This book focuses on a relatively new area of study: linguistic landscapes in present-day urban settings. The linguistic landscape is the scene where the public space is symbolically constructed and includes such linguistic objects as road signs, advertising billboards, and commercial shop signs, as well as the names of sites, streets, and buildings. In a wide-ranging collection of case studies and comparisons of major world cities, the authors investigate both the forces that shape linguistic landscape and the impact of the linguistic landscape on the wider social and cultural reality.
The editors also delve into linguistic landscape beyond its appearance as a jungle of jumbled and irregular items by focusing on the variations in linguistic landscape configurations and offering perspectives on the multitude of signs that catch the eye in urban areas around the world. A chapter on suburban Asian communities in Arizona was co-authored by CAL President Terrence G. Wiley.