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Signs in cities: the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces

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Signs in cities : the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces. / Papen, Uta.

In: Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2015, p. 1-26.

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Papen, Uta. / Signs in cities : the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces. In: Sociolinguistic Studies. 2015 ; Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 1-26.

Bibtex

@article{723c5287ed2f40b5935fa79714f50956,
title = "Signs in cities: the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces",
abstract = "The analysis of signs in cities is known as research into {\textquoteleft}linguistic landscapes{\textquoteright}. Following Jaworski and Thurlow (2010), this paper focuses on {\textquoteleft}semiotic{\textquoteright} not linguistic landscapes. I argue that visual images and visual aspects of writing such as font or colour are essential for the meanings conveyed on signs. As an example, I examine the semiotic landscape of parts of Prenzlauer Berg, a neighbourhood of the former East Berlin. Neglected in the 1980s, after reunification, this originally working class area became middle class and trendy, popular for its shops, cafes and arts culture. Using multimodal and ethnographic methods, my paper reveals the important role commercial signs and street art play in the discursive re-construction of this gentrified neighbourhood. Both contribute to the area{\textquoteright}s commercialization and aestheticization. My paper also illustrates how semiotic landscapes contribute to placemaking and the commodification of urban spaces. The combination of multimodal analysis with interviews with sign authors allowed for insights into the reasons specific semiotic choices were made, adding to our understanding of discourse production by revealing intended meanings which were not identifiable based on text analysis alone.",
keywords = "Signs , Berlin, multimodal analysis, graffiti, street art, semiotic practice, discourses",
author = "Uta Papen",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1558/sols.v9i1.21627",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "1--26",
journal = "Sociolinguistic Studies",
issn = "1750-8649",
publisher = "Equinox Publishing Ltd",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Signs in cities

T2 - the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces

AU - Papen, Uta

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The analysis of signs in cities is known as research into ‘linguistic landscapes’. Following Jaworski and Thurlow (2010), this paper focuses on ‘semiotic’ not linguistic landscapes. I argue that visual images and visual aspects of writing such as font or colour are essential for the meanings conveyed on signs. As an example, I examine the semiotic landscape of parts of Prenzlauer Berg, a neighbourhood of the former East Berlin. Neglected in the 1980s, after reunification, this originally working class area became middle class and trendy, popular for its shops, cafes and arts culture. Using multimodal and ethnographic methods, my paper reveals the important role commercial signs and street art play in the discursive re-construction of this gentrified neighbourhood. Both contribute to the area’s commercialization and aestheticization. My paper also illustrates how semiotic landscapes contribute to placemaking and the commodification of urban spaces. The combination of multimodal analysis with interviews with sign authors allowed for insights into the reasons specific semiotic choices were made, adding to our understanding of discourse production by revealing intended meanings which were not identifiable based on text analysis alone.

AB - The analysis of signs in cities is known as research into ‘linguistic landscapes’. Following Jaworski and Thurlow (2010), this paper focuses on ‘semiotic’ not linguistic landscapes. I argue that visual images and visual aspects of writing such as font or colour are essential for the meanings conveyed on signs. As an example, I examine the semiotic landscape of parts of Prenzlauer Berg, a neighbourhood of the former East Berlin. Neglected in the 1980s, after reunification, this originally working class area became middle class and trendy, popular for its shops, cafes and arts culture. Using multimodal and ethnographic methods, my paper reveals the important role commercial signs and street art play in the discursive re-construction of this gentrified neighbourhood. Both contribute to the area’s commercialization and aestheticization. My paper also illustrates how semiotic landscapes contribute to placemaking and the commodification of urban spaces. The combination of multimodal analysis with interviews with sign authors allowed for insights into the reasons specific semiotic choices were made, adding to our understanding of discourse production by revealing intended meanings which were not identifiable based on text analysis alone.

KW - Signs

KW - Berlin

KW - multimodal analysis

KW - graffiti

KW - street art

KW - semiotic practice

KW - discourses

U2 - 10.1558/sols.v9i1.21627

DO - 10.1558/sols.v9i1.21627

M3 - Journal article

VL - 9

SP - 1

EP - 26

JO - Sociolinguistic Studies

JF - Sociolinguistic Studies

SN - 1750-8649

IS - 1

ER -