The shift of Acehnese language: A sociolinguistic study to preserve regional languages

Maria Ulfa, Irma Dewi Isda, Purwati Purwati


This study uses a case study research method with a qualitative study design. The aims of the study were to find out the domains of Acehnese language shifts in Langsa and the reasons why Acehnese teenagers are shifting their language. Five districts in Langsa, one of the cities in Aceh, Indonesia, became the research location. They were Langsa Kota, Langsa Barat, Langsa Timur, Langsa Baroe and Langsa Lama. The respondents were Acehnese young adults within the age range of 18 to 21 years old. There were 10 respondents from each district, making a total of 50 respondents. The instruments used in this study were observations, a questionnaire, and interviews. Simple statistics were used to analyse the questionnaire, meanwhile the data analysis for the observations and interviews followed an interactive model from Miles and Huberman, namely: data reduction, data display, verification of data, and conclusions. The results showed that the domains of education (30 respondents) and of friendship (27 respondents had the largest number of shifters. Meanwhile, the family domain had the least shifts, so it was concluded that shifts rarely occurred in this domain. Finally, there are three fundamental factors that influenced the shift: environment, habitual usage, and choice of language.


language shift; regional language; domain; choice of language

Full Text:



Aziz, Z. A., & Amery, R. (2016). The effects of a linguistic tsunami on the languages of Aceh. Studies in English and Education, 3(2), 100-108.

Bayer, J. M. (2005). Sociolinguistic perspectives of cultures in transition: Indian tribal situation. Language in India, 5(3). Retrieved from

Bell, J. (2013). Language attitudes and language revival/survival. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(4), 399-410.

Bogdan, C. R., & Biklen, K. S. (1992). Qualitative research for education. Boston: Allwyn and Bacon.

Fasold, R. (1984). The sociolinguistics of society. New York: Basil Blackwell.

Ferguson, C. A. (1959). Diglossia. Word, 15, 325-340.

Fishman, J. A. (1972). Language in sociocultural change/essays by Joshua A. Fishman. Selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Fishman, J. A. (2006). Do not leave your language alone: The hidden status agendas within corpus planning in language policy. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum

Grimes, B. F. (Ed.). (1996). Ethnologue. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Gunew, S., & Rizvi, F. (Eds.). (1994). Culture, difference and the arts. St. Leonards, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin.

Harrison, R. A., & Thomas, M. (2009). Identity in online communities: Social networking sites and language learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 7(2), 109-124.

Holmes, J. (2001). An introduction to sociolinguistics (2nd ed.). London: Pearson Education.

Huebner, D. E. (1987). The vocation of teaching. In F. Bolin & J. Falk (Eds.), Teacher renewal: Professional issues, personal choices (pp. 17-29). New York: Teachers College Press.

Kandler, A., Unger, R., & Steele, J. (2010). Language shift, bilingualism and the future of Britain's Celtic languages. Philosophical Transaction B, 365(1559), 3855-3864.

Kouritzin, S. G. (1999). Faces(t)s of first language loss. New Jersey: Lawrence Elbaum.

Milroy, L. (1980). Language and social networks. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Myers-Scotton, C. (2006). Multiple voices: An introduction to bilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Rahayu, D. (2016). Bilingualism of two Indonesian siblings living in Australia. Studies in English Language and Education, 3(2), 109-121.

Romaine, S. (2000). Language in society: An introduction to sociolinguistics. NewYork: Oxford University Press.

Tawerilmang, T. (1996). National language policy in the federated states of Micronesia: A conceptual framework. Palikir, Pohnpei: FSM National Department of Education.

Thompson, R. M. (1974). Mexican American language loyalty and the validity of the 1970 census. International Journal of Sociology of Language, 2(74), 7-18.

Veltman, C. (1983). Language shift in the United States. New York: Walter De Gruyter.

Weinreich, U. (1968). Languages in contact: Finding and problem. Paris: Mouton.

Yusuf, Y. Q., Pillai, S., & Ali, N. T. A. M. (2013). Speaking Acehnese in Malaysia. Language & Communication, 33(1), 50-60.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats