Linguistic landscapes, discursive frames and metacultural performance: the case of Welsh Patagonia

Nikolas Coupland 1  and Peter Garrett 1
  • 1 Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University


Linguistic landscapes have, in the main, been analyzed distributionally, noting the preponderance of different language codes in particular settings. In contrast, we develop a qualitative, critical, frame-analytic account of Welsh language and culture, as displayed in texts in public spaces in Patagonia, the site of a Welsh colonial experiment in the mid-19th century. We identify three frames through which cultural values are ascribed to Wales and to the Welsh language: the colonial history frame, the reflexive cultural Welshness frame, and the Welsh heritage frame. The last of these frames dominates in the visible landscape in Gaiman, Patagonia, where Welshness is associated with commercial heritage tourism initiatives, and particularly casas de té galesas (‘Welsh tea houses’). We comment on language choice (mainly Welsh and Spanish), but also on multimodal and stylistic resources, used in framing Welshness, and constituting it metaculturally, in various types of public signs and displays.

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