The Linguistic Landscape Of Linköping University And ETH Zürich And Its .

10d ago
2.01 MB
64 Pages
Last View : 1d ago
Last Download : n/a
Upload by : Raelyn Goode

Linköping UniversityDepartment of Culture and CommunicationMaster’s Programme in Language and Culture in EuropeLinguistic Landscape and Language Policies: AComparative Study of Linköping University and ETHZürichAuthor: Sonia YavariMaster’s Thesis 30 creditsJuly 2012Supervisor: Nigel MuskExaminer: Richard Hirsch

This thesis is dedicated to my mother, Mahboubeh Basiri. Her support, encouragement, andconstant love have sustained me throughout my life. I would not be who I am today withoutthe motherly love and care of my mother.

Table of ContentsList of Figures. 3List of Tables . 3Acknowledgements . 41.Introduction . 52.Literature Review . 72.1Linguistic Landscape . Policy . 12Background. 153.1Sweden . 163.1.1Languages and Policies in Sweden . 163.1.2Linköping University . 163.1.3Language Policies at Linköping University . 183.24.Switzerland . 193.2.1Languages and Policies in Switzerland . 193.2.2ETH Zürich. 203.2.3Language Policies at ETH Zürich . 21Methods and Data . 244.1Data Collection at Linköping University . 254.2Interviews in Linköping. 264.3Data Collection at ETH Zürich . 274.4Problems in Data Collection . 274.5Interviews in Zürich . 284.6Categorizing the data . Landscape Methodology . 9Sign Writer . 31Analysing the Data. 32Data Analysis and Results . 335.1Languages on Signs . 345.2Types of Multilingual Signs . 365.3Distribution of Languages in Various Areas. 405.3.1International Offices . 415.3.2Student Organizations . 425.3.3Students’ Notices. 421

6.5.4Definitions of the Categories . 435.5Analysis of Categories. 475.6Analysis of Top-down and Bottom-up Signs. 50Discussion and Conclusions . 546.1Suggestions for Future Studies . 58References . 592

List of FiguresFig. 3.1 Map of Sweden . 17Fig. 3.2 Map of Campus Valla . 18Fig. 3.3 Map of Switzerland . 21Fig. 3.4 Map of Campus Zentrum . 21Fig. 4.1 A sign at the door of a bookshop . 31Fig. 4.2 Top-down signs at LiU and ETH with the logo of each university at the bottom . 32Fig. 5.1 Variety of languages displayed at LiU (left) and ETH (right) . 34Fig. 5.2 The multilingual patterns of signs at LiU . 37Fig. 5.3 The multilingual patterns of signs at ETH . 37Fig. 5.4 A bilingual sign in fragmentary writing . 38Fig. 5.5 A bilingual sign in duplicating writing . 39Fig. 5.6 A bilingual sign in complementary writing . 40Fig. 5.7 Distribution of languages in different areas at LiU . 40Fig. 5.8 Distribution of languages in different areas at ETH . 41Fig. 5.9 Different types of advertising signs . 43Fig. 5.10 Informative signs. 44Fig. 5.11 Instructions . 45Fig. 5.12 services . 46Fig. 5.13 Different types of signs . 47Fig. 5.14 Jokes. 47Fig. 5.15 Distribution of languages in different categories at LiU . 48Fig. 5.16 Distribution of languages in different categories at ETH . 48Fig. 5.17 A set of directive signs at Linköping University . 53List of TablesTable 4.1 Areas of data collection . 28Table 4.2 Division of signs . 29Table 5.1 Number and percentage of languages displayed at ETH. 35Table 5.2 Number and percentage of languages displayed at LiU . 35Table 5.3 Distribution of top-down and bottom-up signs at Linköping University . 51Table 5.4 Distribution of top-down and bottom-up signs at ETH . 52Table 6.1 Summary of major findings . 563

