Social Media Use and Indigenous Language Preservation: A Case Study of Lukenyi Language in Serere District – Uganda.

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College of Education open, Distance and E-Learning of Kampala International University.
This dissertation presents a study on the role of social media use in the preservation of indigenous languages a case study of Lukenyi language in Serere district in Uganda. The purpose of the study was to assess the role of social media use in the maintenance of Lukenyi language in Serere district in Uganda. The objectives of the study were: (1) to find out the extent at which the Bakenyi adopted Lukenyi language in social media chats and discussions, (2) to find out the attitude of the Bakenyi towards using Lukenyi language on social media (3) to identify the challenges encountered by the Bakenyi in using the social media to promote Lukenyi language. This study operated on the Technological Determinism theory which was propounded by Thorsten Veblen(1857–1929). The research was also guided by the Social Network Theory. The researcher applied the quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The qualitative approach was used to analyze data without numerical values while quantitative approach was used to analyze data with numerical values. The researcher selected 400 respondents. The questionnaires and the interview guides were used to collect data. The study was limited to social media and language preservation. The findings showed that social media use played a very significant role in the preservation of Lukenyi language in Serere district in Uganda whereby 83.2 % of the respondents used Lukenyi in social media. 76% of the selected sample used the Lukenyi language to promote unity among family members. Some of the challenges identified included spelling errors, the grammar issues, and the slow speed among others. Conclusions were made based on the research objectives: 1. Most of the respondents adopted a language in the chats and discussions on social media. This meant direct practice of Lukenyi language. In that way social media acted as a zone where Lukenyi language was practiced and therefore preserving it. 2. The Lukenyi language speakers, had a positive attitude towards using the Lukenyi language in social media. This attitude meant that social media was an attractive means through which the use of Lukenyi language could be practiced. By so doing, the language under study was undergoing its preservation subconsciously. 3. Most of the respondents faced challenges using social media in their language. In most cases when using SMS or chatting on social media, there was always a strong impulse to shorten the message as much as possible, using abbreviated forms, misspelled words or images instead of letters. In such cases, the brain ignores all the grammar and rules that were thought and used to guide the writing. Quick writing caused many mistakes in the message, and these incorrect forms affected the users’ reading, spelling and writing skills. 4. Other challenges included: lack of sufficient power supply which hindered the frequency of use since some of them could go for hours with uncharged mobile phones. However, this challenge was encountered by the use of alternative power supplies like solar energy. The study recommends that 1. The Lukenyi language speakers should continue using social media in their language so that their language does not face language attrition and later extinction. 2. The users should build a more positive attitude towards communicating in their local language for more effective interaction. 3. To solve the challenge of insufficient power supply, it is recommended that the Bakenyi should put in place more solar power options in place so that the devices used for accessing social media could be fully charged always. The Lukenyi language speakers should continue using social media as a means of language preservation
A Research Thesis Submitted To the College Of Education, Open, Distance and E Learning In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For The Award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Linguistics of Kampala International University
Indigenous Language Preservation, Lukenyi Language, Serere District – Uganda., social media