Linguistic Landscapes and Language Contact

Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Siu-Lun Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Somewhere between the mid 1960s and late 1990s, the appearance and texture of international cities changed noticeably, in response to the growth of international capitalist economies, international airline travel on a previously unprecedented scale, the related growth of international tourism, and a number of other dynamics closely related to what came to be recognized as late twentieth century “globalization.” One material and very visible way in which cities around the world began to change was at the level of signage, which included advertising billboards, shop names, and public signage of all kinds. An obvious linguistic intruder in this process was the English language, which, as the language of such globally‐promoted brands as Coca‐Cola, KFC, Nike, and Starbucks, began to adorn the cityscapes of the vast majority of the world’s international cities, as well as a surprisingly large number of the world’s less important international cities (Bolton 2012). In this context, it was perhaps not
surprising that a number of the early articles dealing with what has come to be called “linguistic landscape” (LL) research focused on the spread of English in the public signage of urban settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Language Contact
EditorsRaymond Hickey
Place of PublicationUnited States of America
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781119485063, 9781119485063
ISBN (Print)9781119485025, 9781119485025
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameBlackwell Handbooks in Linguistics


  • contact studies
  • linguistic change
  • contemporary linguistic research
  • Linguistic Landscapes
  • Language Contact


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