The emergence of new domains, such as the Internet, can prove challenging for minority languages. Welsh is a minority, regional language and is considered ‘vulnerable’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Welsh-speaking community appears to have responded positively to the Internet and the new media it facilitates. This paper uses an online questionnaire to examine the community's response to Twitter. The results show that Twitter has become a new domain for the production and consumption of the Welsh language, as well as facilitating new connections between members of the Welsh-speaking community. However, while Twitter may provide a new domain for the Welsh language, it is also a new domain for the production and consumption of the English language by Welsh speakers. While the presence of the Welsh language on Twitter should be seen as encouraging, the overall effect of Twitter on the maintenance of the Welsh language remains difficult to determine.
|Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
|Early online date
|4 Jul 2013
|E-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2013
- minority language
- social networking sites