Linguistic Landscapes A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo

Linguistic Landscapes
  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9781853599460
  • Druk: illustrated edition
  • februari 2006
  • 168 pagina's
Alle productspecificaties


Most studies of multilingualism in Tokyo have focused on the spoken language, but Backhaus (German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo) looks at written language, specifically at the language of the signs. Office and shop signs, billboards and neon advertisements, traffic signs, typographic information and area maps, emergency guidance, political posters, stone inscriptions, and enigmatic graffiti make up the linguistic landscape of the city, he says, and analyzes various aspects of it. Distributed in the US by UTP Distribution. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


This book is a welcome and useful addition to the study of LL, particularly for its contribution of well needed empirical studies. The research on Tokyo's LL is precise in its definition and classification of empirical analysis, well-informed with regards to all categories analyzed and methodically thorough. It is commendable that Backhaus uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in such detail in his research of Tokyo's LL. This comparative study on language on signs is a valuable contribution to the field of multilingualism and language contact research. -- Anastassia Zabrodskaja * SKY - Journal of Linguistics (the annual journal of The Linguistic Association of Finland, Suomen Kielitieteellinen Yhdistys) * Backhaus's volume is a welcome contribution not only to the study of linguistic landscapes and landscaping, but also to language contact and multilingualism in Japan. Linguistic Landscapes is clearly structured, well written and requires little or no prior theoretical knowledge of linguistic landscape issues. -- Mark Irwin, Yamagata University, Japan * Linguist List 19.1760 * In this study of the linguistic landscape of Tokyo Peter Backhaus clearly demonstrates that Japan is not as linguistically homogeneous as is commonly thought. His fascinating account is based on a large empirical database of multilingual signs He describes in detail the increasing importance of English as well as other languages. His book proves that the study of the linguistic landscape is a valuable new development in the analysis of multilingualism around the world. -- Durk Gorter, Professor of Frisian sociolinguistics, Universiteit van Amsterdam/Fryske Akademy This is a very nice work that will certainly be a reference book. It contains an impressive state-of-the-art review of a young field which, however, is a very dispersed and attract people from very different places and perspectives. Hence, it is a kind of tour de force to bring all the material and approaches together and discuss them in a same general framework. Moreover, this is also a very illuminating case study about linguistic landscape in one major city of this world, namely Tokyo. The research is led with brio and with rigor and reveals a rich reality that certainly merits much thinking....I think that this is a real masterpiece of linguistic landscape study. This is as such a genuine contribution to this field. -- Report by Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Tel-Aviv University This book offers an authoritative, engaging, and well-illustrated introduction to LL research and has the merit of providing a rich, diversified, and comprehensive review of previous studies within this rather new area of investigation. The study of the LL of Tokyo contributes to advancing our understanding of LL as an interdisciplinary field of investigation, and helps to stimulate and map future research ventures in this area of inquiry within language policy and planning. Backhaus's innovative approach to the examination and analysis of LL data could provide further insights to academics, researchers and graduate students interested in LL research. It is suitable for general audiences as well, owing to the face that it is relatively easy to read and does not presuppose expertise in any particular linguistic area. -- Selim Ben Said * Lang Policy, Published Online: 10 April 2008 *



illustrated edition
Aantal pagina's
168 pagina's


Dr. Peter Backhaus
Channel View Publications



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A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo
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