Indonesia and Indonesian

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This chapter provides a brief introduction to the Indonesian context in which the chapters of the current book are set. In doing so, it provides further information for the reader unfamiliar with Indonesian languages. We begin by setting out how the story of Indonesia is one of linguistic diversity. Although Indonesia is a relatively new nation, the story of the Indonesian archipelago has long been one of multilingualism and linguistic contact. We show how the Dutch sought to manage this contact, and how this led to the emergence of a single Malay variety known as Bahasa Indonesia (the language of Indonesia). We then set out how Suharto’s New Order elevated this variety of language over the hundreds of Languages other than Indonesia (LOTI), which were spoken by Indonesia’s ethnic minorities. The New Order fell in 1998 and the past 20 years has seen a revitalization and revaluation of the “ethnic” and “national” in Indonesia. The scholars in the current book are among the leaders in studying what it means to be “Indonesian” and speak the “Indonesian language.” This chapter closes by illustrating some of the ways in which this book’s authors’ theoretical perspectives intersect and come to bear on the current work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContact Talk
Subtitle of host publicationThe Discursive Organization of Contact and Boundaries
EditorsZane Goebel, Deborah Cole, Howard Manns
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429427848
ISBN (Print)9781138370746, 9781138370753
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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