Making Signs, Translanguaging Ethnographies Exploring Urban, Rural and Educational Spaces Edited by: Ari Sherris, Elisabetta Adami

Paperback - 240 pages
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31 Oct 2018
210 x 148


This book is the beginning of a conversation across Social Semiotics, Translanguaging, Complexity Theory and Radical Sociolinguistics. In its explorations of meaning, multimodality, communication and emerging language practices, the book includes theoretical and empirical chapters that move toward an understanding of communication in its dynamic complexity, and its social semiotic and situated character.  It relocates current debates in linguistics and in multimodality, as well as conceptions of centers/margins, by re-conceptualizing communicative practice through investigation of indigenous/oral communities, street art performances, migration contexts, recycling artefacts and signage repurposing. The book takes an innovative approach to both the form and content of its scholarly writing, and will be of interest to all those involved in interdisciplinary thinking, researching and writing.


This book provides fascinating methodological and theoretical pathways to shift the translanguaging paradigm beyond limiting forms of linguistic exceptionalism, methodological individualism, and cognitive representationalism, and study meanings as embodied, embedded, and extended.

- Suresh Canagarajah, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Multimodality used to take its cues from systemic linguistics while yet distancing itself from language and linguists. In this stimulating book a new generation of multimodalists takes its cues from contemporary sociolinguistics, with its emphasis on diversity and complexity, and re-engages with language (languaging) and linguists, all the while retaining what has been essential since Barthes’ Mythologies: linking everyday cultural artefacts and practices to an understanding of the social.

- Theo van Leeuwen, University of Southern Denmark; Emeritus Professor, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Author Biography:

Ari Sherris is Associate Professor of Bilingual Education in the College of Education and Human Performance at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, USA. His research interests include ethnography, complexity theory, critical discourse analysis, multimodality and translanguaging.

Elisabetta Adami is University Academic Fellow in Multimodal Communication at the School of Languages, Culture, and Society at the University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests include multimodality, social semiotics, meaning, intercultural communication, digital communication, semiotics of space and semiotic/linguistic landscape.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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