Absence as Indexing Tool: Milingualism and Modernity in the Linguistic Landscape of Dalian

Fengzhi Zhao, Wenyu Liu


Recent studies have displayed the indexing value of certain language practices in linguistic landscape. The present study is intended to further explore the multilingual use of language in the linguistic landscape of Dalian and examine the way this indexing process operates in the era of globalization. Following discourse-analytic approach, the collected data, pictures of linguistic landscapes are analysed separately by the top-down regulatory & infrastructural discourse and bottom-up commercial discourse, during which the informational and symbolic value of bilingual signs are discussed in the sense of saying, doing and being. The result shows the absence of local language-Chinese and the informational function assigned to foreign scripts in public text; this absence as a narrative strategy contributes to the indexicality to modernity as well as the establishment of the socially situated identity as global and prestigious in reader’s perceived space and hence achieves rescaling.


Absence, Dalian, Linguistic landscape, Modernity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v3i10.559


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