I Wayan Arka


This paper discusses complexities faced by the minority Rongga people in the
context of language maintenance and revitalization, based on feld experience
in documenting the Rongga language. Issues in language maintenance
and revitalization are discussed from a range of macro-variables such as
historical, socio-political, cultural, economic and sociolinguistic factors. It is
demonstrated that the Rongga case is a typical complex situation faced by
minority ethnic groups in Indonesia who have been increasingly marginalized
in almost every aspect. The low capacity of maintaining their language/culture
is a result of a long and complex process which the people of Rongga have
experienced. The effect is that internal and external support has been always
weak or absent. Internally, pride of own language/culture is always low; the
function of traditional custom (adat) laws is signifcantly reduced; poverty is
widespread, and there are problems with local human resources. Externally,
the Rongga people have been dominated by outsiders at all levels, including
at the local level. The introduction of the new Javanese-style village structure
has negatively affected the vitality of the Rongga people. In addition, Rongga
language is also under pressure from the national/regional language policy in
Indonesia. The paper discusses the prospect and challenges ahead, and reports
the activities undertaken in the feld work.

Keywords: language maintenance, language revitalization, language
documentation, minority language, ethnic of Rongga, Flores

Full Text:



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