From Linguistic Landscape to Semiotic Landscape:Indigenous Language Revitalization and Literacy
- Číslo 2 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceStudie z aplikované lingvistiky - Studies in Applied Linguistics, 2017, 8, 2, p. 7-21
endangered languages, indigenous language revitalization, linguistic landscape, multiliteracies, semiotic landscape
For endangered indigenous languages in Mexico, new forms of symbolic representation have beengenerated by linguistic landscapes. These forms involve the written use of these languages in publicspaces, which in turn (re)incorporates the languages into traditional and new contexts. In addition,linguistic landscape production aids indigenous language literacy. Yet the notion of linguistic landscapeseems limited to alphabetic writing and grammar standardization through the production ofsignage, outdoor advertising, and signs. Usually the social actors involved in linguistic landscapeproduction, such as researchers, activists, and public officials, do not recognize the linguistic landscapeas inseparable from the concepts of indigenous people. This article argues that the relationshipbetween linguistic landscape and indigenous concepts cannot be mediated only through thelinguistic landscape itself, but also through the interconnection of language and remembering aswell as the retrieval of the endangered language through strategies of recalling experiences mediatedthrough that particular language. These additional dimensions involving remembering and retrievalbecome what we refer to as the semiotic landscape. This landscape, including multimodal andmultiliteracy methodologies (Kress, 2009), can be considered a channel of language revitalization,as it serves as a space for the interconnection between language and remembering. In this manner,the semiotic landscape allows written language (discourse) to interact with other discourses (visualimages, spatial practices, and cultural dimensions), thereby aiding the emergence of indigenousself-representation and cultural values and hence working toward language revitalization. In particular,this pathway to language revitalization can be seen when considering the Ixcatec languagein southern Mexico.