School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: W/S-070 Semester: 6th
Course Title: Linguistic Landscape
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 6
Course type: Special background (undergraduate seminar)
Prerequisite courses: Introduction to Linguistics, reading aptitude in English
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Νο
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: 

    This course aims at a holistic approach to linguistic landscapes to date –a time when research is redefined and ploughs ahead towards new –often experimental– directions. The main goal of the of the course is a) to familiarize social sciences students with the study of LL as a field with linguistically and anthropological relevance and b) to show the importance of indexicality (which originates in philosophy but has systematically preoccupied linguistic and anthropological research) in this field. The knowledge provided furthers an understanding of language as a complex phenomenon with a cognitive and social basis, while the relevant skills enable students to analyze aspects of speech production in public space in a coherent and systematic fashion. The ultimate goal of the course is to prepare social sciences students who understand how social phenomena are anchored on language, as a practice which is constitutive of social reality.

    General Competences: 

    • Understanding the strategic use of written language in public space
    • Free, creative, and inductive thought
    • Individual work
    • Team-work

    (3) SYLLABUS

    In this course, students are introduced to linguistic landscape (LL) research, the branch on sociopragmatics dealing with the study of (written) language in public space. Although LL research has been historically connected to the study of bi- and multi-lingualism in specific communities, with special focus on linguistic diversity and ethnolinguistic vitality, there has recently been a decisive turn to more experimental approaches focusing on the symbolic significance of written messages in relation to wider discourses produced and reproduced within a community and which have to do with local hierarchies. This “second wave” in LL research studies the dynamic semiotic landscape, habitually entailing ethnographic linguistic landscape research, which is informed by the notion of superdiversity (considered to describe more aptly the degree of attested variation in language). Moreover, research is currently geared towards the study of semiotic landscapes through the narratives of bodily lived experience of LL agents and the role of performativity of the body in the process of resignifying space. In contrast to “first wave” LL research, which was branded by quantitative methods (characteristic of traditional sociology of language), “second wave” LL research begins from superdiversity as an attested fact and presupposes an ethnographic approach to discourse produced in public space.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of educational materials available online through the eclass platform
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 35
    Oral presentation 30
    Quizzes 10
    Field walks 10
    Midterm 20
    Final 20
    Course total: 125
    Student performance evaluation: Language of evaluation: Greek
    Method of evaluation: Oral presentation, quizzes, Midterm, written final exam featuring essay questions or/and final paper.


    Suggested bibliography:

    • Shohamy, E. & Gorter, D. (ed.). 2009. Linguistic Landscape: Expanding the Scenery. New York & London.
    • Shohamy, E., Ben-Rafael, E. & Barni, M. (eds.). 2010. Linguistic Landscape in the City. Multilingual Matters.
    • Blommaert, J. 2013. Ethnography, Superdiversity and Linguistic Landscapes: Chronicles of Complexity. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    • Barni, M. & Bagna, C. 2015. “The critical turn in LL: New methodologies and new items in LL.” Linguistic Landscape 1(1-2), 6-18.
    • Blommaert, J. 2016. “The conservative turn in linguistic landscape studies.”
    • Blommaert, J. & De Fina, Α. 2015. “Chronotopic identities: On the timespace organization of who we are. Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies 153.
    • Blommaert, J. & Maly, I. 2014. “Ethnographic linguistic landscape analysis and social change: A case study.” Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies 100.
    • Jaworski, A. & Thurlow, C. 2010. “Introducing semiotic landscapes.” In A. Jaworski & C. Thurlow (eds.), Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space. London & New York, Continuum, 1-40.
    • Pennycook, A. 2009. “Linguistic landscapes and the transgressive semiotics of graffiti.” In E. Shohamy & D. Gorter (eds.), Linguistic Landscape: Expanding the Scenery, 302-312. New York: Routledge.
    • Pennycook, A. 2010. “Spatial narrations: Graffscapes and city souls.” In A. Jaworski & C. Thurlow (eds.), Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space, 137-150. London: Continuum.