Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Linguistic landscapes are useful tools to decipher language ideologies that regulate public spaces in society, helping us to decode the semiotic messages that those landscapes transmit. Urban spaces also reveal social practices that organize people’s lives and unveil social discourses that legitimize, approve, erode, or eliminate different linguistic varieties that struggle to survive. This article examines the use of (mock) Lunfardo, a Spanish urban variety spoken in the Rio de la Plata area, Argentina, in a sign posted by the Buenos Aires’ city authorities and the impact this sign had on social media. The results of the analysis show that appealing to Lunfardo as a symbol of identity failed to establish a conversation between parties within a separated, fractured society.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aiello, Giorgia and Crispin Thurlow
    2006 “Symbolic Capitals: Visual Discourse and Intercultural Exchange in the European Capital of Cultural Scheme.” Language and Intercultural Communication6(2): 148–162. 10.2167/laic234.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/laic234.0 [Google Scholar]
  2. Arias Álvarez, Alba and Patricia Gubitosi
    2021 “Ideologies in the Linguistic Landscape: The Semiotic Construction of the Puerto Rican Identity.” InLinguistic Landscape in the Spanish-speaking World, ed. byPatricia Gubitosi and Michelle Ramos Pellicia, 105–131. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ihll.35.04ari
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ihll.35.04ari [Google Scholar]
  3. Atton, Chris
    2009 “Alternative and Citizen Journalism.” InThe sHandbook of Journalism Studies, ed. byKarin Wahl-Jorgensen and Thomas Hanitzsch, 265–278. New York: Taylor and Francis
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Berlin, Lawrence N. and Anita Fetzer
    (eds.) 2012Dialogue in Politics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ds.18
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ds.18 [Google Scholar]
  5. Blommaert, Jan
    2017 “Society through the Lens of Language.” Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies207.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Blommaert, Jan and Ico Maly
    2014 “Ethnographic Linguistic Landscape Analysis and Social Change: A Case Study.” Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies133: 1–20. Retrieved from: https://www.academia.edu/7560835/WP133_Blommaert_and_Maly_2014_Ethnographic_linguistic_landscape_analysis_and_social_change_A_case_study
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Bolívar, Adriana
    2010 “Dialogue in the Dynamics of Political Practice.” InDialogue in Spanish: Studies in functions and contexts, ed. byDale Koike, and Lidia Rodríguez-Alfano, 159–188. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ds.7.10bol
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ds.7.10bol [Google Scholar]
  8. Bradley, Moore, Jessica Bradley, and James Simpson
    (eds.) 2020The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781788928052
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781788928052 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cancellier, Antonella
    2001 “Italiano e Spagnolo a Contatto nel Rio de la Plata. Il Fenomeni del ‘Cocoliche’ e del ‘Lunfardo.’” InItaliano e Spagnolo a Contatto, ed. byRenata Londero, 69–84. Padova: Unipress.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chu, Elaine
    2004 “Ideologies of Legitimate Mockery: Margaret Cho’s Revoicings of Mock Asian.” Pragmatics14(2–3): 263–289. 10.1075/prag.14.2‑3.10chu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.14.2-3.10chu [Google Scholar]
  11. Conde, Oscar
    2011Lunfardo. Un Estudio Sobre el Habla Popular de los Argentinos. Buenos Aires: Taurus.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Conover, Michael, Bruno Gonçalves, Jacob Ratkiewicz, Alessandro Flammini and Filippo Menczer
    2010 “Political Polarization on Twitter.” InProceedings of the Fourth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, 89–96. Available at: https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM11/paper/viewFile/2847/3275
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Conover, Michael D., Bruno Gonçalves, Jacob Ratkiewicz, Alessandro Flammini and Filippo Menczer
    2011 “Predicting the Political Alignment of Twitter Users.” InIEEE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk, and Trust, and IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, 192–199. 10.1109/PASSAT/SocialCom.2011.34
    https://doi.org/10.1109/PASSAT/SocialCom.2011.34 [Google Scholar]
  14. Coupland, Nikolas
    2001a “Stylization, Authenticity and TV News Review.” Discourse Studies3(4): 413–442. 10.1177/1461445601003004006
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445601003004006 [Google Scholar]
  15. 2001b “Dialect Stylization in Radio Talk.” Language in Society30(3): 345–375. 10.1017/S0047404501003013
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404501003013 [Google Scholar]
  16. Courtis, Corina, Maria Pacecca, Diana Lenton, Carlos Belvedere, Sergio Caggiano, Diego Casaravilla and Gerardo Halpern
    2009 “Racism and Discourse: A Portrait of the Argentine Situation.” InRacism and Discourse in Latin America, ed. byTeun van Dijk, 13–55. New York: Lexington Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Devoto, Fernando
    2008Historia de Los Italianos en la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Biblos.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Di Tullio, Angela
    2003Políticas Lingüísticas e Inmigración. El Caso Argentino. Buenos Aires: Eudeba.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ennis, Juan A.
    2008Decir la Lengua. Debates Ideológico-lingüísticos en Argentina desde 1837. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Fontanella de Weinberg, Beatriz
    1983 “El Lunfardo: de Lengua Delictiva a Polo de un Continuo Lingüístico.” InPrimeras Jornadas Nacionales de Dialectología, 129–138. Tucumán: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 1987El Español Bonaerense. Cuatro Siglos de Evolución Lingüística (1580–1980). Buenos Aires: Hachette.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 1994 “Una Fugazza con Fetas de Panceta y Provolone: la Incorporación Léxica en el Español Bonaerense.” Estudios Sobre el Español de la Argentina, III, Bahía Blanca: Universidad Nacional del Sur, Departamento de Ciencias Sociales.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Goode, Luke
    2009 “Social News, Citizen Journalism and Democracy.” New Media and Society, 11(8): 1287–1305. 10.1177/1461444809341393
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444809341393 [Google Scholar]
  24. Gubitosi, Patricia, Christian Puma and Daniela Narváez
    2020 “Landscaping an Ecuadorian Neighborhood in Queens, NY.” Cuadernos de Lingüística Hispánica (36): 211–234. 10.19053/0121053X.n36.2020.11302
    https://doi.org/10.19053/0121053X.n36.2020.11302 [Google Scholar]
  25. Gubitosi, Patricia and Michelle Ramos Pellicia
    2021 “Introduction: Uncovering the Voice of Minority Groups.” InLinguistic Landscape in the Spanish-speaking World, edited byPatricia Gubitosi and Michelle Ramos Pellicia, 1–16. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ihll.35.int
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ihll.35.int [Google Scholar]
  26. Hill, Jane
    2005 “Intertextuality as Source and Evidence for Indirect Indexical Meanings.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology15(1): 113–124. 10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.113
    https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.113 [Google Scholar]
  27. 2008The Everyday Language of White Racism. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 10.1002/9781444304732
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444304732 [Google Scholar]
  28. Irvine, J.
    1989 “When Talk isn’t Cheap: Language and Political Economy.” American Ethnologist (16)2: 248–267. 10.1525/ae.1989.16.2.02a00040
    https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1989.16.2.02a00040 [Google Scholar]
  29. Jaworski, Adam and Crispin Thurlow
    (eds) 2010Semiotic Landscapes. Language, Image, Space. London/ New York: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Jurrat, Nadine
    2011 “Citizen Journalism and the Internet.” Mapping Digital Media. Open Society Foundation: Washington. Available at: www.ritimo.org/IMG/pdf/Mapping_Digital_Media-4.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kailuweit, Rolf
    2012 “Entre Represión y Populismo. Tango, Lunfardo y Censura en la Radiofonía Argentina (1933–1953).” InPolitical Correctness: Aspectos Políticos, Sociales, Literarios y Mediáticos de la Censura Lingüística, ed. byÚrsula Reutner and Elmar Schafroth, 275–298. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kasanga, Luanga
    2015 “Semiotic Landscape: Code Choice and Exclusion.” InConflict, Exclusion and Dissent in the Linguistic Landscape, ed. byRani Rubdy and Selim Ben Seid, 123–144. New York: Palgrave McMillan. 10.1057/9781137426284_6
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137426284_6 [Google Scholar]
  33. Koike, Dale and Lidia Rodríguez-Alfano
    (eds.) 2010Dialogue in Spanish: Studies in Functions and Contexts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ds.7
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ds.7 [Google Scholar]
