Due to the dominant position of Indonesian as the national and official language, local languages have been less favoured amongst their native speakers. Even one of the most widely used languages in Aceh Province, Acehnese seems to be neglected by younger generations, especially in urban areas. This study investigates the practice, attitudes, and maintenance of the Acehnese language. Three generations of Acehnese women were interviewed in-depth on their language use. Most respondents, in this study, still use Acehnese in their daily communication. All respondents in the first generation and most in the second generation obtain a positive attitude towards Acehnese by using it. Only one informant in the third generation had a negative attitude towards it. She claimed that she spoke Acehnese a little but seemed reluctant to answer questions in Acehnese during the interviews. Third generation speakers are beginning to shift from their heritage language Indonesian. They are aware of wanting to maintain Acehnese for generations to come, even the third generation who speak less Acehnese because they fear of losing it in the future.


Acehnese, heritage language, intergenerational, language preservation

Author Bio(s)

Zulfadli A. Aziz is a graduate of Syiah Kuala University (B.A in English Education), University of New South Wales, Australia (MA in Applied Linguistics), and University of Adelaide, Australia (PhD in Linguistics). He is currently teaching linguistics at Syiah Kuala University. His research interests cover linguistics in general, and sociolinguistic in particular. Being a civil servant, he has dedicated to providing help to students who are having difficulty in developing their future. Please direct correspondence to zulfadli.aziz@unsyiah.ac.id.

Yunisrina Qismullah Yusuf is a lecturer at the Department of English Education, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Syiah Kuala, since 2002. Her Bachelor's degree is in English Education, in which she received in 2002 from Universitas Syiah Kuala. She completed her Master's in Linguistics in 2006 and Ph.D. in Phonology in 2013, both from the Universiti Malaya, Malaysia. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Studies in English Language and Education journal. This is the first journal at Universitas Syiah Kuala to be indexed in Scopus. Her research interests are in the field of linguistics, English education, and literature. Please direct correspondence to yunisrina.q.yusuf@unsyiah.ac.id.

Naula Aulia graduated from Master’s Degree Program in English Education at Syiah Kuala University in 2017 and started her career as an English lecturer at Institut Agama Islam Almuslim for a year then moved to Sukma Bangsa School in Bireuen District in Aceh Province as an English teacher. She has been interested in doing research on linguistics and language teaching. Please direct correspondence to aulianaula40@gmail.com.

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