Multilingualism in Linguistic Landscapes: Practices and Ideologies
The linguistic landscape refers to the use of written language(s) and other semiotic resources in the public sphere, and is a new approach to the study of multilingualism.
A sign in Amharic and English in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Photo: Elizabeth Lanza
About the project
This project focuses on linguistic practices and language ideology in multilingual communities through the investigation of the linguistic landscape, that is, the use of written language(s) and other semiotic resources in the public sphere, a new approach to the study of multilingualism. The main concentration in our work has been on the study of the linguistic landscape at the margins in Africa, with a focus on Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora in the US.
Background for the project
This project emerged from the ETHIOLING: Vernaculars in Ethiopian Schools project, which was a joint research project between the University of Oslo and Addis Ababa University on the Ethiopian Educational Policy and its implementation with specific reference to the use of local languages in schools. The ETHIOLING project was funded from 2001 to 2006 by The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU), previously called NUFU.
About the study of linguistic landscapes
The study of linguistic landscapes has led to a growing interdisciplinary field. A network of researchers first met in Tel Aviv for the first of a series of Linguistic Landscape workshops and Linguistic Landscape 8 will be held at the University of Liverpool, UK, in April of 2016. Furthermore, in 2015 an international journal dedicated to the field was launched by John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hirut Woldemariam, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia