How exactly do linguistic landscapes communicate and what theoretical significance might follow from such an inquiry? This book addresses these questions by taking as its starting point the insight that the individual or organisation that is responsible for the production of a sign may not be physically present at the landscape itself. The information to be conveyed is typically designed as a piece of signage to be emplaced at the site. Drawing on Goffman’s notion of a production format, the book argues that the constructed piece of sign and its intended placement within the landscape combine to constitute an animator complex. This raises the possibility of a disruption to the sign and its placement in the landscape. The book describes various ways in which the integrity of the animator complex can be disrupted (e.g. the sign may be moved out of place through vandalism or acts of nature, or the organisation that the sign represents may no longer be in business), identifi es different types of animators, and expands on the implications for phenomena such as affect, multivocality, footing and the materiality of language. In doing so, the book also demonstrates the value of bringing in Bakhtin’s work on heteroglossia and the dialogicity of communication, integrating the ideas of Bakhtin with those of Goffman.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Communicative Landscape 2. The Production Formats of Linguistic Landscapes 3. Animators: Four Different Types 4. Epigraphs and the Emotional Labour of Linguistic Landscapes 5. Graffiti and the Ratification of Animators 6. Social Movements 7. The Intelligent Landscape 8. Conclusion: The Rise of the Animators
Lionel Wee is a Provost’s Chair Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature, and Vice- Dean (Research Division) at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. He sits on the editorial boards of Applied Linguistics, Elements: World Englishes, English World-Wide, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Multilingualisms and Diversities in Education, and Studies in World Language Problems, among others. His research interests include language policy, World Englishes and general issues in sociolinguistics and pragmatics. His most recent book is Language, Space, and Cultural Play: Theorizing Affect in the Semiotic Landscape (2019, with Robbie Goh). He is currently working on a book about posthumanist World Englishes.