The changing landscape of unofficial signage in a U.S. refugee relocation city
This Linguistic Landscape project investigates public signage throughout one year in a small Pennsylvania refugee relocation city, exploring the linguistic diversity of the city’s numerous generations of newcomers. The diachronic analysis indicates that monolingual government signs conflict with multilingual signs in private businesses, demonstrating that newcomer business owners are willing to meet the needs of refugees and immigrants even if the government will not. The lack of official multilingual signage calls into question what obligation government city planners in refugee relocation areas have to accommodate their linguistically diverse newcomers. The results of this project also reveal that the Linguistic Landscape is dynamic, as suggested by new languages that are layered on top of evidence of earlier generations of immigrants and by changes to signs within one year.
Keywords: Linguistic Landscape, superdiversity, refugees, immigrants, refugee relocation city, refugeescape, layering, language ideologies, language commodification, ethnolinguistic vitality
Published online: 02 September 2020
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