Supatra , Hendarto (2012) LANGUAGE ATTRITION IN JAVA (SOME NOTES ON THE PROCESS OF JAVANESE LANGUAGE LOSS). In: International Seminar Language Maintenance and Shift II. ISSN: 2088-6799, 5-6 Juli 2012, Hotel Pandanaran Semarang.


Official URL:


Will Javanese language die in ten to fifteen years to go? The answer tend to be “no”. How about in coming two or three generations? The answer will be “possibly yes”. The fact, since the day of the independence declaration of Republik Indonesia, Javanese language has been undergoing a process what may be called language obsolescent or language replacement, or language demise (death), in a certain degree. There are at least two reasons to support the prediction on that undesired destiny of the Javanese language in next generation periods. First, in this global era caused by the speed development of science and technology especially in transportation and communication, half of the total languages in the world, those are around 6000 languages, were dead in the past three century and ten languages will die every years. Some local languages have been replaced by, not many but powerful and dominant international languages like English, and by national language like Indonesian in Indonesia. In Semarang and possibly other cities in Java not including Surakarta and Yogyakarta, Javanese people rarely speak Krama, in a situation where it should be, while at least in rural area where ngoko was used now in certain domains are replaced by Indonesian language significantly, where the speakers are young generation. Javanese language, said many people, has been a foreign language taught in elementary school to senior high school. Today, however, in informal situation among those who are familiar one with another, especially between people from lower status, Javanese or ngoko still used in many places, and full Javanese (ngoko and karma) still used in regencys (kabupaten) like Demak, Purwodadi, Salatiga, pekalongan, etc. And this phenomena will unlikely change in 5 to 10 years to go. But no one, I think, will dare to guarantee if people use one to two generations as criterion. In Semarang, the capital of central Java, for example, Chinese Indonesian from generation to generation are native speakers of Indonesian language or Chinese Malay. Big change has seemingly taken place with the Javanese people. Now people with different background have been without hesitant to choose Indonesian as their children’s mother tongue since 30 to 35 years ago, with many different reasons. Two among other reasons are, first, for their children’s success in school, and second, parents don’t want their children speak with them using ngoko so it seems no choice but Indonesian. How about with krama? It is not a secret any more that some parents here in Semarang tend not having communicative competence to speak krama. Entering global era in this reformation period, English language has been used everywhere in this country although actually people still using Indonesian, so what I mean is that that is a case of code-mixing. What is important to notice here is that people’ attitude toward that foreign language can be considered to endanger the status of Indonesian because of the high status of that foreign language in the situation only few people speak standard Indonesian, an Indonesian prestigious variety. It is clear without saying with the fate of Javanese language if no people are aware with the situation. This article proposes some suggestion to anticipate the situation described above beside the fact that Javanese people are still proud with their culture and many crucial actions, so far, have been done.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions:School of Postgraduate (mixed) > Master Program in Linguistic
ID Code:54152
Deposited On:13 Jun 2017 09:44
Last Modified:22 Feb 2018 14:15

Repository Staff Only: item control page