Macquarie University
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Multilingualism of high school students in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: the language shift and maintenance

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posted on 2022-03-28, 13:06 authored by Erna Andriyanti
This present study examines the language choices and attitudes of multilingual high school students in Yogyakarta and considers the impact of factors, such as language prestige, ethnic and cultural identity, national pride, educational success and global competitiveness, on the maintenance or shift of their heritage language. Data were collected using student and teacher surveys, interviews with principals, observations and documents. The main participants were 12-18 year-old high school students. Yogyakarta’s population of 61,016 students across 149 schools (BPS, 2014b) is represented by a sample group of 1039 students from 10 schools. Examination of the languages used by the young multilinguals in six domains reveals that Javanese and Bahasa Indonesia compete in the home, in schools and on the street, especially in peer-to-peer interactions. However, despite its large number of speakers, use of Javanese in other domains is endangered. Statistical measures of language proficiency and the inner functions of bi- and multilingualism reveal the extent of the shift away from Javanese, and provide insight into the relationships between their choice of language and their perceived local and national identity. The factors that influence the shift include: the government’s national language policy which has gradually had a negative impact on local languages, including Javanese; exposure to languages in the home, school and media; settlement patterns; the difficulty of learning a language and its perceived benefits; and the attitudes toward particular languages. This present study also includes proposals to revitalise Javanese. The strategies stress the significant role of education in local government language policy. They also rely on intergenerational transmission, a focus rarely discussed in-depth by Indonesians, and the importance of raising parents’ awareness of family language planning, while maintaining the value of English so that young people become competent additive multilinguals.


Table of Contents

Part 1. Prolegomenon. Chapter One. Introduction : multilingualism in contemporary Yogyakarta Chapter Two. Literature review : multilingualism, language maintenance and current issues Chapter Three. Contextual background to languages in Yogyakarta -- Part 2. Methodology. Chapter Four. Theoretical underpinnings for using a mixed methods approach Chapter Five. The project -- Part 3. Reslts. Chapter Six. Young Yogyakartan multilinguals’ use of their languages Chapter Seven. The shift from Javanese to Bahasa Indonesia: extent and implications for group identity Chapter Eight. Factors of the shift from Javanese to Bahasa Indonesia Chapter Nine. Language strategies in the multilingual setting of Yogyakarta -- Part 4. Conclusion. Chapter Ten. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 278-321

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Verna Rieschild

Additional Supervisor 1

Mehdi Riazi

Additional Supervisor 2

Jan Tent


Copyright Erna Andriyanti 2016. Copyright disclaimer:






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