Capturing diversity

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Our paper discusses methods of capturing linguistic diversity in urban areas. One of these methods is “linguistic landscaping”, which we use not only in the traditional manner, but also with substantial additions to include the communicative process in which the signs are used. To compensate for the neglect of spoken language in linguistic landscaping, we introduce the concept of “linguistic soundscaping”. Linguistic soundscaping uses a variety of methods to make spoken multilingual communication perceptively accessible and describable. Through linguistic soundscaping, we document which languages people use orally, where they use them and for which purposes. We conclude that studying actual language practice allows us to understand better the benefits and challenges that social diversity brings about.


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