Lexical Understanding of Native Bahasa Indonesia Speakers through Word Association to Improve Dictionary Definitions

Ami P. Jewalani, Myrna Laksman-Huntley, Harwintha Y. Anjarningsih


This study examined lexical cognitive word associations of Bahasa Indonesia native speakers. A word association task using 30 cue nouns was conducted with 45 educated adult native speakers of Bahasa Indonesia aged 20–29, after which the generated data was classified based on the extensive semantic taxonomy. It was found that most responses related to the cue words were associated with lexical features, followed by entity features, situation features, taxonomic category, and introspective features, all of which suggested that this group of Bahasa Indonesia speakers related words to other words that shared similar lexical features, and especially with words that usually come after the target words. It was also found that the participants rarely associated feelings to the cue words as there were very few introspective feature associations. While this was a limited study focused on a specific population and only used nouns, the results could be of assistance in developing dictionaries and thesauri, or could be used as preliminary data to build databases, such as WordNet in Bahasa Indonesia. As there have been few studies focused on Bahasa Indonesia word associations, this study could also be used for future comparative word association studies.


word association; semantic properties; conceptual processing; semantic taxonomic coding; Bahasa Indonesia; cognition; dictionary definitions; word retrieval; lexical access

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/29-1-1511


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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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