Frisian on social media: the vitality of minority languages in a multilingual online world

Lysbeth Jongbloed-Faber

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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For minority and regional languages such as Frisian and Limburgish, the internet and social media are seen as both a threat and an opportunity. On the one hand, unlimited opportunities have become available for practices in any language. On the other hand, the internet is dominated by only a dozen languages. The online position of predominantly spoken languages particularly is precarious. This dissertation investigates the impact of social media use on the vitality of minority languages, in particular Frisian. The results show that Frisian is used on social media and frequently so on more private social media. However, less often than in offline conversations. Insufficient writing skills, the presence of audience members who do not speak Frisian, as well as language attitudes have a dampening effect. Nevertheless, more people write Frisian on social media than in other written contexts. Future digital tools may further encourage greater use of Frisian. Consequently, this dissertation predicts that social media will have a sustained positive effect on the long-term vitality of Frisian.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Cornips, Leonie, Supervisor
  • Velde, H. van de, Supervisor, External person
  • Klinkenberg, E., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date3 Sept 2021
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789460933806
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Frisian
  • social media
  • minority languages
  • language choice

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