Signage as event Deriving ‘community’ from language practice

Yaron Matras, Leonie Gaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our aim in this paper is to propose a framework to analyse the relationship between language choice on signs in multilingual environments, place, and notions of ‘community’. We focus on an interpretation of the goals pursued by sign owners, exploring how linguistic (and non-linguistic) resources are mapped onto communicative acts to target addressees and initiate some form of encounter or engagement. We approach signs as complex and multi-layered communicative events that are composed of different illocutionary acts, and take into account the local language ecology and place. We show how signs, as a form of practice, contribute to creating relations between sign owners and addressees, and can thus be constitutive of community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-236
Number of pages24
JournalLinguistic Landscape
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • community
  • encounter
  • engagement
  • Manchester
  • multilingualism
  • multimodality
  • signage as event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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