Presidential inaugural speeches in English and in Bahasa Indonesia: A comparative text analysis

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature Major in English

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

Andrew B. Gonzalez, FSC

Defense Panel Chair

Araceli Hidalgo

Defense Panel Member

Eduardo Deveza
Glenda Fortez
Andrea H. Penaflorida
Buenaventura Medina


The ultimate aim of teaching and learning English in Indonesian schools is reading for comprehension. After six years of learning English, high school graduates are expected to be able to read English textbooks upon enrollment in colleges and universities. The facts, however show that high school graduates have poor English reading and comprehension.This study is conducted from the point of view of Discourse Analysis Theory and Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis with the hope that the findings might be of some help in solving the problem.The study is descriptive comparative. It tries to describe and compare two presidential inaugural speeches in English and two in Bahasa Indonesia, in terms of macro-semantic structure, topical progression, thematic structure and cohesion.The comparison across texts is done by computing the percentage of the frequency of use of the aspects of comparison in each text while the comparison across language groups is done by computing the percentage mean of the two sample texts in each language. The results of the comparison reveal that there are more similarities than differences between the English and Indonesian text structure. In the texts examined, there are more instances of parallel progression than sequential progression more thematized NG than any other word groups more instances of Repetition than any other cohesive devices. In terms of macro-semantic structure, however, there are slight differences between the English and the Indonesian texts.

The study tentatively concludes that the following points might be culturally universal: 1) political presidential inaugural speeches consists of the justification of the programs, the presentation of the programs, and the appeal to the audience to take part 2) in presidential inaugural speeches, there are more instances of parallel topical progression than sequential progression, with personal pronoun, we, as the most frequently topicalized item 3) in presidential inaugural speeches, the most frequent thematized item is the NG and 4) in presidential inaugural speeches, the most frequently used cohesive device is repetition.In spite of the similarities between the English and Indonesian text structure, the study still argues that if the Indonesian students have to read English, they need to be taught the English text structure as described in this study, and the Indonesian text structure can be used as points of reference. In the presentation of the English text structure, however, careful attention should be given to 1) the macro-semantic structures, 2) the assignment of topic of each sentence, 3) conjunctions, and 4) repetition, since they even pose problems to the native speakers.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

318 leaves


English language -- Comparison; Comparative linguistics; Indonesian language; Comparison (Grammar); Semantics, Comparative; Discourse analysis; Language and languages -- Word frequency

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