KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 494–502


1. Introduction

The shift of language begins in family domain. Family is the crucial part of the language development, and home domain represents the last defense against the influence of the language of the majority language in society. The language to be extinction will not happen if the language user can keep maintaining the language. Language maintenance refers to the continuing use of the indigenous language in a majority language contact. Mesrthri (1999: 42) defines language maintenance as the continuing use of a language in the face of competition from a regionally and socially powerful or numerically stronger language.

Indonesia is one of the countries that has lots of varieties of ethnics, cultures and varieties of vernacular languages spread all over Indonesia. The varieties of ethnics group also spread in Langsa city. Langsa is a developing city that locates in Aceh province. Because of those varieties, two kinds of social interaction develop in Langsa. Interaction between the same ethnic or intra ethnic and interaction between different ethnic or interethnic happen in Langsa. The interaction between interethnic groups in Langsa potentially occur marriage between different ethnics. It is so called as intermarriage. Marriage between different ethnics group which has different language and culture is not as easiest as marriage with the same ethnic which has lots of things in common. It needs to assimilate one culture with another culture. The cultural assimilation, more commonly referred to acculturation, is the “process of change toward greater cultural similarity brought about by contact between two or more groups [8]. The cultural assimilation influences to the language use in family. According to Crsytal (2003), when one culture assimilates to another culture, the sequence of events affecting the endangered language seems to be everywhere. For example, the phenomenon in small area in Langsa city can be the representation of the attitude of teenagers itself in using their vernacular language. The phenomenon of language shift and language maintenance also occurs in Aceh language. Aceh language is the primary communication tool among Aceh language users. This language is used in all aspects of the lives and livelihoods of Acehnese as their mother tongue. This language serves as a means of communication within the family, daily life, religion, civilization, education and teaching, government, commerce, greetings between members of one family and another family and culture.

Related to the phenomenon and theory that occurs in Acehnese family, researchers need to do more deeply research about the parent's role in shifting and maintaining a vernacular language in third generation and how the way they used the language.

2. Literature Review

Language shift and language maintenance are like two sides of coin. Language maintenance is a situation in which the language maintains its vitality, even under pressure (Batibo, 2005:102). On the contrary, if one does not keep maintain the language, it is possible that language shift takes place. Language maintenance and Language shift are parts of language planning, which most clearly illustrate as the full complexity of societal phenomena. Language planning refers to deliberate efforts to influence the behavior of others with respect to the acquisition, structure, or functional allocation of their codes. Jernudd & Dass Gupta (in Fishman, 1972: 186) state that the study of language planning is the study of organized efforts to find solution to societal language problems. One of the language problems is language shift and the solution of societal problem is language maintenance.

3. Kinship Term

In addressing terms in Acehnese, society is divided into four terms, namely: kinship terms, customs terms, religious term, and office terms. Kinship terms include the relationship by blood or marriage. In this study the researchers focus on the use of kinship terms in Aceh language. There are more than thirty kinds of Kinship Term in Aceh language as stated below:

Table 1

Kinship terms in Aceh language.

No Using Kinship terms
1 Son Gam, Agam, amponi, Said
2 Daughter Nong, Inong
3 Grandchildren (boys/girls) Name, Nyak+name, Nyak+agam/inong
4 Younger brother/youngest brother Name, Adek, dek+ name, dek gam
5 Younger sister/youngest sister Dek, dek + name
6 Elder sister kak, kak +name, cutda, cutti, cupo
7 Elder Brother bang, bang +name, cut bang
8 Wife ma siinong/ siagam, adek ma+ name of eldest child, only name, gata
9 Husband Abang, cutbang, bang+name, yahsi gam, yah siinong, bapakjih
10 Husband of elder sister/brother bang, bang+ name, polem/kak, kak +name, cut da
11 Husband of younger or youngest sister/brother Dek, dek + name
12 Wife of elder sister/brother kak, kak+name
13 Wife of younger or youngest sister/brother Name
14 Elder sister of wife/husband kak, kak +name, cuda, cutkak/bang, bang+name, cut bang
15 Younger(est) of wife/husband Dek, dek + name, only name
16 Mother of mother makha, nenek, maknek, misyik, nek
17 Father of Mother Nektu, syik, abusyik, yahnek
18 Biological Mother Ma(k), Um(mi), Nyak, Bunda
19 Biological Father Ayah, Abu, Abi, Abah, Bapak
20 Younger/youngest brother of father yah cut, yahbit, yahcek, yahngah, apa,
21 Elder brother of father abuwa, pakwa
22 Elder sister of father ma cut, teh, mak lot
23 Younger/youngest sister of father ma cut, teh, cut ma
24 Elder sister of Mother mawa, Miwa, Nyakwa
25 Younger/youngest sister of Mother ma(k) cek, cecek, cek +name
26 Elder brother of Mother Ayah wa, abuwa, wa
27 Younger /youngest brother of mother yah cut, Pa cut, apa, pakcek, cek +name
28 Mother of father Nek, Misyik
29 Father of father nek, nektu, yahnek, Abunek, Abu
30 Name self Lon, long, kee, Ulon, ulontuan, name of self

