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Friday, October 11 • 10:55am - 11:20am
Ravindranath Abtahian et al.: Language ideologies and language shift scenarios in Indonesia

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Language ideologies and language shift scenarios in Indonesia

​This paper explores the relationship between language ideologies, linguistic insecurity, and language shift, using survey data from 660 Indonesians at universities across Indonesia. We report on a model of language shift linking language regard (Preston 2010) and language practices, based on how speakers label languages in their repertoire, their reported proficiency in those languages, and their responses to 14 language attitude questions. We represent speaker attributes and language attributes in separate vector spaces, using a generalization of canonical correlation analysis for synthesizing multiple data sources. Language attitudes are modeled as a function of speaker attributes, and proficiency is modeled as a function of both speaker and language attributes. By composing these two functions we get an indicator of relationships between attitudes and proficiency for any particular language, allowing us to develop profiles of speakers and languages and explore this relationship in light of complex scenarios of language shift in Indonesia.

Session abstract: What’s so standard about standards?
Standard language ideology (SLI) is a topic ripe for new cross-cultural comparisons, as notions of standard and prestige have been central to sociolinguistic theorizing (Meyerhoff 2019). Cheshire observes that ‘variationists have worked almost exclusively on languages that have been heavily standardized, so the potential influence of [SLI] on the selection of variables […] has been high’ (2005:87). Further, historically atypical standardized national languages of urban elites in modern stratified societies have entrenched hierarchical views of variation, that are grounded in a functional model and asymmetric power relations (e.g. Rickford 1986). These biases should be addressed if we are to build sociolinguistic universals (Guy & Adli 2019). This session continues the discussion by examining underrepresented communities where SLI is realized in different ways, or not at all. Six original research papers will explore this topic around the world, and a discussant presentation will contextualize the panel’s observations.​​​


Maya Ravindranath Abtahian

University of Rochester

Abigail C. Cohn

Cornell University

Aaron White

University of Rochester


Atma Jaya Catholic University

Friday October 11, 2019 10:55am - 11:20am PDT
EMU Gumwood
  S: What's so standard about standards?