Degrees of authenticity: Emulation, hybridity, and place-making in Vietnamese landscapes

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This paper presents a taxonomy of indexicalities attached to Linguistic Landscapes in the city of Manchester, UK, which utilise Vietnamese writing and imagery. The taxonomy contrasts the employment of Vietnamese as a foreign language by a British restaurant chain, as a heritage language by second-generation Vietnamese businesses, and as a first language by first-generation businesses. Through the incorporation of scale analysis, the paper aims to show that while all three types of landscapes index Vietnamese authenticity on the surface level of indexicality, on a higher level, a distinction can be drawn between place-making, identity work, and purely commercial indexicalities. That distinction is argued not to be identifiable in the visual resources of the landscapes themselves, but rather in the shared knowledge drawn on in their interpretation. The paper hopes to further contribute to the theoretical diversity of Linguistic Landscape by demonstrating the compatibility and benefits of scale analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-113
Number of pages29
JournalLinguistic Landscape
Issue number1
Early online date20 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022


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