Research Articles

Tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality in Sasak, eastern Indonesia

  • Peter K. Austin


The Sasak language is spoken on the island of Lombok (immediately east of Bali, Indonesia) by around 2.7 million speakers, roughly 85% of the population of Lombok, which was recorded as 3,169,050 in 2010. Sasak shows great internal variation, both geographical and social. Its complex linguistic ecology (Austin 2003) includes five ethnolinguistically named ‘dialects’ recognized by native speakers and named for the shibboleth terms for ‘like that-like this’ (i.e. Ngenó-ngené, Nggetó-nggeté, Menó-mené, Kutó-kuté, Meriaq-meriku). This paper is a preliminary outline of the expression of polarity, aspect, mood and evidentiality in the Sasak language spoken on the island of Lombok. It is based on analysis of elicited and textual materials from several Sasak varieties and illustrates the formal and semantic differences between them.

Keywords: Sasak, Lombok, Indonesia, dialects, polarity, aspect, mood, evidentiality

How to Cite:

Austin, P., (2012) “Tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality in Sasak, eastern Indonesia”, Language Documentation and Description 11, 231-251. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2012
Peer Reviewed