The Linguistic Landscape of Palestinian C Towns: The Case of Shop Signs in Huwwara
Keywords:linguistic landscape; commercial signage; Arabic; English; Hebrew; Palestine.
This study looks at the linguistic landscape in Huwwara, a Palestinian town in the north of the West Bank located in Area C, which is, in line with the Oslo II accord, under Israeli control. Two areas on the main street of Huwwara were investigated: Huwwara center and Huwwara outskirts. Bottom-up signs in both areas were classified according to the languages they were written in. The signs were further classified according to language choice on the signs of businesses in each area. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of different languages in the linguistic landscape of a Palestinian town where Arabic, English and Hebrew are in contact. A total of 297 signs were analysed. It was found that Arabic is the most prevalent language in the linguistic landscape in the two investigated areas. In addition, it was found that there is a strong presence of Hebrew on the outskirts of Huwwara, mainly on signs of automotive and household businesses. English, on the other hand, was found to have a moderate presence in Huwwara with no difference between the two areas investigated. These results suggest that the use of Arabic has both an informational and a symbolic function, whilst the use of Hebrew has an informational function, and the use of English has a symbolic function.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Montaser Motia Ujvari
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