Is the Samogitian Dialect Going to Die Out? Implications of Showing Pride in Being a Samogitian and Attitudes Towards Samogitianness on Samogitian Facebook Pages

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Lithuanian linguists believe that dialects in Lithuania are under threat of extinction. Many scholars who strive for language maintenance around the world suggest that the Internet provides free and unlimited possibilities to promote and maintain endangered or lesser spoken linguistic varieties. One of the dialect speaker groups in Lithuania, Samogitians, explore the aforementioned possibilities as they have recently become very active on social media. They promote the dialect and numerous Samogitian items as well as discuss various issues about their dialect and identity. The article analyzes the elements of the Samogitian identity as it is portrayed on various Samogitian pages on Facebook. The study employs several approaches, including Language maintenance, Cybercultures, and Discourse Analysis. The results reveal that the essential element of the Samogitian identity is their dialect due to which, in spite of the increasing moral and financial support, the speakers of the variety still feel stigmatized. Nevertheless, people who speak Samogitian support each other in using the dialect and promoting it not only on the Internet but in ‘real’ life as well. Since many Samogitians are proud of speaking the dialect and being Samogitian, it is a positive sign for the future maintenance, and social media is one of the most effective means through which it can be achieved.

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Sustainable Multilingualism

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