Autochthonous heritage languages and social media: writing and bilingual practices in Low German on Facebook

Gertrud K Reershemius*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article analyses how speakers of an autochthonous heritage language (AHL) make use of digital media, through the example of Low German, a regional language used by a decreasing number of speakers mainly in northern Germany. The focus of the analysis is on Web 2.0 and its interactive potential for individual speakers. The study therefore examines linguistic practices on the social network site Facebook, with special emphasis on language choice, bilingual practices and writing in the autochthonous heritage language. The findings suggest that social network sites such as Facebook have the potential to provide new mediatized spaces for speakers of an AHL that can instigate sociolinguistic change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development on 7/3/16, available online:


  • autochthonous heritage languages
  • Low German
  • mediatisation
  • sociolinguistic change
  • writing
  • bilingual practices
  • translanguaging

Cite this