It is commonly argued that the proliferation of urban writing known as linguistic landscapes represents “a thoroughly contemporary global trend” (Coupland, 2010: 78). The purpose of this paper is to show that linguistic landscapes are by no means modern phenomena and to draw on our shared interest in multilingual empires to highlight the importance of diachronic inquiry and productive dialog between sociolinguists of modern and ancient societies. We will argue that while signs do operate in aggregate, the common focus on all signs at a single point in time on one street is problematic because the interpretation of signs is diachronic in nature, intrinsically linked to the preceding signs in the same environment and to related signs elsewhere, and the process of reading “back from signs to practices to people” (Blommaert, 2013: 51) is not as unproblematic as it is sometimes made to look.
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Cited by 25 other publications
Abdelhay, Ashraf, Mahgoub Ahmed & Elbashir Mohamed
2021. Ideology in the linguistic landscape: Towards a quantitative approach. Discourse & Society 32:4 ► pp. 405 ff.
Gilles, Peter & Evelyn Ziegler
2019. Linguistic Landscape-Forschung in sprachhistorischer Perspektive: Zur Entwicklung visueller Kommunikate im öffentlichen Raum der Stadt Luxemburg im langen 19. Jahrhundert. Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik 47:2 ► pp. 385 ff.
Lazar, Michelle M.
2022. Semiotic timescapes. Language in Society 51:5 ► pp. 735 ff.
2018. Multilingualism, urban change and gentrification in the landscape of a Brussels neighbourhood. Multilingua 37:1 ► pp. 25 ff.
Velásquez Urribarrí, Jessica
2023. Resemiotisations across time, space, materials and modes: an analysis of political signage in Venezuela. Social Semiotics 33:1 ► pp. 25 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.