An Expanded Classification System of Linguistic Landscape and the Analysis of Dual Discourse Signage
Keywords:Social media, Language learning, EFL students, Saudi Arabia
This paper is a 7-year-long empirical research carried out in China’s southern cities of Guangzhou and Dongguan, with an aim to chart the unfamiliar “middle-ground” between the categories of public and private signage, which is inadequately discussed in conventional linguistic landscape studies. The paper offers substantial evidence to challenge the public and private or from-above and from-below dichotomy paradigm, and proposes a new category of “public-private dual discourse signage” in-between as a complement to the conventional categorization scheme. In the new system, two major types, namely mixing signage and hybrid signage are divided, and four subtypes are further elaborated, with samples discussed in detail. General background research and sociolinguistic studies such as geosemiotic and multimodal analysis are carried out to reveal the multiple driving forces behind the dual discourse signs. It is discovered that the signs’ ownership structure and operation modes are crucial in explaining the complex phenomenon, longitudinal data draws distinctive trajectories and patterns for different subtypes of dual discourse signage. Furthermore, the practical implications and a possible shared future of harmony for the dual discourse signs is discussed.
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