Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2214-9953
  • E-ISSN: 2214-9961



This article addresses the unresolved issue of systematic survey area selection for large-scale quantitative Linguistic Landscape (LL) studies. It presents a strategy of ‘hypothesis-driven stratified sampling’ whereby survey areas are picked out in a nested, multi-step process on the basis of the configuration of local LL audiences (regarding age, multilingualism, and tourism) and ambient activity types (commercial vs. residential). The rationale for this strategy is drawn from variationist sociolinguistics; and the undertaking is accordingly cast as ‘Variationist Linguistic Landscape Study (VaLLS)’. The details of the design are showcased and implications discussed in the context of the large-scale project ‘ELLViA – English in the Linguistic Landscape of Vienna, Austria’. More generally, it is shown how the application of state-of-the-art variationist principles and methodology to quantitative LL research significantly enhances the latter’s scientific rigor, which has been a major point of criticism.

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