UC Berkeley L2 Journal Title Language Use in the Negotiation of Linguistic and Cultural Knowledge and the Sustenance of Online Diasporic Relations Publication Date The Role of the Internet in the Maintenance of Diasporic Relations: The Case of Mungaka

Patience Fielding
2009 Journal L2 Journal   unpublished
With global immigration patterns, the movement of people has also meant the spread of languages. Mungaka, an indigenous language spoken in Bali, Cameroon, has moved to domains beyond its borders due to such migration patterns. Mbonbani is an online forum created to maintain communication between those who moved away and those who stayed. This study investigates language use and ideologies as manifested on this online forum and seeks to find out the following: 1) How does language use in an
more » ... uage use in an online diasporic Internet group mediate the exchange of cultural knowledge and sustain relations between Mungaka indigenous populations abroad and the home country? 2) How do diasporic communities, while dislocated from their homeland, create a linguistic awareness of their indigenous lan-guage? 3) What role does information technology play in preserving these diasporic rela-tions? The paper looks at language use on Mbonbani to underscore how the Internet allows a linguistic space where participants appropriate new technologies for language display. It highlights how a variety of languages is used to negotiate indigenous knowledge through the construction and deconstruction of meaning. Whether or not the Internet can serve to maintain the language as a mode of communication remains to be seen.