Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
The place-making activity of Russian in Hungary
The textual form of a language surrounds us, creating the linguistic landscape of a country or a region. Visual language use outside and inside buildings tells us a lot about changes in the linguistic composition of an area. Unlike most studies in this field, which tend to deal with bi- and multilingual areas, this paper sets out to focus on the linguistic landscape of a country, namely Hungary, where the population is relatively monolingual. The study describes the representation of languages, both western (German and English) and eastern (Russian), via the analysis of the linguistic landscape of a town (Hévíz) where public signs and visual language use are in flux owing to changes in tourism patterns. German tourists are being increasingly eclipsed by Russian tourists, who buy properties in the area and whose presence is prominently represented in the linguistic landscape. The aim of the study is manifold because it attempts a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the language of signs in most domains and it also places the results into a broader sociolinguistic context.
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