1st Edition

Power, Affect and Identity in the Linguistic Landscape Chinese Communities in Australia and Beyond

By Xiaofang Yao Copyright 2025
    224 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Uncovering the complexity of linguistic diversity and semiotic creativity, Yao examines the issues of power, affect and identity in both physical and digital linguistic landscapes.

    Based on fieldwork with various Chinese communities in Australia, the content offers unique insights into the uses of languages, semiotic resources and material objects in the public spaces and discusses the motives and ideologies that underline these linguistic and semiotic practices. Each chapter frames the sociolinguistic issue emerging from the linguistic landscape under investigation and shows readers how the personal trajectories of individuals, the availability of semiotic resources, and the historicity of spaces collectively shape the meanings of publicly displayed language items in offline and online spaces. Supported by a wealth of interviews, media and archival data, the book not only advances readers’ understanding of how linguistic landscape is structured by various historical, political, and sociocultural factors, but also enables them to reimagine the linguistic landscape through the lens of emerging digital methods.

    This book is an ideal resource for researchers, advanced undergraduates and graduate students in Applied Linguistics and Sociolinguistics who are interested in the latest advances in linguistic landscape research within both virtual and material contexts.

    1. Situating power, affect, and identity in the linguistic landscape 2. Theoretical perspectives on the linguistic landscape: Geosemiotics, sociolinguistics of globalisation, and metrolingualism 3. Affect in the linguistic landscape: Conviviality and nostalgia in urban and rural ethnic restaurants 4. Power in the linguistic landscape: Tourism and commodification as revitalisation of cultural heritage 5. Identity in the linguistic landscape: Metrolingualism at the online-offline nexus 6. Artificial intelligence in the linguistic landscape: An agenda for critical digital literacy 7. Transcending boundaries in the linguistic landscape: Towards collaborative, participatory, and empowering research


    Xiaofang Yao is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include linguistic and semiotic landscapes, multilingualism, and digital humanities. She particularly focuses on the intersection of language, culture, and space as they relate to the Chinese diaspora and ethnic minorities.