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Dimensions of Sociolinguistic Landscapes in Europe

Materials and Methodological Solutions


Edited By Mikko Laitinen and Anastassia Zabrodskaja

The articles in this volume investigate everyday textual material of sociolinguistic landscapes in the early 21st century. Sociolinguistic landscapes reflect societal change, and they enable observers to map what linguistic resources are used in various contexts and to study how these resources interact and are interpreted. The articles present not only quantitative results of the presence of languages in signs but also look into how authors and designers make use of an endless pool of linguistic resources, how visible semiotic items contribute to create a sense of space, what types of mental processes are involved in the production, and how various audiences (residents, occasional passers-by, and language regulators) interpret and construct signs and sociolinguistic landscapes to form their own understanding of semiotic space.
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Series editor’s introduction


This is the seventh volume in the series Language Competence and Language Awareness in Europe, which documents the complexity of languages in contact and contact-induced processes of language maintenance and shift. Most of the papers in this volume stem from a workshop organized by Mikko Laitinen and Anastassia Zabrodskaja in the autumn of 2010 in Jyväskylä in the context of The Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English, funded by the Academy of Finland (2006–2011). This workshop foregrounded methodological pluralism in the sociolinguistic subfield of Linguistic Landscape Studies (LLS), which studies cities as places of language contact and geosemantic spaces. The thematic focus of the volume ranges from aspects of contact-induced linguistic choices in cities and urban-rural borderlines of Europe, to aspects of multilingualism and language user power-relations across majority and minority borderlines, to aspects of the mobility of languages (such as English as a social marker of globalization). The analysis of visible written language and multimodal signage in public spaces contributes to our comprehension of space as a geographic and mental concept, and of real and virtual/mental landscapes as social marketplaces for languages and collective as well as individual identities.

I should like to thank Mikko Laitinen for raising further funds to ensure the publication of the colour figures and slides of this volume. This might index that LLS as presented in this edited volume is looking into a bright future since its protagonists step down from the ivory tower of...

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