Understanding Ayahane Tembung aka Word Order in Javanese Sentence

Ayahane tembung, or known as lungguhing tembung, indicates how words are arranged in a sentence based on its function. In other words, parsing a sentence based on its ayahane tembung means to distinguish which one is the jejer, the wasesa, the lesan, and the katrangan. In English, jejer equals the subject, wasesa the predicate, lesan the object, and katrangan the adverb.

Let us observe the following examples.

1. Dimas tuku gulo esuk mau. / Dimas bought some sugar this morning.
2. Gendon maca buku ing jero kelas. / Gendon is reading a book in the classroom.
3. Pak Marwan ngrantos Pak Lurah wonten pendopo. / Mr. Marwan is waiting for the village head in the hall.

In the first example, the sentence is in the past as indicated by adverb of time esuk mau that means this morning. In the second sentence, it is clear that a boy named Gendon is in the classroom reading a book. Like the previous examples, the last sentence is also a complete sentence consisting of a jejer, wasesa, lesan, and katrangan.

What differs the third from the previous two is the use of krama inggil to show some respect or veneration to the people mentioned. Both Mr. Marwan who is a teacher and the village head are considered important in terms of social status so they deserve the highest degree of politeness called krama inggil.  

While esuk mau belongs to adverb of time, ing jero kelas and wonten pendopo are included in adverb of place. In addition, there are also adverb of cause (katrangan sebab), adverb of purpose (katrangan ancas), and adverb of condition (katrangan kahanan). I will discuss these adverbs later in the following post.              

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