Written by Wahyu Setyadi   
Friday, 28 January 2011 07:28

The prominent role of both international language (English) and national language (e.g. Indonesian) in daily interactions has a tremendous effect on the use of indigenous languages in South-East Asian countries. This situation is worth discussing seriously at the present moment. Those two kinds of dominating languages may cause the life of some indigenous languages to be potentially endangered. The main reason is that their native speakers tend to regard their own mother tongue as having a socially-and-economically disadvantaged position so that they prefer not to pass it down to their own offspring. When heavy pressures from dominating language(s) are inevitable, the sociolinguistic situation of the affected indigenous languages will be even worse. Let alone, if they begin to lose child speakers.

Some solutions in terms of viable language use should be made to prevent such potentially endangered languages from being seriously endangered, moribund or, even, extinct. Therefore, some linguists and those interested in the studies of sociolinguistics, language in society, ethnography of communication, language ideology or identity, applied linguistics and language teaching need to gather and discuss the serious problem in a serious seminar. The public notion has it that the extinction of a language will not only waste all cultural heritages embedded in the language but also make no native speakers left. This is what people tend to worry about since cultural heritages preserved in a language become the identity of a group they belong to.

To maintain potentially endangered languages, so to speak, is not merely a matter of linguistic policy but it must involve that of political policy as well. Therefore, the role of the government institution which is in a position to set up a national language planning and policy becomes of paramount importance. The most practical strategy to maintain any languages is concerned with educational policies together with language-use campaigns in informal domains, such as: family, peer groups, streets or market. That way, young speakers will be able not only to learn their native tongue at schools but also to acquire it at homes.

As a big country in South-East Asia, Indonesia has hundreds of indigenous languages whose role in daily interactions is less socially and economically important than that of Indonesian or English. If these social, cultural, political and linguistic situations get overlooked and we have no precautions to take, the number of potentially endangered languages will seriously increase. In brief, it is now high time to think of good policies on indigenous language maintenance or language shift in Indonesia and/or other neighboring countries in South-East Asia before it will be too late.


- To pay a serious attention to the use of both dominating and indigenous languages in real interactions in Indonesia or other countries in South-East Asia, from new and humanitarian perspectives.

- To share ideas concerning the strategies of indigenous language maintenance and language shift.

- To build up relations among linguists, teachers, language researchers, or other experts in South-East Asian countries so as to create new perspectives on language maintenance in accordance with human-rights issues in South-East Asia.

- To fully understand the basic grounds for sociolinguistic problems of language use in South-East Asian countries.


“ Language Maintenance and/or Language Shift in South-East Asian Countries”


a) In depth review on the use of indigenous languages in Indonesia and/or other South-East Asian countries.

b) Government policy on the maintenance of indigenous languages in Indonesia and/or other South-East Asian countries.

c) Local wisdom preserved in local or national languages in Indonesia and/or other South-East Asian countries.

d) Teaching indigenous languages in Indonesia and/or other South-East Asian countries.

e) Teaching or maintaining Indonesian and/or Malay in overseas educational institutions.

f) Curriculum and material development of indigenous languages at local schools in Indonesia and/or other South-East Asian countries.

g) In depth analysis on (indigenous/national) language identity or ideology represented in daily interactions.

h) Language attitudes of indigenous language speakers toward foreign languages.

i) Any new and humanitarian perspectives on language use and language contacts.


Time : July 2, 2011

Venue     : Pandanaran Hotel

Jl. Pandanaran

Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia


1) Prof. Stephanus Djawanai, Ph.D. (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia)

2) Peter Suwarno, Ph.D. (Arizona State University, USA)

3) Prof. Amirudin Azis, Ph.D. (National Language Center, Indonesia)

4) Zane Goebel PhD. (La Trobe University, Australia)*

* Tentative


a) The abstract should be in Indonesian or English, about 250 words, in single space, Times New Roman 12, in MS-Word program, sent to the committee of the seminar via email to by May 1, 2011 at the latest and the selected ones will be announced by May 7, 2011

b) The full paper is about 5000 words (including bibliography), A4, in 1.5 space, in CD or MS-Word program, Times New Roman 12, enclosed with transfer receipt of IDR 100,000,- and sent by email to no later than June 1, 2011.


Domestic and international linguists, lecturers, graduate or doctorate graduate students, teachers, researchers, and those interested in language and culture.


a. Fee:

Foreigners : IDR 500,000.-

General : IDR 300,000.-

Lecturers : IDR 200,000.-

Students : IDR 150,000.-

The fee includes: abstract, certificate, CD containing the papers, lunch and snacks.

b. Payment should be transfered to BNI Syariah Semarang, Central Java Indonesia; Ambar Kurniasih, Account Number 0194412423.



Please send or fax your abstract, completed registration form and the copy of transfer receipt to the:

Secretariat of International Seminar

Master’s Program in Linguistics Diponegoro University

(5 Imam Bardjo, SH Street Semarang, Central Java Indonesia 50241)

Phone : 62 24 8448717 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 62 24 8448717 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Fax : 62 24 8448717

Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contact Persons : Ambar & Ahlis

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Pandanaran Hotel Semarang (***)

58 Pandanaran St. Semarang INDONESIA

Phone : (+62)-24-845 2952 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (+62)-24-845 2952 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (hunting)

Fax : (+62)-24-845 2956

Rate IDR 330,000.-

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