Regional Shift to Bahasa Indonesia: Old Vernacular in a New Identity

Ninuk Kleden Probonegoro, Imelda - Imelda
| Abstract views: 332 | views: 194


The Gamkonora people are an ethnic group in Indonesia whose members have an outstanding linguistic ability: they are able to speak more than two languages, that is, two or more of Gamkonora, Ternatan-Malay, Ternate, andBahasa Indonesia. The use of these languages is related to the residual traces of the powers that have ruled the area in the history of North Maluku: the Ternate sultanate, European colonialists and Indonesian central government since independence. Re?ecting on the current language behaviour of the Gamkonoran younger generation, which tends to be the Indonesian language (read Malay); the authors question how far the Gamkonorans Indonesian language ability has in?uenced their Gamkonoran language and culture. Through ethnographic studies, the authors found that two languagesIndonesian and Gamkonoranhave di?erent roles in their culture. Therefore, the language shift toBahasa Indonesia by Gamkonoran youth will not replace the Gamkonoran language because the use of their tribal language is supported by their traditional institutions.


Gamkonora, Indonesia, Language shift

Full Text:



Amal, M Adnan. (2009). Kepulauan rempah-rempah: perjalanan sejarah Maluku Utara1950, 2nd edn. Makasar: Pusat Kajian Agama dan Masyarakat, UIN Alauddin.

Ehala, Martin. (2010). Refining the notion of ethnolinguistic vitality. International journal of multilingualism, 7(4): 363378. Accessed on May 31st, 2012

Fairclough, Norman. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: papers in the critical study of language. Harlow: Longman.

Fraassen, Ch F Van. (1980). Types of socio-political structure in North-Halmahera History. In EKM Masinambow. Halmahera dan Raja Ampat: konsep dan strategi penelitian. Jakarta: LEKNASLIPI.

Johnston, John. (1992). Translation as simulacrum. In Lawrence Venuti. Rethinking translation. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 5253.

Mlhsler, Peter (2001). Talking about environmental issues. In Alwin Fill and Peter Mlhsler (eds). The ecolinguistics reader: language, ecology and environment. London and New York: Continuum.

Haugen, Einar. (2001). The ecology of language. In Alwin Fill and Peter Mlhsler (eds). The ecolinguistics reader: language, ecology and environment. London and New York: Continuum.

Imelda. (2011). Bahasa dan kuasa: kajian ranah agama dan implikasinya. In Ninuk Kleden Probonegoro, Imelda and Fanny Henry Tondo. Etnograf kebahasaan dan kebudayaan: memahami eksistensi Bahasa Gamkonora. Jakarta: LIPI Press.

Lewis, M Paul, Gary F Simons and Charles D Fennig (eds). (2013). Ethnologue: languages of the world, 17th edn. Dallas: SIL International. Online version:

OShannessy, Carmel. (2011). Language contact and change in endangered languages. In Peter K Austin and Julia Sallabank (eds.). The Cambridge handbook of endangered languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Copyright (c) 2011 Journal of Indonesian Social Sciences and Humanities
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


  • There are currently no refbacks.