The fluidity/fixity debate in sociolinguistics has reached a healthy balance, whereby both ‘perspectives’ are accepted as dialectic endpoints of linguistic variation (Jaspers and Madsen, 2019). Li Wei (2018: 22) goes as far as to say that we have reached the era of post-multilingualism, by which he means a constant reassessment, breaking up, and adjustment of boundaries across languages, modalities, and ethnonational contact zones. In this vein, my own work (e.g. Jaworski, 2014, 2020) has explored the interplay of multilingualism, multimodality, and materiality in art and displayed language more generally. In this partly retrospective and partly forward-looking talk, I overview four genres of the ‘linguistic landscape’ of tourism: (1) intertextual names of souvenir stalls in west African tourist markets; (2) welcome signs in boundary or threshold locations of tourist destinations; (3) symbolic signposts situated in scenic or ‘remote’ places, indicating distances to/from a range of worldwide destinations; and (4) three-dimensional place names commonly found in city centres or travel hubs, such as airports. I conclude by suggesting that the indexicalities of my data examples cutting across the faultlines of locality and globality, egalitarianism and elitism, conviviality and conquest, to name a few, are place-making resources resting on the dynamics of their multilingualism, multimodality, materiality, and emplacement.
Jaspers, J and Madsen, L. M. (eds.). 2019. Critical Perspectives on Linguistic Fixity and Fluidity: Languagised Lives. New York: Routledge.
Jaworski, A. 2014. Metrolingual art: Multilingualism and heteroglossia. International Journal of Bilingualism 18/2: 134–158.
Jaworski, A. 2020. Multimodal writing: The avant-garde assemblage and other minimal texts. International Journal of Multilingualism 17/3: 336–360.
Li, W. 2018. Linguistic (super)diversity, post-multilingualism and translanguaging moments. In A. Creese and A. Blackledge (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. New York: Routledge 16–29.