2019, Volume 16, Issue 2

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La Dunifa
Dayanu Ikhsanuddin University
Baubau, Indonesia

Current Trends in Name-Giving Practices of the Buton People: The Impact of Globalisation on the Anthroponymy of Southeast Sulawesi

Voprosy onomastiki, 2019, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp. 259–268 (in English)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2019.16.2.025

Received 15 July 2018

Abstract: The present paper deals with the current trends in name-giving among the Buton people, one of indigenous ethnicities of Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. The traditional anthroponymic pattern of the Buton is typologically peculiar; it consists of an etymologically obscure element denoting the gender of the person, a marker of the noble status (upon the case), and a gender-neutral given name. Unfortunately, the indigenous given names, as well as the use of the traditional anthroponymic pattern have been in decline for decades, to the extent that they may get obliterated very soon. This study aims to identify (1) the degree of extinction of Buton personal names, (2) the most common borrowed personal names adopted by Buton people, and (3) the reasons of the decay of traditional naming practices as they are comprehended by people themselves. To this aim, a series of in-depth interviews and a quantitative analysis of official data retrieved from the Civil Registry and Population Bureau of the Buton Regency covering the period from 1997 to 2016 were carried out. The study found that the process of extinction of traditional names has drastically accelerated over the last twenty years and, as of today, has reached dangerous level. From 2012 to 2016, of 5,331 newborns, only 28 received traditional names. The interviews show that the Buton people consider traditional names to be inferior, akward, out of date. They increasingly tend to adopt Arabic and Javanese personal names as well as names of Western origin that they regard to be more prestigious. This xenocentric trend in name-giving practices can be explained by the impact of globalization and, as for Arabic names, by the increasing significance of the religious factor.

Keywords: Celebic languages, Buton (Butung), anthroponymy, anthroponymic pattern, identity, cultural heritage, globalization, xenocentrism, anthropological linguistics.


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