Publication details [#59744]

Lanza, Elizabeth and Hirut Woldemariam. Imagined community. The linguistic landscape in a diaspora. Linguistic Landscape 1,2 (1) : 172–190.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This article investigates how the linguistic landscape serves as an important strategy among a diaspora community not only to maintain a transnational identity but also to construct a unique identity in the recipient society. It examines the linguistic landscape in the Ethiopian diaspora of Washington DC, referred to as “Little Ethiopia”, which provides an interesting site to investigate the role of the linguistic landscape in constructing an imaginary community built on the myth of the old homeland, including a unique African identity in a new homeland with other Africans as well as African Americans. Serving as a rich source of data for investigating language, culture and identity, the linguistic landscape in “Little Ethiopia” encompasses many semiotic resources. This Ethiopian transnational community engages in (re)constructing socio-cultural and political ideologies through the linguistic landscape.