AcknowledgementsFirst and foremost I owe sincere and earnest thankfulness to my supervisor, Dr. Nigel Musk,who has supported me throughout my thesis with his patience and knowledge whilst allowingme to work independently. I am grateful to his quick replies, time and constructive comments.Without his encouragement and effort, this thesis would not have been completed or written. Isimply could not wish for a better supervisor.I would like to thank the Department of Culture and Communication at Linköping Universityfor their support and assistance since the beginning of my Masters studies. I thank allmembers of the department for creating such a friendly environment that widened myknowledge of linguistics.Part of the data collection in this study was carried out at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. I amgrateful to this university, and all the staff who took the time to reply to my questions and theprivilege of having interviews. I am truly thankful to the library at ETH Zürich, which is oneof the largest scientific libraries in Switzerland with a large collection of books.I would also like to thank Dr. Sabina Schaffner at Universität Zürich for sharing herconference paper with me, and taking the time to meet with me, and responding to myquestions in terms of language policies in Switzerland.I particularly would like to thank my husband Saeed for his kindness, friendship and support.He gives me the strength to carry on. He has also helped me in the statistical part of mystudy. My loving thanks go to my parents, sister and brother who have always been there forme.4

1. Introduction5

Examining the languages in the public space i.e. the linguistic landscape is an emerging fieldof sociolinguistics, and research focused on the relationship between the linguistic landscape(LL) and language policy has recently garnered particular interest.This paper aims to study the linguistic landscapes of two different universities (LinköpingUniversity and ETH Zürich) in two different countries (Sweden and Switzerland,respectively) with rather different language policies. The aim is to ascertain some of thestriking differences, as well as, the similarities between the two universities in terms of thepublic use of languages. Apart from the study of LL, the paper investigates the relationshipbetween LL and language policy, and uncovers any contrasts which take place between topdown (posted by the university staff) and bottom-up (not inscribed by the universitypersonnel) forces.The study of LL in these two universities is particularly interesting; since they are home tomany international students; it is thus quite likely that the national languages are not the onlylanguages found in the linguistic landscape. Furthermore, as Sweden is a monolingual country(basically Swedish), and Switzerland is a multilingual country (German, French, Italian andRomansch), comparing the two could yield insightful results regarding the public use ofdifferent languages in these different linguistic settings. Moreover, because of the influenceuniversities have on society, studying the university space is of importance.This study tries to answer to the following research questions:1) What are the visible languages in the linguistic landscape of LiU and ETH? How arelanguages distributed in different areas? What is the status of English in proportion toother languages in bilingual signs? How are languages distributed in top-down andbottom-up signs? What kinds of multilingual signs are present? What is a clearclassification scheme for signs found in the LL, and how are languages distributed inthis scheme?2) What are the language policies of these two universities? Are there any policiesregarding the languages written on signs? Are the language policies reflected inpatterns of language use on signs, and are they reflected in top-down signs morevisibly than in bottom-up signs?6

2. Literature Review7

The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of previous studies in the field of linguisticlandscape and language policies, and how these two relate to each other.2.1 Linguistic LandscapeResearching the linguistic landscape (LL) is a recently developing field of sociolinguisticsand applied linguistics which concerns the “written form” of languages in public space(Gorter 2006: 2), and specially focuses on “multilingual settings” (Coulmas 2009: 14). Landryand Bourhis define linguistic landscape as “the language of public road signs, advertisingbillboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs ongovernment buildings” (1997: 25). Ben-Rafael adds that linguistic landscape refers to anyitem that marks the public item from road signs to private names of streets, shops or schools,and these items are an important factor in helping visitors and residents to develop a picture ofa certain place, and distinguish it from other places (2009: 40).Landry and Bourhis claim that language planning first caused issues related to the linguisticlandscape to emerge, and language planners in Belgium and Québec were among the first whowrote policies regarding the use of language on “public signs including billboards, streetsigns, and commercial signs, as well as in place names” (1997). However, the first use of thelinguistic landscape as a field of study was introduced by Landry and Bourhis in 1997. Sincethen, different scholars have investigated different aspects of LL and expanded this field ofstudy into different branches (Moriarty 2012). A selection of previous and prominentlinguistic landscape studies are presented below.Spolsky and Cooper (1991) examine the language choice (Hebrew or Arabic) in street namesin the Old City of Jerusalem and assess how these names have changed throughout the yearsand the influence of political change in shaping the new LL. Landry and Bourhis (1997)investigate the bilingual situation in Québec. They discuss the role of LL on maintainingvitalization beliefs and language behaviours of French Canadian minorities in Québec. BenRafael et al. (2006) identify different patterns of LL in various communities in Jerusalem.Cenoz and Gorter (2006) compare the LL of a main street in Friesland (the Netherlands) to amain street in the Basque Country (Spain), and investigate the role of minority languages(Frisian or Basque, respectively), national languages (Dutch or Spanish) and English on signs.Finally, Backhaus (2007) analyses multilingual signs in train stations and the area aroundthem in Tokyo. He notes the significant differences between public and private signs withregard to languages used and the position and font size of each language.8