4. Research Method

This study is a case study research design. According to Bogdan & Biklen (1992: 62) the case study is a detailed examination of one setting or a single subject, a single depository of documents or one particular even.


The subjects in this study were twenty children from Acehnese family in Langsa. (as third generation) and age of the subjects were about 15-25 years old.


The instruments of this research were observation, questionnaire and interview.


Data were collected by observation, questionnaire and in-depth interview to children in age 15-26 years old. The steps are:

  • The researcher had prepared and clarified the questions to find a deep answer from the informant by using the informant's answer in the first question.

  • Then, the researcher transcribed the data from the interview.

  • Finally, the researcher analyzed the data from the questionnaire and from transcribes the interview data.

Data analysis

The data were done through interactive Model of Miles & Huberman (1984: 23). The data from questioner and interview were analysed through the following two procedures:

The first procedure of data collection is questioner. The data from the questionnaire is analyzed through these following steps:

  • Data reduction: identification the factors that influencing language Maintenance of addressing term in Acehnese young generation intermarriage family and the patterns of the language use.

  • Data Display.

  • Verification and conclusion.

Next, the second procedure is getting the data from interview through the following steps

  • Transcribe the data from audio recorder

  • Classify Data transcription

  • Verify the pattern of language maintenance in intermarriage family

  • Conclude the reasons of the Acehnese children in Langsa.

5. Discussion

Parents have very big role toward children language acquisition. According to Holmes (2003) in addressing or referring member in family the terminology that language can identify the social background of the family. Parent's education may describe social background of family. The table below showed parents education background in intermarriage family in Langsa.

Table 2

Parent's Education Background.

Parents tribe Language Use Parents Education
Father Mother Father Mother Father Mother
R3 Acehnese Batak AL BL+IL D3 D3
R8 Acehnese Javanese AL JL+IL SLTP SLTP
R10 Acehnese Batak Mandailing AL BL+IL SMP SMEA
Maintain R13 Padangnese Acehnese AL AL S1 SMP
Completely R16 Padangnese Acehnese IL AL S1 S1
R17 Bataknese Acehnese BL AL SMA D3
R18 Javanese Acehnese AL AL SD SD
R1 Acehnese Javanese AL+IL JL+IL SMA SMA
Maintain R5 Acehnese Javanese AL+IL JL+IL S1 S1
Partly R6 Acehnese Javanese AL+IL JL+IL S1 SMA
R7 Acehnese Malay AL+IL IL SMA S1
R9 Acehnese Padangnese AL+IL IL SMA SMA
R19 Malay Acehnese PL+JL AL+IL SD SMA
R20 Malay Acehnese PL+IL AL+IL SD SMP
R2 Acehnese Javanese IL JL+IL SD SD
R4 Acehnese Javanese JL+IL JL+IL SMA SD
Shift R11 Padangnese Acehnese PL+IL IL S1 S1
R12 Javanese Acehnese JL+IL JL+IL SMP SMP
R14 Padangnese Acehnese PL+IL PL+IL S1 SMEA
R15 Padangnese Acehnese PL+IL IL SMA S1

Educational level of parents will influence the development of children. Scotton (2006: 201) stated that the social class and education level of parents often play decisive role. In some families of middle class, children seldom show formal respects and deference to their elder and when they grow up, they replace the child – parent relationship with one of equals or near equals.

Parents take important roles in maintaining the kinship terms as well as shifting them, below is a chart of the parents' role that influence the maintenance and shift of kinship terms in intermarriage family which is analyzed from twenty respondents.

Figure 1

Parents Role.


The figure above shows that there were fifty five percent of children influenced by parents in maintaining the kinship terms. There were ten percents of children influenced by parents in shifting the kinship terms. And there were thirteen percent not influenced by parents in maintaining or shifting the kinship terms. There were fifty five percent of children who were influenced by parents' role above were divided into the role of parents in Acehnese fathers and the role of parents in Acehnese mothers, the table of percentage of children from AF-NAM and AM-NAF as shown below:

Table 3

The role of AF-NAM and AM-NAF in maintaining the kinship terms in completely and partly in Aceh language.

