Das Seminar wird im Rahmen einer internationalen EDUC-Lehrkooperation in Zusammenarbeit mit den Universitäten Masaryk und Cagliari organisiert. Das Seminar findet auf Deutsch und Englisch statt. Die Studierenden werden während des Semesters durch ein webbasiertes Training zum Ansatz der Linguistic Landscape asynchron eingeführt sowie werden dazu eingeladen, ihre eigene Feldforschung zu betreiben. Die Ergebnisse der Feldforschungen werden in einer ein- oder zweitägigen Online-Blockveranstaltung zusammen mit Studierenden und Dozent*innen aus den Universitäten Masaryk und Cagliari diskutiert.

Course description

The public space of metropolises as well as medium and small-sized towns is profoundly marked by the historic and contemporary traces of linguistic practices, such as graffiti, informal messages, as well as public and commercial signs. These signs are produced by different actors (e.g., members of minority language communities, municipal institutions or private companies). They also carry out different functions, such as communicating information in a doctor’s office, symbolically attesting to the presence of a minority language community in a given neighbourhood, or marketing (niche) products by addressing a specific audience.

Linguistic Landscape (LL) research investigates the distribution of monolingual or multilingual signs in the public sphere, their linguistic and semiotic features, as well as their functions and changes over time. In doing so, LL studies provide insights into the status of historic and migration-related minority languages in specific areas (among others).

In this project seminar, students will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches and empirical methods for mapping linguistic diversity in public spaces. Particular attention is dedicated to an overview of the current state of LL research in the areas where EDUC students live (i.e., Cagliari and Sardinia, Brno and Prague, Brandenburg and Berlin). Subsequently, students will formulate their own research questions and conduct − in small groups by means of the app Lingscape − their own fieldwork projects. Eventually, students’ groups will present their research results in an online block session to be held at the end of June 2021.