EllViA logo English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria
[Englisch in der Wiener Sprachlandschaft]
»home Principal Investigator [Projektleiterin]: Mag. Dr. Barbara Soukup, MSc

Funding agency [Geldgeber]: Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project No. V 394-G 23

Funding period [Zeitraum]: 2014-2018

Project summary [Projektbeschreibung]:

The project EllViA investigates meaning-making through the choice of English on written public signs in the linguistic landscape (LL) of Vienna, Austria. Crucially, the project focuses on the hitherto under-researched perspective of sign-readers, theoretically modeling and empirically mapping the steps involved between encountering English use on a sign, and interactionally interpreting its message (e.g. signaling of ‘cosmopolitanism’ and ‘modernity’). This undertaking is grounded in a constructionist epistemology that holds that communicative messages emerge in an interactional-dialogic process of anticipation, interpretation, and negotiation between language ‘producers’ and ‘recipients’. Readers of public signage use language choice (variation) as an interpretative cue in this process, ‘contextualizing’ a text in terms of the social (symbolic) meanings indexed by the chosen language, and deriving messages accordingly. To address the steps involved in the perceptual and interpretative activities that LL sign-readers engage in, the project develops and applies a multidimensional research strategy by which the recipients’ essential role in LL-meaning making can effectively be captured. This strategy conjoins methods from variationist sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and the social psychology of language in what amounts to a highly interdisciplinary approach and toolbox. 

[Das Projekt EllViA befasst sich mit dem Entstehen von kommunikativer Bedeutung durch die Sprachwahl des Englischen auf öffentlichen Schildern in der Wiener ‚linguistic landscape’. Zentral ist dabei die bisher wenig erforschte Perspektive des ‚Publikums’: Die perzeptiven und interpretativen Schritte, die RezipientInnen zwischen der Begegnung mit Englisch auf einem Schild und der Realisierung einer Botschaft (z.B. Signalisierung von ‚Kosmopolitismus und ‚Modernität) setzen, werden theoretisch modelliert und empirisch analysiert. Das Unterfangen gründet sich in einer sozial-konstruktionistischen Epistemologie, die kommunikative Bedeutung als Emergenz eines Prozesses des interaktionell-dialogischen Verhandelns und Auf-Einander-Eingehens zwischen ‚SprachproduzentInnen und ‚SprachrezipientInnen betrachtet. LeserInnen von öffentlichen Schildern verwenden Sprachwahl (Sprachvariation) als ein interpretatives ‚Indiz in diesem Prozess; anhand dieses Indizes können sie einen Text mit der sozialen (symbolischen) Bedeutung, die mit der gewählten Sprache assoziiert ist, kontextualisieren und entsprechende ‚Messages erstellen. Das Projekt erschließt die Schritte, die in dieser Message-Erstellung durch LL-RezipientInnen impliziert sind, in einer ineinandergreifenden Serie von drei Forschungsmodulen, die sich in der Sprachlandschaft Wiens verankern und Methoden der Variationslinguistik, der Psycholinguistik und der Sozialpsychologie in einem somit interdisziplinären Ansatz integrieren.]

Project activities [bisherige Projektaktivitäten] - LINK
 



Additional project staff [Projektmitarbeiterinnen]:

Christina Schuster, BA MA (July-Sept 2015; Nov 2015-Jan 2016; March-June 2016)

Kathrin Dolmanitz, BA BA (Dec 2014 - Sept 2015)


Sophie van der Meulen, BA (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, April-June 2015)

Barbara SoukupKathrin DolmanitzChristina SchusterSophie van der MeulenELLViA team


Project-related publications and presentations [projektbezogene Veröffentlichungen]:
 
Publications

Soukup, Barbara. 2016. English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria (ELLViA): Outline, rationale, and methodology of a large-scale empirical project on language choice on public signs from the perspective of sign-readers. Views 25: 1-24.

Soukup, Barbara. 2014. Das Projekt "English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria" (ELLViA). verbal Newsletter 16(1):12-13.
 
Presentations

- Soukup, Barbara. 2016. Methodologien in der variationistischen Sprachlandschaftsforschung (Variationist Linguistic Landscape Study).  Invited presentation at the Department of Romance Studies, University of Vienna, May 2nd, 2016.

- Soukup, Barbara, and Christina Schuster. 2016. 'Transgressive' signs in the LL of Vienna, Austria. Paper presented at the 8th Linguistic Landscapes International Workshop (LL8), University of Liverpool, April 27-29, 2016.

- Amos, H. Will, and Barbara Soukup. 2016. 'Towards a canon of variables in quantitative LL research'. Paper presented at the 37th International LAUD Symposium "Linguistic landscapes and superdiversity in the city: Foundational questions, new directions and expanding methodologies", Landau/Pfalz, April 4-6, 2016.

Soukup, Barbara. 2016. Variationist LL research and the question of the survey area: a report from the project 'English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria' (ELLViA). Paper presented at the 37th International LAUD Symposium "Linguistic landscapes and superdiversity in the city: Foundational questions, new directions and expanding methodologies", Landau/Pfalz, April 4-6, 2016.

- Soukup, Barbara. 2015. 'English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria (ELLViA)': Outline, methods, status, and implications. Presentation, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), November 5, 2015.

Soukup, Barbara. 2015. English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria (ELLViA) – Presentation of the project, its rationale, and methods. Presentation and workshop, German Study Abroad Program of Emory University (USA), Vienna, July 14, 2015.

- Soukup, Barbara. 2015. English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria (ELLViA) - outline and rationale of a new project. Paper presented at Linguistic Landscape 7, University of California at Berkeley, May 7-9, 2015.

- Soukup, Barbara. 2014. Das Projekt English in the linguistic landscape of Vienna, Austria (EllViA). Poster presented at the 41st Österreichische Linguistiktagung (ÖLT), Vienna University of Economics and Business, December 6-8, 2014.

- Soukup, Barbara. 2014. How Speaker Design shapes linguistic landscapes: A Viennese case study. Paper presented at the Sociolinguistics Symposium 20, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 15-18, 2014.

- Soukup, Barbara. 2013. Investigating Austrians' differentiation of 'English' vs. 'German' via speech perception elicitation. Paper presented at the conference 'Language and Super-diversity: Explorations and interrogations', University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 5-7, 2013.

 
Science-to-public

- "Auch der Mistkübel 'spricht' Englisch". uni:view (research newsletter of the University of Vienna), March 16, 2016.

- "Anglizismen: WTF?" - Blog entry by Stefan Schallert on 'Schrödingers Katze', July 11, 2016

 
Inofficial project title song:
L'Via L'Viaquez by The Mars Volta