Multilingual <i>Eurovision</i> meets plurilingual <i>YouTube</i>

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This research examines &#8216;virtual linguistic landscapes&#8217; (Ivkovi&#263; and Lotherington 2009) visible in user-generated comment fields associated with video clips of the Eurovision Song Contest. We begin by discussing contemporary sociolinguistic approaches and terminology (e.g. multi-, pluri-, polylingualism) attuned to complex phenomena in social media language contact zones. Following an application of these approaches to data, we argue that the emergence of a user-generated virtual linguistic landscape is usefully understood as a process of &#8216;linguascaping&#8217; (Jaworski et al. 2003; Ivkovi&#263; 2012); i.e. linguistic engagements that propagate opinions, beliefs and ideological positions. As applied to YouTube comment fields, linguascaping suggests an agentive process of constructing and contesting possible ethno-linguistic identifications and power relations through semiotic resources.


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