Impact of Electronic Media Discourse on Indigenous Languages in Ethiopia: The Case of Amharic Language

Rukya Hassen


This is a study on the uses, forms and contents of electronic media discourse in various contexts and its impact on Amharic language. It is a commonly known fact that languages change. Most of the factors bringing about language change are unplanned and uncontrolled. Some changes are, however, planned. For example, when a government decrees that one language should be used for certain functions, that is a conscious change in the course of a language. Similarly, when the mass media deliberately chooses to use and promote a certain language that can also be considered to be a deliberate intervention in language matters that can affect the fortunes of a language. Purposeful intervention in language matters such as enactment of laws, reward systems, and the like may not necessarily affect the fortunes of language. However, unintentional and informal interventions bring about huge change. One of such changes is instigated by social media which is the most influential source of language change in the modern world. Social media is clearly having an impact on language. The words we use every day influence the language we use. Since so much of the written language we see is now on the screens of our computers, tablets, and smart phones, language cannot escape changing because of these interactions.  Amharic is not an exception to this revolutionary incident. Data were collected from different 26 television and radio programs, e-discourse 163 mobile texts, 247 face-book posts, and blogs, 164 posts on social Medias. From the introduction of new words to new meanings for old words to changes in the way we communicate, social media is making its presence felt.

Keywords: e-discourse, media discourse, indigenous knowledge, Amharic

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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