Documentation of Pna 'oral traditons' in Koto Keras, Kerinci, Indonesia

Documentation of Pna 'oral traditons' in Koto Keras, Kerinci, Indonesia

Language: Kerinci (The Koto Keras dialect) (ISO639-3: kvr)
Depositor: Ernanda
Location: Indonesia
Deposit Id: 0607
Grant id: SG0608
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit

This collection contains the documentation of Pna, an oral tradition that is threatened in the Koto Keras dialect of Kerinci which is located in Sumatra, Indonesia. The data will be collected by Ernanda, a linguist and principal investigator.

This collection includes annotated transcriptions, translations, and video and audio recordings, and a Pna compilation film.

Group represented
This is a collection of Pna, an oral literary form of expression, in the Koto Keras dialect of Kerinci. It is a lyrical prose that has patterns and similar rhymes delivered by village elders at traditional ceremonies or occasions. The village elders recite Pna to each other as a call-and-response. Pna deals with activities, customs, and cultures. It plays significant roles in the community, including as a recording of the moral codes of the people, establishing a cultural identity, encapsulating spiritual values, and maintaining traditional knowledge and beliefs. Pna is used as a media in conveying ethical values in life and in reminding people of what is allowed or not allowed according to the moral codes. It is used to advise someone courteously without offending anyone, to build character, to show love and respect, and to cling to old customs and traditions. Pna is rich in metaphor with beautiful old words and phrases that are not spoken in everyday speech. It contains a high artistic value and is delivered with a particular tone and rhythm. According to a survey conducted in June 2018 in Kerinci, Pna in KK is under threat. In the old days, they had elder villagers who performed Pna on all occasions. These elder villagers passed away, and younger generations are not capable of reciting Pna. Thus, this project is designed to document Pna and bring it back to its community before it completely dies.

Language information

Kerinci is a name that has been used to refer to a broad Malayic dialect continuum spoken in the Kerinci area of Sumatra, whereas Koto Keras refers to a specific dialect spoken in Kerinci. Kerinci is an Austronesian language family and has been classified as a member of a Malayo-Polynesian subgroup.

The Kerinci Malay variety has complex morphophonological and morphosyntactic processes that are uncommon in other languages called phrasal alternation (Ernanda 2017). Almost all words in the language exhibit two alternative forms with different final syllables, e.g. mijo/mijeng ‘table’, baouk/baik ‘kind’, lahai/lahi ‘to run’. However, the phenomenon of phrasal alternation in the Koto Keras dialect has not been addressed in previous research.

Almost all Koto Keras people are multilingual or at least bilingual. They speak Bahasa Indonesia as the national language in official and formal contexts such as offices, schools, and public services. Trade interactions are conducted mostly in Minangkabau, a dialect that almost all Koto Keras people speak fluently.

Special characteristics
This collection contains an outreach product which is a community film that will be created out of the documentation data.

Deposit contents

This collection mostly consists of audio and video recordings of Pna.

7 hours of audio of people performing Pna

7 hours of video of people performing Pna

7 hours of translated ELAN transcriptions

1 hour of community film

Deposit history

Other information

Acknowledgement and citation
Ernanda, 2020. Documentation of Pna 'oral traditons' in Koto Keras, Kerinci, Indonesia. London: SOAS, Endangered Language Archive.


Resources yet to be deposited


Affiliation: Universitas Jambi

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