Review of Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space by Adam Jaworski and Crispin Thurlow

  • Felix Banda University of the Western Cape
Keywords: linguistic landscapes


Although the volume was published in 2010, it still remains one of the most important contributions to a new field of enquiry in the study of language and signage in public spaces initially conceptualised and institutionalised by Landry and Bourhis (1997) as linguistic landscapes (LL). They defined linguistic landscapes as “[t]he language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings combine to form the linguistic landscape of a given territory, region, or urban agglomeration” (p. 25). As the title of the volume suggests, the aim was to extend the study to consider other semiotic material in place rather than linguistic ones alone. Jaworski and Thurlow prefer the term semiotic landscapes to LL to account for the fact that descriptions of space are not just about language, image and space, but more so about how interlocutors engage with semiotic material including objects in place.