The linguistic landscape of multilingual picturebooks
We often talk about ‘entering another world’ when we read a book. In this article it is argued that the way in which languages are presented in a picturebook can be seen as a linguistic landscape within the wider linguistic landscape of the world we are in. Previous studies of the linguistic landscape of bilingual picturebooks have shown that minority languages are afforded less space. In this article the linguistic landscape of 24 multilingual picturebooks from the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (Munich, Germany) are analysed. Findings show that languages given dominance in terms of order, size, and information mostly reflect the sociolinguistic setting in which these books are published, replicating power structures and potentially having negative implications for the ethnolinguistic vitality of minority language groups and their language maintenance or revitalisation. The potential effect on readers’ developing language attitudes is also explored.
Published online: 12 November 2019
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