The Language Ecology in Routa Subdistrict, Konawe Regency, Southeast Sulawesi

Asrun Li (Universitas Haluoleo)


Community interaction and language contact, which have occurred for a long time in Routa, have in general made the residents able to communicate in their mother tongue as well as functionally in two other local languages and Indonesian, as the national language. The ability to speak three or more local languages can be used as a criterion to distinguish between established and new migrants in Routa. This paper will explore the non-linguistic variables in the sociolinguistic context of Routa which is considered pivotal in constructing and describing the multilingual identity. In the almost 100 years of sociolinguistic study in this area, there has been change. What is difficult to determine is the relative influence of what Arka (2013) refers to as macro variables which are non-linguistic and can be considered anthropological. In Routa, the macro variables are many and complex. The socio-historical effects of DI/TII (Darul Islam/Tentara Islam Indonesia: an Islamic rebellion in South and Southeast Sulawesi) were significant and long lasting. Not all macro variables will have good effect. In education, the local content requirement of Tolaki language teaching in the schools that are predominantly Bugis seems to be well intentioned but a political blunder and misapplication of the intention of the law. Demographic factors are influenced by historical and economic factors as well as politics, both past and present. They play an important and interactive role in this sociolinguistic situation for people from Toraja, Bugis, Tolaki and Bungku coming to this area.

Keywords: language ecology, sociolinguistics and non-linguistic variables