By Durk Gorter
The booklet incorporates a selection of stories of the linguistic panorama - using written language on indicators within the public sphere - in five diverse societies: Israel, Japan, Thailand, the Netherlands (Friesland) and Spain (Basque Country). All contributions specialise in multilingualism within the social context of the key towns.
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Additional resources for Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism
This aspect, it should be emphasised, is hardly perceptible through different methodologies which, as a rule Á and in accordance with many works done on Israel’s Arab minority in different fields Á focus on the better known fact that PalestinianÁIsraelis use Arabic as their primary language for both high and low language functions, and hold this language in the highest regard, as a religious, cultural, national and social symbol. However, the Bourdieusard hypothesis appears to be a more plausible explanation of LL in East Jerusalem where more determined nationalÁconflicconflictual aspirations are perceptible.
Implications This study has examined the linguistic landscapes of 15 neighbourhoods in the Greater Bangkok area. In doing so, it highlights the importance and influence of English as a global language, a point that has been made in research on shop signs in other areas of the world (MacGregor, 2003; McArthur, 2000; Schlick, 2003). At the same time, this study expands on that line of research in several ways. First an examination of the signs from government sources versus those from the private sector points out the discrepancy between official government language policy and the language use patterns practised within the city’s various communities and promoted by the commercial sector.
Economic interests of PalestinianÁIsraeli traders or professionals may supersede the motivation of exhibiting identity markers in Linguistic Landscape as Symbolic Construction of the Public Space 25 front of ‘nonmembers’ of the community. At the same time, that Arabic LL items are here more numerous in top-down LL items expresses the official status of the language which is especially taken care of by public agencies when acting in areas populated by Palestinian Israelis. This aspect probably depends on political-benefit considerations on the side of the establishment.