This book presents a sociolinguistic ethnography of the linguistic landscape of Chinatown in Washington, DC. The book sheds a unique light on the impact of urban development on traditionally ethnic neighbourhoods and discusses the various historical, social and cultural factors that contribute to this area’s shifting linguistic landscape. Based on fieldwork, interviews with residents and visitors and analysis of community meetings and public policies, it provides an in-depth study of the production and consumption of linguistic landscape as a cultural text. Following a geosemiotic analysis of shop signs, it traces the multiple historical trajectories of discourse which shaped the bilingual landscape of the neighbourhood. Turning to the spatial contexts, it then compares and contrasts the situated meaning of the linguistic landscape for residents, community organisers and urban planners.
This book presents a fascinating insight into the changing role of Chinatowns in today's urban landscape.
- Theo van Leeuwen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
How does place emerge and how is it lived? This sophisticated and meticulously executed research offers new engaging vistas on the significance of linguistic landscapes in place-making. Everyone interested in the complex spatial and temporal dynamics of urban change will want to read this book – from researchers to residents.
- Christopher Stroud, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Situating languages in places and spaces, Jackie Jia Lou provides us with a deep and comprehensive multi-level ethnographic analyses of ‘China Town’ as both a local and global space (China and Washington, DC). The book offers an excellent case that reveals how various dimensions of Linguistic Landscape offer a unique tool for deep interpretation of both the overt and covert layers of spaces over time, mobility, place and space.
- Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University, Israel
This book offers both a comprehensive analysis of the linguistic landscape of Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown and an admirable example of how an integrative research design can enhance a linguistic landscape study. It is an impeccably presented piece of research that focuses on one place but at the same time has clear connections to the wider debates of the discipline.
- LINGUIST List 28.98
- Laura Michele Callahan, City College of New York (CUNY), USA
Jackie Jia Lou is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, City University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests are linguistic landscape, sociolinguistic ethnography, multimodal discourse analysis, and language, space and place. She is on the editorial board for Linguistic Landscapes: An International Journal.