2.1.1 Linguistic Landscape MethodologyThe data collection in a linguistic landscape study, as Hult states, is based on takingphotographs (2009: 90). Gorter remarks that with the introduction of digital cameras, thepossibility of taking an unlimited number of pictures has increased (2006: 2).Now the question is where to photograph. Some researchers collect the data from the signs ina specific area which is usually “large urban centres” (Moriarty 2012: 75). For example, Hult(2009) took pictures of a street in the dominant commercial and entertainment district (calledCentrum) of Malmö City in Sweden. Backhaus (2007) chose train stations and the area aroundthem in Tokyo. Some other studies select a more restricted environment like a school or auniversity. For instance, Shohamy and Abu Ghazaleh-Mahajneh (2012) compare the LL of auniversity campus in Israel with that of two schools and two shopping areas in Ume El PahemCity in the north of Israel. Hanauer (2009) examines even a smaller context i.e. amicrobiology laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.The last two studies mentioned above are similar to my study for the reason that both studiesdocument the LL of a university space. Although these studies were not an initial source ofinspiration for me, my reason for the selection of a university space as a study area is the sameas the aim of these studies. Shohamy and Abu Ghazaleh-Mahajneh believe that studying theuniversity space is important because of the influence universities have on society andemployment (2012: 94).The next point is whether all the signs in a specific area should be considered or not.Depending on the goal of research, the researcher him/herself decides on the number ofsamples to be collected. Take for example, Lanza and Woldemariam who considerphotographs of all the items in the public domain of the main shopping district in Mekele Cityin Ethiopia (2009: 195), or Curtin (2009) who analyses only non-Chinese scripts in the LL ofTaipei. Edelman (2009) identifies only the proper names of 14 shops on a main shoppingstreet in the centre of Amsterdam. In a study conducted by Dagenais et al in Canada,monolingual signs in English were not photographed in Vancouver; instead, only monolingualsigns in other languages were collected, and in Montreal, signs on only one side of each of thefour streets were photographed (2009: 261). Lastly, Hult took photographs of all the signswhich were “visible at street level with the naked eye” on storefronts (2009: 96).9

