Astoria

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  • For my landscape, I chose to model my research after Cenoz and Gorter’s study
  • English as the official language, meaning that all signs must have English. However, the difference lies in the prominence of each language and its function on the sign.
  • So, for my research questions I explored:
  • No translation or transliteration: English text used as an addition to the sign
  • Top left: Spanish restaurant: font in Spanish larger than English; not translated Right middle: Arab pastry shop: Arabic font larger than English; however, all text translated or transliterated into English Bottom left: Hookah lounge: Name of lounge not translated nor transliterated
  • Astoria

    1. 1. Linguistic Landscape Astoria, Queens Sarah Viola LCD 205
    2. 2. Cenoz&Gorter’s Linguistic Landscape <ul><li>Studied bilingual communities in Spain and Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzed each establishment on a main block in each area </li></ul><ul><li>(Each establishment as a unit of analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Compared use of the majority and minority languages </li></ul><ul><li>Counted and photographed each text </li></ul><ul><li>Observed characteristics of multilingual signs </li></ul><ul><li>Concluded that majority language was used more in both countries </li></ul>
    3. 3. Astoria, Queens <ul><li>Steinway St. between 25 & 28 Ave. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally Egyptian/ Middle Eastern area since 1970s </li></ul><ul><li>Known to some as “Little Cairo” </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly bilingual area: English and Arabic </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing Latino population in surrounding areas since 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>English as “official” language </li></ul>
    4. 4. Research Questions <ul><li>Which languages are used on storefront signs in Astoria? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the functions of each language? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the characteristics of the text on multilingual signs? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Method <ul><li>Observed all signs and window text on each establishment </li></ul><ul><li>Counted and photographed each storefront </li></ul><ul><li>Each storefront as a unit of analysis (not entire establishment) </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguished between monolingual and multilingual signs </li></ul><ul><li>Identified all languages used on signs </li></ul>
    6. 6. Factors Considered for Each Unit of Analysis <ul><li>Number of languages </li></ul><ul><li>Languages used </li></ul><ul><li>Translation? </li></ul><ul><li>Transliteration? </li></ul><ul><li>Neither? </li></ul><ul><li>Relative size of font </li></ul>
    7. 7. Data: Monolingual Signs Monolingual signs 55 English only 53 Arabic only (English alphabet) 2 Spanish only 0
    8. 8. Data: Multilingual Signs Multilingual signs 27 English and Arabic 24 English and Spanish 2 English, Arabic, and Spanish 1
    9. 9. Data: Translation and Transliteration Translated 11 Transliterated 7 Foreign language says something different than English 10
    10. 10. Data: Relative Font Size Same font size 5 English larger 13 Arabic larger 7 Spanish larger 2
    11. 12. Findings <ul><li>English the dominant language overall: more frequent in monolingual and multilingual signs; more prominent font size </li></ul><ul><li>Non-translated Arabic texts appeal to the Arab community, i.e. designation of a restaurant as “Halal” using Arabic script </li></ul><ul><li>Use of English transliteration makes Arabic more accessible to non-speakers or tourists </li></ul>
    12. 13. Findings, Cont. <ul><li>Two out of the three signs with Spanish text: Spanish in larger font (Other with equal size) </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish having an increased influence in the area </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish texts used to appeal to the increasing population </li></ul>
    13. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>Generally, the multilingual atmosphere in Astoria is created to appeal to various groups of people </li></ul><ul><li>Although English is dominant, other languages help to welcome others to the area and create a foreign atmosphere </li></ul>

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