  34. Koczanowicz, L.
    2011 “Beyond Dialogue and Antagonism: a Bakhtinian Perspective on the Controversy in Political Theory.” Theory and Society40, 553–566. 10.1007/s11186‑011‑9151‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-011-9151-7 [Google Scholar]
  35. Kroskrity, Paul
    2000 “Regimenting Languages: Language Ideological Perspectives.” InRegimes of Language, ed. byPaul Koskrity, 1–34. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Lado, Beatriz
    2011 “Linguistic Landscape as a Reflection of the Linguistic and Ideological Conflict in the Valencian Community.” International Journal of Multilingualism, 8(2): 135–150. 10.1080/14790718.2010.550296
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2010.550296 [Google Scholar]
  37. Lawson, Victoria, Sarah Elwood, Santiago Canevaro and Nicolas Viotti
    2015 “‘The Poor are Us’: Middle-class Poverty Politics in Buenos Aires and Seattle.” Environment and Planning47, 1873–1891. 10.1177/0308518X15597150
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X15597150 [Google Scholar]
  38. Lefevre, Henri
    1991 [1974]The Production of Space. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Li, Jessica and H. Raghav Rao
    2010 “Twitter as a Rapid Response News Service: an Exploration in the Context of the 2008 China Earthquake.” The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries42(1): 1–22. 10.1002/j.1681‑4835.2010.tb00300.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1681-4835.2010.tb00300.x [Google Scholar]
  40. Lippi-Green, Rosina
    2012English with an Accent. New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203348802
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203348802 [Google Scholar]
  41. Lüders, Tomás
    2016, October9. “Gracias, Yo a Morfar no Voy.” Venado24. Available athttps://www.venado24.com.ar/sin-categoria/opinion-gracias-yo-a-morfar-no-voy/
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Marten, Heiko, Luk van Mensel and Durk Gorter
    2012 “Studying Minority Languages in the Linguistic Landscape.” InLinguistic Landscape: Expanding the Scenery, ed. byDurk Gorter, Heiko Marten and Luk van Mensel, 1–18. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. McGregor, William B.
    2015Linguistics: An Introduction. Bloomsbury Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Meo Zilio, Giovanni and Ettore Rossi
    1972El Elemento Italiano en el Habla de Buenos Aires y Montevideo. Florencia: Valmartina.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Monner Sanz, Ricardo
    1903Notas al Castellano en la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Agencia General de Libros y Publicaciones.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Murthy, Dhiraj
    2011 “Twitter: Microphone for the Masses?” Media, Culture and Society33(5): 779–789. 10.1177/0163443711404744
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443711404744 [Google Scholar]
  47. Pennycook, Alastair
    2017 “Translanguaging and Semiotic Assemblages.” International Journal of Multilingualism14(3): 269–282. 10.1080/14790718.2017.1315810
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2017.1315810 [Google Scholar]
  48. 2019 “Linguistic Landscapes and Semiotic Assemblages.” InExpanding the Linguistic Landscape. Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality, and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource, ed. byMartin Pütz and Neele Mundt, 75–88. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Pütz, Martin and Neele Mundt
    (eds.) 2019Expanding the Linguistic Landscape: Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality, and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Reagan, Timothy
    2019Linguistic Legitimacy and Social Justice. Palgrave-McMillan. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑10967‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10967-7 [Google Scholar]
