“Un peso, mami!”
Linguistic landscape and transnationalism discourses in Washington Heights, New York City
This study analyzes the linguistic landscape of the New York City Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights to investigate the relationship between language ideologies and transnational dynamics and to observe recent gentrification and sociocultural changes in the neighborhood. It juxtaposes the linguistic landscape with the phenomenon of transnationalism to study the degree and context of the use of Spanish (the official and most frequently spoken language in the Dominican Republic but a minority language in the United States), English (the mainstream language of the United States), and other languages found within the Washington Heights urban landscape. The results confirm the dominance of the English language and reveal the inequality of Spanish and other minority languages as well as how the neighborhood reproduces and contests such ideologies.
Keywords: linguistic landscape, language ideologies, transnationalism, Dominicans, Washington Heights, New York, immigration
Published online: 29 September 2016
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