The role of social network sites in the revitalization of the Amazigh language as an endangered language in Tunisia

Sabrine Chbichib


Linguistic diversity is an important characteristic of this world but the main threat to this diversity is instability. Hundreds of languages are dying every day (Woodbury, 2006).  Language revitalization refers to the process of reversing the decline of a language and reviving it. Those involved can include indigenous individuals and organizations, but the role of the government is paramount in the revitalization process. The genetic mapping project carried out by National Geographic revealed that most Tunisians share Amazigh origins as many other North African countries, but this remains very little claimed and leads to a dramatic decline of the Amazigh language in Tunisia. With the technological revolution and in the era of Web 2.0, the revitalization of the Amazigh language can benefit from the Tunisians' great interest in technology, particularly social network sites that can be seen as a way of preserving and documenting an endangered language. Based on a quantitative study, this research seeks to study the situation of the Amazigh language in Tunisia and to study the role played by social network sites especially Facebook in language maintenance. This research study also offers insights and suggests a digital language vitality process in favor of the Amazigh language. 


Language endangerment, revitalisation, the Amazigh language, Social network sites

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