Multilingualism in Marrickville: A Multidimensional Linguistic Landscape Study

University essay from Lunds universitet/Engelska

Abstract: Linguistic diversity is common in today’s urban environments and there is a growing interest in linguistic landscape research as a way of gaining knowledge about language use in multilingual settings. The present study examines the linguistic landscape of Marrickville, a suburb in Sydney, taking a variety of aspects that affect the formation of societal multilingualism into consideration. Photos taken of visual language use in a central area of the suburb were compared to census data on language use in the home domain. Furthermore, the linguistic landscape items observed were categorized based on the involvement of public and private actors in their production and investigated in relation to circumstances that affect sign-makers’ choices. The analysis shows that visual language use in the public sphere to some extent reflects language use in the home domain, but some differences are observed, and investigations of the characteristics of linguistic landscape items shed further light on factors affecting what languages appear in the visual environment.

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