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Die Sprachlandschaft des schulischen Raums

Ein diskursfunktionaler Ansatz für linguistische Schoolscape-Forschung am Beispiel eines Hamburger Gymnasiums

The linguistic landscape of school space
A discourse-functional approach for linguistic schoolscape research on the example of a Hamburg high school.
Jannis Androutsopoulos and Franziska Kuhlee


The study of signage in educational settings (‘schoolscape’) is a recent development in linguistic landscape research. Some approaches to schoolscapes focus on signs in schools of various types, which are coded for formal and functional characteristics, including language choice. Other approaches examine signs alongside spatial practices, e. g. the arrangement of furniture and classroom activities, thereby taking the viewpoints of teachers, students and parents into consideration. The research presented in this paper centers on school signs. We propose an analytical framework for schoolscape research which integrates the geosemiotic framework by Scollon and Scollon (2003), the classification of school signage by Gorter and Cenoz (2015), the notion of ‘sign genres’ from linguistic landscape studies and text linguistics, and a context-sensitive approach to spatial differences within educational institutions. Our framework includes four interlocking levels of examination: (a) discourses, i. e. knowledge-and-power configurations, indexed by a sign; (b) genres by which a discourse is materialized in space; (c) a sign’s precise spatial location, e. g. a classroom as opposed to the school foyer, and (d) the semiotic resources that are routinely deployed for various genres of school signage. Empirical evidence comes from a case study of a secondary school in Hamburg, with more than 550 signs photographed and coded. The paper presents an exhaustive analysis of this data in terms of seven discourses, each materialized by a number of genres and with a specific spatial distribution in the school. The potential of this framework for future schoolscape research is discussed.


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Online erschienen: 2021-08-21
Erschienen im Druck: 2021-09-30

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