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498 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 2 (2000) than modern languages' (289). Needless to say, mainstream historical linguists (including myself) do not, for many reasons, advocate Proto-World. According to the information on the back cover, the book is supposed to 'go . . . beyond earlier linguistics ', and it is unique because it does not 'leave linguistics isolated from science'. I am sadly not in agreement with either contention. In conclusion, I do not think this work will exert much influence on the direction oflinguistics in the new millennium. [Alan S. Kaye, California State University, Fullerton.] Language, identity and marginality in Indonesia: The changing nature of ritual speech on the island of Sumba. By Joel C. Kuipers. (Studies in the social and cultural foundations of language, 18.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Pp. 183. In the western highlands of Sumba, an island in Eastern Indonesia, the local language is classified into panewe Weyewa 'the Weyewa language' and panewe tenda 'the words of the ancestors' (5, 35). This book is about panewe tenda, Weyewa ritual speech, used in traditional speech genres such as a ceremonial greetings, offertory prayers, divinations, orations, placation songs, personal songs, and songs accompanying ceremonial activities like wet riceplanting or the dragging of a tomb stone (37). Weyewa ritual speakers draw on a stock of about 3,500 traditional parallelisms and link them together as they perform any of the traditional genres. Such discourses must be fluent and eloquent, and narratives frequently last all night (6, 130). Some of the ritual speech genres, especially the personal laments (lawiti), have been elaborated in new settings such as schools and performances for tourists, but the more formal, religious and political genres are losing local interest. The genre that is most rapidly disappearing is the gruff, passionate, persuasive , loud, and highly structured monologue called panewe mbani 'angry speech' of the kabani-mbani 'angry men', the powerful, fierce, competitive, violent , and charismatic traditional leaders (47-48). This book explains why certain types of traditional genre, such as the laments, thrive, and new features of ritual speech (verbal applause, prestige naming, contest songs) emerge, while others disappear. Understanding this as an outcome of the interaction of linguistic and social change, Kuipers adopts 'locally defined concepts of genre as the starting point for analysis, rather than beginning with sentence structure, phonemes, or morphemes' (6). Unfortunately , this also means that the book does not contain any information on the latter. According to Weyewa language ideology, lawiti are the voice ofmarginality, humility, and subordination , while panewe mbani is the voice of power and independence. K presents the historical and cultural context to explain why the latter lost importance while the former is now the modern 'traditional' genre. Starting with the Dutch pacification of Sumba in the nineteenth century, the expression of mbani 'anger, threatening, rage' in the panewe mbani became considered deviant and disrespectful rather than noble or righteous. Under the subsequent Indonesian (Javanese-style) government, new ways of 'humble' and 'cunning' emotional expression were adopted, for which the lawitiappeared to be an appropriate vehicle. In addition, under Dutch and Indonesian law the Sumbanese left their fortified villages and moved away from their ancestral ground to which many ofthe ritual performances, including the panewe mbani, are connected, so that these performances lost their social importance. Following the introduction in Ch. 1, Ch. 2 contains an overview of Sumbanese history since the nineteenth century, including interesting evaluations of the Sumbanese and their culture by the Dutch who had been in contact with them. Ch. 3 describes sociohistoric aspects of the the traditional panewe mbani. Ch. 4 discusses a shift in the naming of humans and nonhuman prestige objects such as horses and bemo's. Ch. 5 illustrates the changing forms of speech by comparing the solo, 'angry' performance of thepanewe mbani with the collective and respectful interaction in modern Sumbanese classrooms. This chapter also contains valuable remarks on the differences between Asian (Indonesian) and Western (American) teaching strategies and classroom interaction . The amount ofWeyewa data presented in the book is limited: about 150 lines (some of only 2-3 words) are all we get to see of actual Weyewa ritual speech. Most linguists will also find it worrying that none...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 498-499
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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