We are pleased to announce a new publication in the LOT Dissertation Series by Nurenzia Yannuar.
This dissertation investigates the structure and development of Bòsò Walikan Malangan
(‘Malang-style reversal language’), a word-reversal practice in the East Javanese variety of
Malang. Known as Walikan, it incorporates reversed words originating from Malangan
Javanese, Malangan Indonesian, and other languages into a Malangan Javanese structure.
The results presented here were drawn from extensive fieldwork, including 725 Walikan
words collected from more than one hundred speakers of Walikan and a substantial number
of written Walikan materials observed in the media and public areas.
The research discusses Walikan in relation to other youth languages to determine how it
resembles and differs from them. Walikan is shown to have developed from a secretive slang
to a widespread marker of shared identity, used in general communication across various
speech areas. A similar development occurred in youth languages of Europe and Africa.
This book describes the phonology and phonotactics of Malangan Javanese and Indonesian
as the background against which the reversal rules and phonological system of Walikan are
explained. It is shown that the underlying segments generally undergo total reversal while
conforming to the phonological and phonotactic rules of Malangan Javanese and Indonesian.
In addition, the sociolinguistic domain of Walikan is investigated. It is demonstrated that the
reversed forms used by different groups of speakers are dynamic and changing: male
speakers show more confidence than female speakers in reporting their fluency, and there
are phonological differences between age groups.
Finally, the study shows that Walikan enjoys on-going popularity in different types of media
such as songs, local TV news, YouTube videos, various digital communication platforms, and
newspaper columns. Walikan is also found to be an important feature in the current
linguistic landscape of Malang, East Java.
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