Language choice as an index of identities: Linguistic landscape in Dili, Timor-Leste

Room M35, School of Education (Building R19)
Tuesday 25 October 2016 (15:30-17:00)

Marilyn Martin-Jones

Language choice as an index of identities

Speaker: Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

This talk aims to show how language choice indexes social and national identities in the linguistic landscape of Dili, Timor-Leste. Dili is the capital city of this new Southeast Asian nation, which achieved formal independence in 2002. The linguistic landscape is examined in the light of the country's language situation, its language policy provisions and against the broad social, economic and political backdrop. The iconicity and indexicality of top-down and bottom-up public signage is discussed and the use of language in a range of signs is further analysed using the notion of ‘language on display’. The talk will also briefly present two potential sites for the further ethnographic exploration of the linguistic landscape in this young and rapidly changing nation.

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