Strategy, factor, and response of apologies in Javanese and Madurese: A cross-cultural pragmatics study

Siti Ramlah, Ni Wayan Sartini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Javanese and Madurese people apologize in distinct ways. It is a common misconception that Javanese people always apologize, even when they are right. Madurese typically finds it difficult to accept forgiveness and apologize. Therefore, this study examines the approaches Javanese and Madurese took toward older, similar-aged, and younger individuals, as well as the elements contributing to apologizing and their respective cultures’ reactions to apologies. A descriptive qualitative analytical approach was used. 80 Javanese and Madurese respondents provided the data. The findings demonstrated that Javanese more frequently employ direct tactics for younger individuals and explanation strategies for those older and the same age. In contrast, Madurese people tend to utilize explanation techniques more frequently for older persons and explanation tactics for younger people. Making a mistake is the primary motivator for Javanese and Madurese to apologize, and their response to someone using one of the five apologetic tactics is to acknowledge their error. Finally, the Javanese have a propensity for being indirect. On the other hand, the Madurese tend to apologize more directly when they mess up, yet both share a forgiving nature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2275341
JournalCogent Arts and Humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • apology factor
  • apology response
  • apology strategy
  • cross culture
  • language and culture
  • pragmatics
  • speech act


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