• Eri Kurniawan Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia



Sundanese, colloquial Indonesian, complementation strategies, complement clauses


The chief goals of this paper are two-fold: to lay out a range of complex structures in Sundanese and to assess the extent to which Englebretson’s (2003) claim regarding the absence of complementation in colloquial Indonesian can be extended to Sundanese, a neighboring language typologically related to Indonesian. In his corpus study, Englebretson argues that the colloquial Indonesian lacks (syntactic) complement clauses and two verbs/clauses can be linked via complementation strategies, including verb serialization and nominalization. Examination of Sundanese complex structures reveals that Sundanese does evince syntactic complementation and elements that Englebretson might analyze as framing elements are demonstrably arguments of a predicate. Englebretson’s account therefore cannot be maintained in Sundanese.


Arka, I. W. (2000). Control theory and argument structure: Explaining control into subject in Indonesian. Paper presented at the 4th International Malay and Indonesian Symposium, Jakarta.

Arka, I. W. & and Manning, C. D. (1998). Voice and grammatical relations in Indonesian: A new perspective. In M. Butt & T. H. King (eds.), The proceedings of the LFG ’98 conference. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Bisang, W. (2001). Finite vs. non-finite languages. In M. Haspelmath, E. König, W. Oesterreicher, & W. Raibe (eds.), Language typology and language universals (pp. 1400– 1413). Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Bowden, J. (2001). Taba: A description of a South Halmahera language. Pacific Linguistics. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

Bresnan, J. W. (1970). On complementisers: Toward a syntactic theory of complement types. Foundation of language, 6, 297-321.

Bresnan, J. W. (1972). Theory of complementation in English syntax. MIT, Cambridge: Ph.D. dissertation.

Cole, P. & Hermon, G. (1998). The typology of wh-movement: Wh-movement in Malay. Syntax, 1, 221-258.

Cole, P. & Hermon, G. (2000). Partial wh-movement: Evidence from Malay. In U. Lutz, G. Müller, G., & A. von Stechow (eds.), Wh-scope marking (pp. 101–130). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Cole, P. & Hermon, G. (2005). Subject and non-subject relativization in Indonesian. Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 14, 59-88.

Cole, P. & Hermon, G., & Aman, N. (2008). Headless relative clauses and wh questions in Singapore Malay. In L. Uyechi, & L. H. Wee (eds.), Reality exploration and discovery: Pattern indication in language and life. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

Cristofaro, S. (1998). Deranking and balancing in different subordination relations: A typological study. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, 51, 3-42.

Dixon, R. M. W. (1995). Complement clauses and complementation strategies. In F. R. Palmer (ed.), Grammar and meaning: Essays in honour of Sir John Lyons (pp. 175–220). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dixon, R. M. W. (2006). Complement clauses and complementation strategies in typological perspective. In R. M. W. Dixon & A. Y. Aikhenvald (eds.), Complementation: A cross-linguistic typology (pp. 1–48). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Englebretson, R. (2003). Searching for structure: The problem of complementation in colloquial Indonesian. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Foley, W. A. & Olson, M. (1985). Clausehood and verb serialization. In J. Nichols (ed.), Grammar inside and outside the clause (pp. 17-60). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gil, D. (1997). When is a reflexive not a reflexive? Forms containing diri in the Riau and Irian dialects of Indonesian. In P. Cole, T. J. Huang, & G. Hermon (eds.), Long distance reflexives, syntax and semantics 33 (pp. 83-117). New York: Academic Press.

Givón, T. (2001). Syntax, vol 1 & 2. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hardjadibrata, R. R. (1985). Sundanese: A syntactical analysis. Canberra: Australia National University, Department of Linguistics.

Johnson, S. (2006). Revisiting the structure of serial verb constructions. LSO Working Papers in Linguistics, 6, 39-48.

Kurniawan, E. (2013). Sundanese complementation. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Iowa.

Kurniawan, E. & William D. D. (2015). Finiteness in Sundanese. Oceanic Linguistics, 54, 1-16. Doi 10.1353/ol.2015.0010.

Kuswari, U. & Hernawan. (2010). Sintaksis basa Sunda. Bandung: JPBD FPBS UPI.

Martins, A. M. (2001). On the origin of the Portuguese inflected infinitive: A new perspective on an enduring debate. In L. Brinton (ed.), Historical linguistics 1999: Selected papers from the 14th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (pp. 207-222). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Müller-Gotama, F. (2001). Sundanese. Munchen: Lincom Europa.

Noonan, M. (1985). Complementation. In T. Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description: Complex constructions Vol. 2 (pp. 42-140). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




How to Cite

Kurniawan, E. (2017). COMPLEMENTATION (STRATEGIES) IN SUNDANESE. Linguistik Indonesia, 35(1), 13–32.