The unit of analysis is another criterion, which should be defined in an LL methodology. Afrequent reference is Backhaus’ definition. According to Backhaus, a sign is “any piece ofwritten text within a spatially definable frame [ ] including anything from the smallhandwritten sticker attached to a lamp-post to huge commercial billboards outside adepartment store” (2007: 66). Pennycook takes graffiti, “a hybrid form of text and picture”into account (2009: 304). Cenoz and Gorter (2006) define all signs in one establishment to beone unit. Kallen acknowledges “a single visible unified presentation” as unit of analysis(2009: 277).As the researcher in an LL study collects a large number of pictures, the problem ofcategorizing numerous signs occurs. Different scholars have provided different taxonomies.Gorter mentions different elements, which can be considered in a taxonomy such as “howlanguage appears on the sign, the location on the sign, the size of the font used, the number oflanguages on the sign, the order of languages on multilingual signs, the relative importance oflanguages, whether a text has been translated (fully or partially), etc” (2006: 3). Spolsky andCooper distinguish between eight major types for their data collected in the Old City ofJerusalem: street signs, advertising signs, warning notices and prohibitions, building names,informative signs (directions, hours of opening), commemorative plaques, objects and graffiti(1991: 76). Kallen suggests that signage usually focuses on one or more of these areas:Deixis, Behavior, Interaction, and Cognition (2009: 274). Ben-Rafael et al. divide theirprivate signs into “clothing and leisure, food, house-ware, and private offices”, and thegovernmental signs are divided according to the type of institution: “religious, governmental,municipal, cultural, educational and public health” (2006: 15).Reh (2004) proposes a model for describing and analysing multilingual texts. She arrangesmultilingual information into four types: 1) complementary, 2) duplicating, 3) fragmentaryand 4) overlapping. In complementary texts, different parts are written in different languages,and to comprehend the meaning of the text, the reader should have a mastery of all thelanguages in the text. Duplicating texts have exactly the same text and information in differentlanguages. In this way, the available languages have the same value. In fragmentary texts, thewhole information is available in only one language, but some parts are translated into otherlanguages. In overlapping signs, only part of the information is repeated in another language,while the rest of the text is only in one language (Reh 2004: 8-14). However, it is not easy tomake a distinction between Reh’s fragmentary and overlapping categories. Both categoriesrefer to partial translation of a text, and there are similarities between fragmentary and10

overlapping writing to the extent that Spolsky (2009) comments that Reh proposes “three”distinct types of multilingual writing, considering fragmentary and overlapping categories tobe the same. Huebner also uses one definition for Reh’s fragmentary and overlappingclassification (2009: 78).Another important categorisation in an LL study is to identify the sign-maker i.e.distinguishing between top-down and bottom-up signs. Ben-Rafael et al. believe that thisdistinction puts order in the analysis of LL (2006: 10). Top-down, government or LL fromabove are different terms used to describe the signs “issued by national and publicbureaucracies, public institutions, signs on public sites, public announcement and streetnames” (Ben-Rafael et al. 2006). On the other hand, bottom-up, private and LL from beloware terms used to refer to items “issued by individual social actors, shop owners andcompanies like names of shops, signs on businesses and personal announcements” (BenRafael et al. 2006).Even though a distinction is usually made between top-down and bottom-up signs, both playtheir part together in making the overall image of LL (Szabó et al. 2012: 265). In other words,LL is a “gestalt”. Ben-Rafael defines gestalt as “items appearing together”, and all the itemsare seen as one whole (2009: 43).After defining a clear taxonomy for the data, analysis needs to be conducted. Linguisticlandscape studies analyse LL items according to the languages used, the significant features,structure and semantic aspects (Ben-Rafael 2009: 40). One of the major first steps inanalysing the data in an LL study is to identify the languages used in public signs in abilingual or multilingual urban space (Spolsky 2009: 25). This can be done both quantitativelyby stating the exact number and percentage of visible languages, and descriptively by onlymentioning the languages seen. Identifying the various languages in a study area reflects “therelative power and status of the different languages in a specific sociolinguistic context”(Cenoz & Gorter 2006: 67). Take for example, Shohamy and Abu Ghazaleh-Mahajneh whopresent three languages for their data collected at Haifa University in Israel: Arabic, Hebrew,and English (2012: 97), or Brown (2012) who identifies Estonian, English, Finnish, German,Russian, and Võro in schools in south-eastern Estonia.11

