Language use and tourism in Yogyakarta; The linguistic landscape of Malioboro

Anna Marietta da Silva, Yassir Nasanius Tjung, Sri Hapsari Wijayanti, Christiany Suwartono


The present study provides a depiction of Malioboro through the interconnected prisms of language presentation, language preferences, and sign informativeness. Seven  hundred  and  twenty-nine  public  signs  were  examined  and  analysed. Although the analysis was limited to words, the survey also paid attention to language preferences and sign informativeness, wit, clarity, and visibility to both local and foreign visitors. Our findings reveal the dominance of Indonesian in the linguistic landscape (LL) of Malioboro, Yogyakarta’s most famous street; 73% of the signs were in Indonesian; indeed, all non-commercial signs use Indonesian. Only 15% of all signs used English and fewer than 5% of the signs contained Javanese, either in its original script or romanized. True to its principal target group, Indonesian  speakers,  the  LL  of  Malioboro  displays  an  exclusiveness and reflects the implementation of Indonesia’s language policy. Our survey shows both Indonesian and English prevailing in commercial, regulatory, and infrastructural signs, most of which are informative.



Linguistic landscape; language preference; tourism; informativeness; Malioboro, Yogyakarta.

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