A layered investigation of Chinese in the linguistic landscape
A case study of Box Hill, Melbourne
Increased attention to urban diversity as a site of study has fostered the recent development of linguistic landscape studies. To date, however, much of the research in this area has concerned the use and spread of English to the exclusion of other global languages. In a case study situated in Box Hill, a large suburb of Melbourne, we adopted a layered approach to investigate the role of Chinese language in Australia. Our data set consisted of hundreds of photographs of street signage in one square block area of the shopping district. Results of our analyses show that signage portrays a variety of code preferences and semiotic choices that in turn reveal insights into the identities, ideologies, and strategies that help to structure the urban environment. As demonstrated in our study, such complexity requires a renewed and situated understanding of key principles of linguistic landscape research (Ben-Rafael & Ben-Rafael, 2015).
Keywords: linguistic landscape, layered approach, identities, ideologies, Chinese, Australia
Published online: 19 March 2020
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