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ERIC Number: EJ1134481
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1479-0718
Linguistic Landscape in Singapore: What Shop Names Reveal about Singapore's Multilingualism
Shang, Guowen; Guo, Libo
International Journal of Multilingualism, v14 n2 p183-201 2017
The visibility and salience of specific languages in public spaces are important parameters of their ethnolinguistic vitality in a society. Drawing upon data from first-hand fieldwork, this paper explores the display of multiple languages in shop names presented in Singapore's neighbourhood centres in order to reveal how local shop owners address multilingualism in this ethnically heterogeneous and linguistically hybrid society. In addition to spelling out the commercial drive to seduce potential clients, shop names also serve to mark off shop owners' identity and prioritisation of relevant languages. It is found that English is prevalent in all types of shop signs, though Chinese is the preferred code on bilingual and multilingual signs and tends to be used to represent the primary shop names. The other official languages are rarely presented on shop signs. We argue that the disparate vitality of languages might result from a mixture of social factors such as the state's macro language policy, demographic structure, as well as ethnic and cultural identity construction. The linguistic landscaping in Singapore's neighbourhood centres suggests that for grassroots individuals, pragmatic and affective adequacies are top priority in their discourse construction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A