Acquiring Address Terms in Indonesian: A Diary Study

Timothy Hassall

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This study uses a diary method to examine the acquisition of address terms by one advanced second language (L2) learner of Indonesian, during a four month sojourn in a target culture setting. The main issue that emerges for him during the study is when to use certain kin terms which mean "older brother" and "older sister" and are sometimes regarded as markers of solidarity. He makes some striking gains in the acquisition of these terms. However, his overall path of development is marked by reversals in his ability to use this type of address term, and when the sojourn ends, his ability to use them is in fact no higher than before the sojourn began. His reversals in ability to use these terms are closely linked to psychological-emotional factors: specifically an unease about being perceived as over-familiar or presumptuous, which is related in turn to a strong sense of outsider self-identity within the target culture. The study demonstrates that substantial shaping and reshaping of pragmatic knowledge may take place from the very first days in a target culture setting. It provides indirect but compelling evidence that there is be no stable common path of acquisition for many L2 pragmatic features, because individual psychological-emotional factors largely determine how learners acquire those features and how well they do so. It demonstrates the high value of self-report data for revealing details of L2 pragmatic development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFuture Directions in Applied Linguistics: Local and Global Perspectives
    Editors Christina Gitsaki and Richard B. Baldauf Jr.
    Place of PublicationNewcastle, UK
    PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
    ISBN (Print)9781443835732
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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