Cambridge University Press, Dec 10, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 216 pages
Indonesian is the national language of a vast, plural nation state, the world's fourth-largest country with a population of over 200 million. Although its use is growing rapidly, and is now spoken by nearly everyone over the age of six, it has almost relatively few native speakers. This remarkable growth, unprecedented in the development world, is largely due to the forceful presence of state institutions that use, promote, and disseminate a language first introduced by the Dutch colonial administration. Joseph Errington's third book on language in Indonesia is a detailed analysis of 'shifting languages' in two small Javanese communities. A key figure in this area of research, he examines changing conversation practices in relation to questions of ethnicity, nationalism, and political culture. Errington concludes that the Javanese story has theoretical implications beyond the two villages to other parts of Indonesia, South East Asia, and to the developing world in general.
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