent, such as Supersemar ‘eleven March warrant’, Gestapu ‘September thirty movement, Hansip’ civil defense ‘, Menko Kesra’ coordinating minister for people’s welfare, PKK ‘family welfare empowerment’, and KB ‘ family planning’. In the post-New Order era, the abbreviated form was used for political figures, such as SBY ‘Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’, JK, Jusuf Kalla, Jokowi ‘Joko Widodo, and AHY’ Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono ‘.

Another important source of slang vocabulary is borrowings, both local and English. Loans in regional languages, for example from Javanese: so , pantes , really , big , together , bejo , and close ; from Sundanese: baheula , bobotoh , mewek , rock , and gahar ; of Betawi / Malay Jakarta: snout , Geber , Amendment , toyor , hooks , caves ,you , girl , boy , and tacky .

Chambert-Loir (1984) in his article “Those Who Speak Prokem” identified the -ok infix as a unique feature in the vocabulary of slang. The words still used by young people, for example gokil of gil ( a ), mertoku of mertu ( a ), father of bap ( ak ), nyokap of a multitude of ‘mother’, Boker of air ( ak ), porn from BF / be ep /, doku of du ( it), and bokin from bin ( i ).

English loan forms are often found in slang, especially among students. Smith-Hefner (2012) notes that more than 30 percent of slang terms come from English. Loans in the form of abbreviations, for example MBA ‘ married by accident ‘, ML ‘ making love ‘, BTW ‘ by the way ‘, ASAP ‘ as soon as possible ‘, OTW ‘ on the way ‘, OMG ‘ oh my God ‘, LGBT ‘ lesbian gay bisex transgender ‘, LCR’ love cyber relationship ‘, LDR’ long distance relationship ‘, FIY’ for your information ‘, dan LOL’ laugh out loud‘. Examples of other foreign loan words or phrases include so sweet , so what , me time , broken , addict , annoying , available , bullshit , boring , backstreet , basecamp , dating , cute , enjoy , care , and hopeless . There are also English loanwords that assimilate into Indonesian sounds, for example plis ( please ) deh , ilfililang feeling ), and groggy ( groggy ).

Slang, for some people, is considered as damaging the language because it undermines the integrity of the Indonesian language. Slang is considered to violate word formation rules and is formed in an unusual way. This opinion is not entirely correct. Slang actually uses several regular patterns in the formation of new words and adapts borrowed words, both from regional and foreign languages, and does not clash with the grammatical patterns of non-standard languages ​​in Indonesian. Slang, in fact, provides activeness, expression, and a cosmopolitan brand so that it becomes an attraction for young people to learn Indonesian and use it in daily communication.

Dimensions of the Duality of Structure

From various structural principles, Giddens mainly saw three major structures, namely significance, domination and legitimacy. Significance or signification structures are related to symbolic schemes, meaning, mention, and discourse. Domination or control structures include schemata of control over people (politics) and goods / things (economy). Meanwhile, the structure of legitimacy or justification is related to the normative regulatory scheme revealed in the legal system.

Based on this division, the use of slang is a social practice in the cluster of significance structures. The use of slang with various people in various situations, both formal and informal, and various media, both print and electronic, causes slang to shift the role of regional languages ​​in daily communication. This practice is a social practice within the framework of a political domination structure (control over people’.With the increasing use of slang in society, the recording of slang vocabulary in the form of a dictionary can be categorized as a social practice within the framework of a legitimacy structure.

In the movement of social practices, the three groups of structural principles are interrelated. The structure of significance in turn also supports the domination structure that generates legitimacy. For example, the schemata of the significance of ‘use of slang’ in turn supports the domination of ‘authorization of slang over regional languages’ and results in schemata of legitimating the rights of slang as ‘non-formal Indonesian variant’. The same is true for structures of domination and legitimacy.

The relationship between the three structural principles (structure / schemata) and social practice can be described in the diagram below.

As seen in the schematic above, the duality of structure and action always involves a modality or intermediate means. Modality is the rules and resources available, which can be in the form of interpretation schemes, facilities, and norms. The schema of significance of “use of slang” requires an interpretive scheme of “slang vocabulary”. When the slang vocabulary is understood, good communication will occur among its users. The scheme of domination of “authorization of slang over regional languages” is facilitated by the use of slang in communication in various domains and media. As a result, the position of slang is higher than regional languages, even shifting regional languages. The “Indonesian variant” scheme of legitimacy limits regional languages ​​as non-formal languages. Therefore,

When slang is used, speakers have an awareness of why they chose to use that language. During their time in school, they are always stuffed with rules of correct and correct language. However, it turns out that the language is only used on certain occasions. Outside school and at home the languages ​​they learn at school they put off. They began to use language that was relaxed and loose the rules. When they come face to face with their parents, they immediately change their language to a language known only to the group. Especially when the conversation is related to something taboo or secret so that the language they use becomes a code language. They then make use of certain patterns, as discussed in the previous explanation.

Slang users are not against standard language. They want to show identity. They consciously expand the use of slang in the public domain, including in schools. They use slang to express themselves more — sometimes even dramatize — and that they cannot do using standard Indonesian. They also do not choose to use their local language because it is often considered a village language. They realize that using slang means including modern people because most of the users of slang are cosmopolitan people, so when they don’t use it they will be considered cool .

Slang reflects a social identity and a sense of belonging among its speakers. Slang speaks solidarity rather than status difference. The slang itself shows the desire of young Indonesians for new social identification by formulating more egalitarian relationships and interactions that are more fluid and more personally expressive.

Leave a Comment