Signs of multilingualism in Tokyo - A diachronic look at the linguistic landscape

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines multilingual signs in the streets of Tokyo. It focuses on the diachronic development of Tokyo's linguistic landscape since the early 1990s. Based on data gained in the course of an empirical study in 2003, it will be demonstrated how the coexistence of older and newer types of signs allows for the detection and reconstruction of ongoing changes in language use patterns. Results suggest an increase in linguistic heterogeneity with regard to (1) languages and scripts contained on the signs; (2) amount of multilingual information; (3) foreign language proficiency; and (4) proportion of languages and scripts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Issue number175-176
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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multilingualism
linguistics
language
coexistence
foreign language
reconstruction
Multilingualism
Diachrony
Linguistic Landscape
Tokyo
Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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abstract = "This article examines multilingual signs in the streets of Tokyo. It focuses on the diachronic development of Tokyo's linguistic landscape since the early 1990s. Based on data gained in the course of an empirical study in 2003, it will be demonstrated how the coexistence of older and newer types of signs allows for the detection and reconstruction of ongoing changes in language use patterns. Results suggest an increase in linguistic heterogeneity with regard to (1) languages and scripts contained on the signs; (2) amount of multilingual information; (3) foreign language proficiency; and (4) proportion of languages and scripts.",
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