Muslim majority yet without preference for Arabic: Mapping linguistic landscape studies in Indonesia

Zuliati Rohmah, Yazid Basthomi, Diana Nur Sholihah


Linguistic Landscape (LL) research has explored signage in various public places in the world, including Indonesia. However, since there has been no comprehensive review of LL studies in Indonesia, the current article seeks to identify trends in LL research in Indonesia. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) method was applied to analyze thirty-one LL articles coming out from the open knowledge maps application. The findings suggest that there is a steady increase in the number of LL studies in Indonesia apparent starting from the year of 2017 based on the obtained data from eleven provinces. More bottom-up signs were found mostly using quantitative approaches. The findings also reveal that the Indonesian language dominates signs in the LL studies followed by English. Interestingly, although Indonesia has the biggest number of Muslim citizens in the world, Arabic is used more often than English only in two locations of LL studies, namely the tomb of Sunan Ampel and the City of Mataram. Issues often discussed in the LL studies are multilingualism, micro-analysis of linguistics, and broader issues, namely powerandsolidarity, identity, and ideology. Future researchers may focus more on qualitative analysis of LL studies, and relates LL studies with promising topics on geo-linguistics, management of halal food, ecology and culture, inequality and economic mobility, health issues, minority language, media in ELT, and online/virtual LL as well as language contestation related to the abovementioned issues.


Indonesia; linguistic landscape; meta-analysis; PRISMA, signs

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