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Abstract

Abstract

Traditional linguistic landscape research focuses on the diversity, vitality, and structure of languages in public spaces. However, this study takes a critical lens and examines how certain multilingual signage reflects the normalised, harmful ideologies which target minorities in Japan. The study reveals examples of punitive multilingualism, highlighting the information disparities between languages in public signage found in Aichi, Hokkaido, and on the Internet. The paper discusses instances of discriminatory public signage, including online advertisements, based on the premise that foreigners are unruly, and official government signage that appears to target foreigners. The study also delves into problematic instructions posted in public restrooms, showing how the presentation of language(s) can reinforce stereotypes and implicit bias. Through a critical analysis of multilingual signage, this study reveals the challenges and consequences of punitive multilingualism in the context of Japanese sociolinguistics.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ll.23076.spe
2024-07-02
2024-07-23
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