Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2214-9953
  • E-ISSN: 2214-9961
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This paper presents an analysis of the linguistic contents of political protest signs that were erected at sit-in sites in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, during the summer of 2011. Sign authors employed a wide variety of linguistic codes and symbolic visual resources to subvert state authority, urge fellow citizens to action, and advocate a number of other political goals. Drawing on the methodology of Linguistic Landscape (LL) studies, the current effort investigates the relationship between linguistic code and factors such as sign location, medium, length, and thematic content. Multinomial logistic regression analysis reveals a significant relationship between sign code and medium, for example, as handwritten signs show more linguistic diversity than printed signs. Qualitative analysis focuses on sign authors, use of the symbolic and semiotic resources associated with these codes. This study of the ephemeral, transitory LL of Egyptian sit-in sites demonstrates the many and varied ways in which citizen sign authors manipulate concepts of formality, code choice, and imagery to encourage audiences to take up their messages as resources for social action in their own worlds.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; Arabizi; code; Colloquial Arabic; Egypt; Linguistic Landscape; political protest; semiotics; sign
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