Linguistic Landscape in the City Edited by: Elana Shohamy, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Monica Barni

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29 Jul 2010
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book focuses on linguistic landscapes in present-day urban settings. In a wide-ranging collection of studies of major world cities, the authors investigate both the forces that shape linguistic landscape and the impact of the linguistic landscape on the wider social and cultural reality. Not only does the book offer a wealth of case studies and comparisons to complement existing publications on linguistic landscape, but the editors aim to investigate the nature of a field of study which is characterised by its interest in ‘ordered disorder’. The editors aspire to delve into linguistic landscape beyond its appearance as a jungle of jumbled and irregular items by focusing on the variations in linguistic landscape configurations and recognising that it is but one more field of the shaping of social reality under diverse, uncoordinated and possibly incongruent structuration principles.


Linguistic Landscaping has added a new and fascinating dimension to the mapping of multilingualism and linguistic diversity in urban spaces, outside the private domain of the home. The editors have contributed in significant ways to the foundation of this emerging field of sociolinguistic research. In this inspiring volume, they offer a widened array of multidisciplinary perspectives on the multitude of verbal signs which catch the eye in urban areas across the world.

- Guus Extra, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Arguing that the public space is symbolically constructed by the linguistic landscape, this book urges us to take a fresh look at the signs around us. As we talk, walk, eat, drink, dance, cycle in and through parks, squares, stations, restaurants, streets and alleyways, the multilingual signage of the city is a central part of urban meaning making. From Kiev to Hong Kong, Chinatowns to railway stations, this book opens up exciting new questions about migration, multilingualism and the manipulation of meaning in the urban context, giving us new insights into how languages, signs, people and cities interact.

- Alastair Pennycook, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Arguably, the greatest strength of Longuistic Langscape in the City lies in ites diversity. The 18 chapters take the reader on a captivating journey to more than 25 cities around the world, while introducing a variety of theoretical perspectives on the urban linguistic landscape and how it can be studied…This volume is a highly stimulating collection of papers, which will undoubtedly inspire future research.

- Pragmatics and Society 4:1 (2013) - Janus Mortensen, Roskilde University, Denmark

Author Biography:

Elana Shohamy is a professor and chair of the language education program at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University, where she teaches, researches and writes about multiple issues relating to multilingualism: language policy, language testing and language in the public space.

Eliezer Ben-Rafael, is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and held the Weinberg Chair of Political sociology, at Tel-Aviv University. He is Past President of the International Institute of Sociology. He has published in the area of transnationalism, the comparative study of modernities, identity and culture.

Monica Barni is an associate professor in Educational Linguistics at the Università per Stranieri, Siena. Her research focuses on language policy in education, specifically in relation to immigrants, and in plurilingual societies. She has published on the impact of national and European language policies and about plurilingualism and linguistic contact in Italy.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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