Attitudes to Western Loanwords in Indonesia

Timothy Hassall, Elisabet Titk Murtisari, Christine Donnelly, Jeffrey Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The study examines attitudes of young tertiary educated Indonesians toward words borrowed from English (and formerly Dutch), referred to here as western loanwords (WLWs). Respondents' attitudes were investigated using both a matched guise instrument and overt questionnaire items. The matched guise instrument suggested a dislike of western loanwords, whereas the questionnaire items indicated strongly favorable attitudes to them. The latter measure of attitudes appears to be the more valid, and it is concluded that young highly educated speakers have a strong liking and acceptance of WLWs. As for factors affecting attitudes to WLWs, a good knowledge of these words was conducive to more favorable attitudes toward them. Two other factors, a liking for the donor language (English) and an absence of a strong liking for the receptor language (Indonesian), also appeared to incline people to regard loanwords more favorably. Lastly, it is concluded that the matched guise technique may be unsuitable as a tool for probing attitudes to purely lexical variation within a single speech variety.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-84
    JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Dive into the research topics of 'Attitudes to Western Loanwords in Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this