  51. Revista Ñ.
    Revista Ñ. 2016, October7. “Gracias, Yo a Morfar no Voy.” Revista Ñ. Available athttps://www.clarin.com/ideas/morfar-gobierno-ciudad_0_HyWZTDOPme.html
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Roth-Gordon, Jennifer
    2011 “Discipline and Disorder in the Whiteness of Mock Spanish.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology21(2), 211–229. 10.1111/j.1548‑1395.2011.01107.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1395.2011.01107.x [Google Scholar]
  53. Rubdy, Rani
    2015 “Conflict and Exclusion: The Linguistic Landscape as an Arena of Contestation.” InConflict, Exclusion and Dissent in the Linguistic Landscape, ed. byRani Rubdy and Selim Ben Seid, 1–24. New York: Palgrave McMillan. 10.1057/9781137426284_1
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137426284_1 [Google Scholar]
  54. Săftoiu, Răzvan
    2015 “Split Voices in Political Discourse.” Language and Dialogue5(3): 430–448. 10.1075/ld.5.3.04saf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ld.5.3.04saf [Google Scholar]
  55. Salo, Hanni
    2012 “Sámi Language in the North Calotte.” InMinority Languages in the Linguistic Landscape, ed. byDurk Gorter, Heiko F. Marten and Luk Van Mensel, 243–259. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230360235_14
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230360235_14 [Google Scholar]
  56. Schwartz, Adam
    2019 “Language, Mockery and Racism: The Case of Mock Spanish.” American Association for Applied Linguistics. Available athttps://www.aaal.org/news/language-mockery-and-racism-the-case-of-mock-spanish
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Scolon, Ron and Susan W. Scollon
    2003Discourses in Place: Language in the Material World. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203422724
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203422724 [Google Scholar]
  58. Shohamy, Elana and Durk Gorter
    2009 “Introduction.” InLinguistic Landscape: Expanding the Scenery, ed. byElana Shohamy and Durk Gorter, 1–10. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Stroud, Christopher and Sibonile Mpendukana
    2009 “Towards a Material Ethnography of Linguistic Landscape: Multilingualism, Mobility and Space in a South African Township.” Journal of Sociolinguistics13(3): 363–386. 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2009.00410.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2009.00410.x [Google Scholar]
  60. Teruggi, Mario E.
    1978Panorama del Lunfardo. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Thorbecke, Catherine
    2021, March21. “Twitter Turns 15: A Look Back at how the Platform Changed our Lives.” ABC News. Available athttps://abcnews.go.com/Business/twitter-turns-15-back-platform-changed-lives/story?id=75804702
    [Google Scholar]
  62. van Dijk, Teun
    1997 “Discourse as Interaction in Society.” InDiscourse as Social Interaction, ed. byTeun van Dijk, 1–37. London: SAGE.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. 2009 “Racism and Discourse in Latin America: An Introduction.” InRacism and Discourse in Latin America, ed. byTeun van Dijk, 1–11. New York: Lexington Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Viegas Barros, José P.
    2002 “Evidencias Gramaticales de que el Lunfardo no es una Jerga”. Paper presentation at theHacia una redefinición de lunfardo conference hosted by the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo. Buenos Aires, December 3–5. Available atwww.geocities.ws/lunfa2000/viegas.htm
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Weigand, Edda
    2015 “Dialogue in the Stream of Life.” Language and Dialogue5(2): 197–223. 10.1075/ld.5.2.01wei
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ld.5.2.01wei [Google Scholar]
  66. Weng, Jianshu and Bu-Sung Lee
    2011 “Event Detection in Twitter.” InProceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 401–408.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): linguistic landscape; Mock Lunfardo; political dialogue; political disagreements
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error