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Type: Thesis
Title: Aspects of language change in Gayo : a language of Sumatra in Indonesia
Author: Hartisari
Issue Date: 1997
School/Discipline: Dept. of Linguistics
Abstract: This thesis documents the process of language change which is taking place in Takengon, located in middle Aceh, region of Sumatra (Western Indonesia). A key historical event appears central as a cause of language change - contact with Malay (now Bahasa Indonesia) has exercised a great deal of influence in this language. The strong influence of Bahasa Indonesia has reduced little by little the role of this language in the Gayo community, and the impact of development and modernisation of Indonesia can be felt in this community too. Besides, Arabic also plays an imp011ant role in this process, especially in the domain of Islamic teaching. The present research examines language usage. Observation and recording of language in a variety of settings provided evidence that change is occurring. The results indicate that many traditional lexical items have been replaced by the new item, the set of kin terms has undergone dramatic changes, the traditional basic values have shifted to modem ones in many domains. There are also a number of changes at the grammatical level. The results of an investigation of the attitudes of different age-groups of speakers toward the Gayo suggest that feelings toward this language remain generally very positive. There are a number of signs of shift: proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia is increasing; younger people tend to speak Indonesian; which they regard as the prestigious language for modem people. However, few speakers of Gayo seem to be aware of the dangers of language loss.
Advisor: Mühlhäusler, Peter
Dissertation Note: Thesis (MA) -- University of Adelaide, Dept. of Linguistics, 1997
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