Hybridity and the linguistic landscape

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Demska, Orysia
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This article argues that a linguistic landscape can be considered a hybrid when many languages and scripts simultaneously work within it. Being heterogeneous, urban signage (shop signs, business signs, outdoor advertising etc.) is open to hybridization, particularly in moments of historical and geopolitical transformation and at the intersections of different cultures. Analyzing the linguistic landscape of Kiev’s Podil district, conscious, unconscious, explicit, and implicit hybridity are identified and examined. Linguistic hybridity, as an element of cultural hybridity, is closely related to everyday practices associated with work, food, clothes, hygiene, health, leisure, etc. Organic/unconscious and intentional/conscious forms of hybridization occur in linguistic creativity. The article shows that three languages (Ukrainian, Russian, and English), and two scripts (Latin and Cyrillic), participate in the hybridization process, and examples are cited. During the Soviet period, Russian was the dominant language in Ukraine and Kiev. The Soviet authorities reinforced Russian and weakened Ukrainian. The consequences of this colonial policy can be observed today, and one can see these results in the Ukrainian-Russian hybrid city-text. Since the restoration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, Ukraine has transformed from a post-colonial state to a European state, and has become part of a globalized world which uses English as a lingua franca. The effects of this transformation are visible in the linguistic landscape in the form of Ukrainian-Russian-English, Ukrainian-English, and Russian-English hybrid signs.
linguistic landscape, hybridity, Kiev Podil, city-text, languages, article
Demska O. Hybridity and the linguistic landscape [electronic resource] / Orysia Demska // Cognitive Studies. - 2019. - Vol. 2019, Issue 19. - Article number 2007.