Linguistic landscapes

The Editors

This file includes a number of linguistic landscape analyses. Although quite a few of the signs under investigation are located in the city of Tilburg and its surroundings, also other parts of the world are represented, both online and offline. The analyses have in common that they all contribute to a better understanding of the ways in which the fabric of public spaces is shaped by and at the same time reflected in visible semiotic signs. This not only includes linguistic but also social, political and cultural aspects of public space in a given locality.

Spoorzone Tilburg Station

Linguistic directions in De Spoorzone of Tilburg

Jan Dijsselbloem
22 minutes to read

'De Spoorzone', North of Tilburg station, was claimed in 1886 by Dutch Railways, and received the name 'Forbidden City'. Recently reclaimed, urbanization began. Hiding an abundance of signs, the area displays tons of indexicality.

The Emotes of Twitch

Jeroen van der Weijden
23 minutes to read

This paper aims to explore the linguistic landscape of Three different emotes taken from three streams are analysed. The results indicate that the usage of these emotes is universal; that they are highly mobile and complex.

‘Why not a zebra crossing?’, Breda (28-02-2017 , © M. van Gorp)

Who is dangerous?

Meauraine van Gorp
15 minutes to read

Participating in traffic situations requires knowing the norms and trusting others knowing the same norms. This paper, using linguistic landscape analysis, analyzes the underlying structures of a fake zebra crossing.

Exploring the Linguistic Landscape in the Sofia Subway

Asya Krusteva
12 minutes to read

In language policy certain norms and laws should be strictly followed. However, in the Sofia subway this seems not to happen. Four examples of language mistakes are analyzed in this paper, as well as a map with some correctly written names.

Homemade semiotics and linguistic landscaping

Jules van Iperen
19 minutes to read

Analyses of linguistic landscapes found in and around the city of Tilburg. The focus of this paper is on homemade signs. It demonstrates how authenticity plays a role in the sociolinguistic characteristics of signs.


Free erections in Wales

Jessica Lambregts
10 minutes to read

A short paper on the usage of Welsh on public signs in Wales. Using two examples, we try to decipher why certain mistakes in the signs were made, and who is to blame for them. 

¡ toros vivos !

Sjaak Kroon
6 minutes to read

Stierenvechten mag weer in heel Spanje, ook in Catalonië. In de Spaanse stad Murcia ontdekte Sjaak Kroon sporen van de strijd voor en tegen dit Spaanse culturele erfgoed en komt daarbij uit bij de veganistisch-anarchistische beweging.

Language Policy in Timor-Leste

Sjaak Kroon
2 minutes to read

Conflict between language practices on the ground and top-down policies. Director of the National Institute of Linguistics in Dili, Timor-Leste, drives a car saying 'Kareta Estado': wrong spelling of Tetum, one of the countries national languages.

The conservative turn in Linguistic Landscape Studies (Shohamy & Ben-Rafael)

Jan Blommaert
14 minutes to read

The very first issue of a new academic journal called Linguistic Landscape (vol 1/1-2, 2015, John Benjamins) contains much to be concerned about. It proposes a self-stereotyped scope to a vibrant field with great potential.

Looking for Wifi

Sjaak Kroon
2 minutes to read

The example of Timor-Leste shows that literacy research cannot escape investigating new digital literacy sites. In Dili a shopping mall with Wifi access is the place to be for those who want to engage in online literacy.


From mobility to complexity in sociolinguistic theory and method

Academic paper
Jan Blommaert
29 minutes to read

A theoretical and methodological paradigm sift is underway in sociolinguistics, in which insights in the mobility of sociolinguistic phenomena leads to a complexity perspective with far-reaching effects.