2.2 Language PolicyLanguage policy is one of the fields which has been addressed by linguistic landscape studies.Drawing on Dal Negro, LL is an instrument through which, language policy is reflected(2009: 206), and Puzey believes that LL is a contributing factor to how people understandlanguage policy (2012: 141).Spolsky (2004) and Shohamy (2006) both maintain that language policy applies to differentdomains such as the language policy in families, religious groups, the workplace, schools,villages, cities and the nation. They also apply to different levels of language such aspronunciation, spelling, lexical choice, and grammar (Spolsky 2004: 40). Shohamy contendsthat language policy is manifested in different ways, such as through the languages to be usedon public signage, the language of instruction in schools, language tests, the languages whichare called the official language(s) of a country, and the languages in government offices(2006: 140). Cenoz and Gorter state that policies related to the LL i.e. the languages thatshould be used on signs, go side by side with language policies for the use of language ineducation, the media, and other domains (2009: 56).The relationship between LL and language policy gets much clear with Shohamy’sdiscussion. She mentions that it is through the language policy in a given territory that oneascertains how in general, certain languages should be used in society, and in particular, in thelinguistic landscape, and on public signs (2006: 55). In other words, she believes that the LLsymbolises the legitimacy and priority of certain languages over other languages (110). Cenozand Gorter maintain that language policy and LL become particularly related when some stateauthorities establish policies about the languages to be used on signage in education, themedia, and other domains (2009: 56). Take for example the case in Israel where new languagepolicies require street signs in mixed Jewish-Arab areas to be both in Hebrew and Arabic(Spolsky: 2004: 1). In this case, and with the new language policies, the study of street namesin this region would have yielded different results than before the new policies wereintroduced. Some other scholars discuss the role of language policy in shaping the linguisticlandscape of a region (e.g. Kallen 2009: 274). Kallen (2009) examines the LL of Ireland andits interaction with language policy and tourism. Blackwood and Tufi (2012) investigate theLL of French and Italian Mediterranean coastal towns, and the influence of language policieson the appearance of the LL.12

Shohamy claims that the presence or absence of certain languages in the LL affects languagepolicy (2006: 110). Some other scholars have taken the opposite approach i.e. language policyinfluences the appearance of the linguistic landscape (Blackwood & Tufi 2012: 109). Forinstance, Gorter, Aiestaran, and Cenoz (2012) suggest that Gorter and Cenoz’s previous LLstudy conducted in 2006 affected the language policy of Donostia-San Sebastián in BasqueCountry in 2012. They claim that Spanish was much more dominant in the LL of DonostiaSan Sebastián in the 2006 study, and that policy makers were influenced by the findings ofthis study. Today those same policy makers have developed new policies concerning thepublic use of the minority language Basque. As an example, all the Spanish street signs havebeen replaced by Basque-Spanish signs, and wherever possible, Basque has even beendesignated as the dominant language (2012: 159).The distinction between top-down and bottom-up signs is another factor which contributes tothe comprehension of language policy. Shohamy states that it is the difference between topdown and bottom-up signs in terms of the languages used in the public space that sheds lighton the language policy (2006: 123). While the top-down flow of LL shows authorities’language preference, bottom-up signs show whether this preference is accepted andimplemented by the general population (Puzey 2012: 141). On the other hand, as Ben-Rafaelputs it, the distinction between top-down and bottom-up signs is significant because differentsigns are made by different actors for different audiences, and while top-down signs “serveofficial policies”, bottom-up signs “are designed much more freely” (2009: 49). Referring tothe LL study conducted by Ben-Rafael et al. in Israel, Shohamy remarks that in the Jewishareas, Arabic is mostly present on top-down signs which implies the status of Arabic as anofficial language, but it is hardly present on bottom-up signs (2006: 123).As mentioned above, language policy has various mechansims; the ones which are related tothe study of the LL are discussed here. It is through the language policy that languages arechosen to be used and learned in certain contexts (Shohamy 2006: 55). The language policy ineducation is actually an explicit way of imposing policy in a formal context. When a certainlanguage is considered to be the medium of instruction in schools, it is actually imposed as apolicy on learners. Another tool through which language policy is manifested is throughlanguage tests, and Shohamy believes that tests are a way of imposing language policies, anddetermining the power of specific languages (94-95). She further considers language tests as atool in determining what other languages (apart from the national language) are importantsuch as the position English tests have today in terms of university or job admittance (105).13

Shohamy adds that language policy in education and language tests is often applied in the topdown domain by authori

and Bourhis define linguistic landscape as "the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings" (1997: 25). Ben-Rafael adds that linguistic landscape refers to any item that marks the public item from road signs to private names of streets .