A study on how the writer forms his or status with reference to interpersonal meaning with the readers in article on domestic political affairs ( A Systemic Functional Linguistics Approach )

Oleh :
Pri Sadyatatik - C.1303033 - Fak. Sastra dan Seni Rupa

In expressing his or her ideas, opinions, or attitudes, the writer of articles automatically interacts with the readers; how he or she forms the social hierarchy or status with the readers whether it is equal or unequal, horizontal or vertical. It is reflected from the way the writer expresses his or her writing through the language used. This fact stimulates the researcher to conduct a research about the status with reference to interpersonal meaning between the writer and the readers in article on domestic political affairs. The objectives of this research are to describe how the status of the writers and the readers realized through the clause, modality, MOOD, and transitivity systems in the texts, and how the genre of the texts relate to the status of the writers and the readers. To reach the objectives, the researcher needs some articles or texts. There are three texts analyzed in this research, each is written by different writers: Cornelis Lay, Arief Budiman, and Ignas Kleden. They are all the experts of Indonesia politics. The texts are selected from the INSIGHT Column in The Jakarta Post issued in May 1997, by means of criterion-based selection. The first criterion is that the text should talk about domestic political affairs, and the second is that it should be written by different writers. The texts, which have been collected, then, are analyzed. The analysis is based on Systemic Functional Linguistics. First, the researcher identifies the MOOD, modality, transitivity, and clause systems of the texts. Then, the researcher identifies the GSP and the genre of the texts. Finally, the researcher interprets the data to find the status of the writers and the readers and describes the relation of the genre of the texts to the status. The result of data analysis shows that the clause system of INSIGHT column texts use ellipsis (text 1), simplex, and complex clauses. The complex clauses themselves apply various relations. The MOOD system of the texts is dominated by indicative declarative clauses, and in terms of meaning, it is dominated by proposition clauses. Only few of them are proposal ones. Even, in text 2, there is no proposal clauses applied in the text. It reflects the tendency of the writer to pass on information about the issue to readers. Viewed from the modality system, all the texts employ low and median modality instead of high modality in expressing the obligation, inclination, and probability. Some obligations are not directed to the readers. It indicates that there is no effort of the writers to urge the readers to do something. The writers position the readers as the receivers of the information. Other obligations and inclinations are expressed in proposition clauses rather than in proposal ones. This means that the writers smoothly and indirectly give a command and do not dictate the readers to do something. Relational and material processes dominate the transitivity system of the texts. It shows that the writers inform and explain further the issue to the readers and this support the tendency of the writers to convey the information rather than oblige the readers to do something. Based on those findings, it can be concluded that hierarchical status of the writers to the readers in INSIGHT column text is equal. The writers place the readers in a horizontal status. In addition, the equality of status is strengthened by the effort of the writers to lessen the distance and create an intimacy relation with the readers, and also show the solidarity with them. In terms of genre, all the texts belong to exposition genre. This genre is used in proposing an opinions and arguments towards a certain issue. In the texts, which belong to exposition genre, the writers still put the readers in an equal position. That is because the writers smoothly persuade the readers. They do not dictate the readers to do something. It can be concluded, therefore, that in exposition genre, the status between the writers and the readers is equal. All the texts imply the positive judgement to the readers. It means that all the writers regard the readers as having the same status as them. There is no text which really regards the readers having lower position than the writer. The language of the texts is familiar enough, considering the fact that the writers have placed the readers at the same level as him, as educated people.