Parents Father Mother Both of Father & Mother Father Mother Both of Father & Mother
Percentage 25 %    - 10 %    - 20 % -
Note: AF-NAM: Acehnese Father with Non-Acehnese Mother
AM-NAF: Acehnese Mother with Non-Acehnese father

The above table shows that there were 25 % of children whose Acehnese father and Non-Acehnese mother wereinfluenced by Acehnese father in maintaining the kinship terms completely and partly. It was shown by five respondents below:

R3: Ada yang bilang, itu panggilnya Abua, itu panggil nya pakcik (someone told me, to call Abua, to call pakcik)


: Abi kak (father)

R8: Pertama-tama dari saudara abang sepupu, kakak sepupu, terus, emmmm... Ayah pun nyuruh panggelnya Yahwa (first, I heard from my cousin, then, emmmm my father asks me to call Yahwa)

R1: memang dah dari kecil, memang kek gitu dah dari dulu kayak gitu, Ayah yang ajarin (since I was a kid, I was taught by father)

R7: saudara mamak dari mamak bilang, saudara Ayah dari Ayah (to mother's relatives are told by mother, and to father relatives are told by father)

R9: Bapak yang nyuruh.... kakak ayah bilangnya nyakwa ya..,kalau abang Ayah panggel Abua (I was asked by father, the elder sister of father is called nyakwa and the elder brother of father is called Abua).

There were 10 % of children whose Acehnese father and Non-Acehnese mother were influenced by both of Acehnese father and Non-Acehnese mother in maintaining the kinship terms completely and partly. It was shown by two respondents below:

R10: Dua-dua lah kak, ikut tutur Aceh kata mamak (both of father and mother, we follow Acehnese language)

R5: ya.. mamak dari ayah trus mamak kasi tau sama kami (yes...mother knows from father, then mother told to us).

There were 20 % of children whose Acehnese mother and Non-Acehnese father were influenced by Acehnese mother in maintaining the kinship terms in Aceh language. It was shown by four respondents below:

R16: Mamak..........


nurul ada miwa, salam dulu (Nurul, this is Miwa,)

R17: mamak yang nyuruh tapi gk dipaksa, Cuma dibilang cara manggilnya aja (mother asked me but not forced, just told to me how to call it)

R19: Nyo paknek keuhnyoe, masak kah hana katuri! salami lee (this is your paknek (grandfather), why you don't know him!)

R20: dari mamak (from mother)

The 15 % of children who were influenced by parents' role and they shift the kinship terms above into the role of parents in Acehnese fathers and the role of parents in Acehnese mothers. The table of percentage of children from AF-NAM and AM-NAF is shown below:

Table 4

The role of AF-NAM and AM-NAF in shifting the kinship terms in Aceh language.

Parents Father Mother Both of Father & Mother
Percentage    - 5 % 5 %

From three respondents; R11, R14, R15, who shift the kinship terms, most of them were from Acehnese Mother and Non-Acehnese Father intermarriage couple. From the result of the interview, only two respondents were instructed by their mother to use Indonesia language in addressing their family member, for example:

R11: “mamak sama ayah nyuruh kak” (My Mother and May father asked me)

R14: “gak tau, udah kek itu panggelnya.. emmm...sodara kami kek gitu jugak, ikot sodara kadang ada jugak” (I don't know, that has been common term, emmm... our siblings also have the same kinship term. Maybe I imitate my sibling.)

R15: “iky, salam dulu nah Oom ni adek mamak ini”. (Iky.. please give honor to your uncle, he is my young brother)

From the result of the interview, it shows that one of them was influenced by the environment in using kinship terms in Indonesia Language and others were given instruction from their parents.

6. Conclusions

It is concluded that Acehnese father is mostly influenced by Aceh language in maintaining kinship terms. Furthermore, several respondents found that Acehnese father also influences his wife (mother Non-Acehnese) in educating their children at home to use Aceh kinship terms to father Acehnese relatives.

In this study, each child learns from parents or family habitual action. The parent's role is not only found in children who maintain the language in completely and partly, but parents also affect the children to shift the language to other vernacular languages and Indonesian language at home as well.



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Fishman, Joshua. (1972). The Relationship between Micro- and macro- Sociolinguistics in the Study of Who Speaks What Language to Whom and When. In J.B. Pride and Janet Holmes (eds). Sociolinguistics: Selected Readings. Hammondsworth: Penguin Books.


Holmes, J. (2001). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Second Edition. London: Pearson Education Limited.


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