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Linguistic Landscapes, Multilingualism and Social Change

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Edited By Christine Hélot, Monica Barni, Rudi Janssens and Carla Bagna

The study of linguistic landscapes, the analysis and interpretation of the relationships between languages and spaces, is a blooming field in current sociolinguistics. In all their diversity, linguistic landscapes can be seen as the linguistic mirror of the dynamics of our globalised society. This book offers a selection of the best presentations given at the 3 rd International Linguistic Landscape Workshop, which took place at the University of Strasbourg in May 2010. The various contributions offer new perspectives on the mapping of multilingualism in different social contexts, and analyse how the linguistic landscape reflects social change. The book includes chapters in French and in English and provides a wide array of case studies dealing with language policy, political activism, art, advertising, religion, literacy, education and migration.

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Dedication to Nira

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This book is dedicated to Nira Trumper-Hecht who passed away in May of 2011 at a young age. Hearing about the term ‘Linguistic Landscape’ and reading the Bourhis and Landry (1997) article was the main trigger for Nira to start doing research on the topic of Linguistic Landscape; it brought together her backgrounds in sociology and language and led directly to her MA research which documented the LL of the di- verse city of Tel Aviv (Trumper-Hecht, 2005). Nira collected her data by hand, without a digital camera but through her own drawings of a large sample of signs displayed on shops and buildings around Tel Aviv, copying the signs verbatim into her notebook. It was a unique way to collect data, a way to create a direct relation- ship and connection with the LL of the surroundings. The results pointed out to great diversity of the city in its many neighborhoods and to the contrast between homoge- nous top-down and diverse bottom-up signs. Nira was a pioneer in research on linguistic landscape in Israel; she continued her work in the project documenting mixed cities in Israel (Ben-Rafael et al, 2006). Nira and her colleague Hannan collected rich data in ten mixed cities in Israel (via digital cameras, this time). The study showed that Israel consists of a number of bilingual entities in terms of its LL, in different combinations of languages – Hebrew and English in Jewish Areas; Arabic and Hebrew in Arab areas and Arabic and English in East...

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