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Drive-thru linguistic landscaping: Constructing a linguistically dominant place in a bilingual space

Hult, Francis LU (2014) In International Journal of Bilingualism 18(5). p.507-523
Abstract
Despite the rich societal multilingualism of the United States, the ideological construction of English dominance continues to cast a shadow over other languages. Among the mechanisms that contribute to this state of affairs (e.g. educational policy and conservative language activism), visual language use in public spaces plays a salient role. A growing body of linguistic landscape research highlights the centrality of visual environments in the discursive construction of multilingual settings. Drawing upon nexus analysis together with principles of geosemiotics, the present study explores the discursive processes through which a particular image of San Antonio’s linguistic sense of place, one of English dominance despite its demographic... (More)
Despite the rich societal multilingualism of the United States, the ideological construction of English dominance continues to cast a shadow over other languages. Among the mechanisms that contribute to this state of affairs (e.g. educational policy and conservative language activism), visual language use in public spaces plays a salient role. A growing body of linguistic landscape research highlights the centrality of visual environments in the discursive construction of multilingual settings. Drawing upon nexus analysis together with principles of geosemiotics, the present study explores the discursive processes through which a particular image of San Antonio’s linguistic sense of place, one of English dominance despite its demographic bilingualism, is constructed. Visual data were collected on San Antonio’s highway system, an extensive network that traverses the city and is lined with billboard signs and commercial establishments. Data analysis shows that a confluence of (trans)national, cultural and economic discourses mediates language choices on signs. English is normalized as an unmarked language for all aspects of the linguistic landscape, reproducing national language ideologies about the status of English in the United States. Spanish, in turn, is associated with transnational migration as well as limited community and family domains. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
discourse analysis, English, linguistic landscape, Spanish, societal bilingualism, visual semiotics
in
International Journal of Bilingualism
volume
18
issue
5
pages
507 - 523
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000342989800005
  • scopus:84908669103
ISSN
1367-0069
DOI
10.1177/1367006913484206
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e3434c72-8dde-498b-b5cf-9fae8fde2dc4 (old id 3737142)
date added to LUP
2013-05-13 09:19:53
date last changed
2017-09-17 08:05:28
@article{e3434c72-8dde-498b-b5cf-9fae8fde2dc4,
  abstract     = {Despite the rich societal multilingualism of the United States, the ideological construction of English dominance continues to cast a shadow over other languages. Among the mechanisms that contribute to this state of affairs (e.g. educational policy and conservative language activism), visual language use in public spaces plays a salient role. A growing body of linguistic landscape research highlights the centrality of visual environments in the discursive construction of multilingual settings. Drawing upon nexus analysis together with principles of geosemiotics, the present study explores the discursive processes through which a particular image of San Antonio’s linguistic sense of place, one of English dominance despite its demographic bilingualism, is constructed. Visual data were collected on San Antonio’s highway system, an extensive network that traverses the city and is lined with billboard signs and commercial establishments. Data analysis shows that a confluence of (trans)national, cultural and economic discourses mediates language choices on signs. English is normalized as an unmarked language for all aspects of the linguistic landscape, reproducing national language ideologies about the status of English in the United States. Spanish, in turn, is associated with transnational migration as well as limited community and family domains.},
  author       = {Hult, Francis},
  issn         = {1367-0069},
  keyword      = {discourse analysis,English,linguistic landscape,Spanish,societal bilingualism,visual semiotics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {507--523},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {International Journal of Bilingualism},
  title        = {Drive-thru linguistic landscaping: Constructing a linguistically dominant place in a bilingual space},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367006913484206},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2014},
}