10th Linguistic Landscape Workshop

02-04 May 2018
University of Bern, Switzerland

The Linguistic Landscape Workshop is well established as the world’s premier gathering of scholars investigating the intersection of language, communication and space/place. (This scientific field is also sometimes known by the labels “semiotic landscapes” and/or “geosemiotics”.) Researchers come from a wide range of language-related disciplines; most notably, applied linguistics, multilingualism studies, sociolinguistics, discourse studies, and linguistic anthropology. In all this work, scholars recognize how linguistic and communicative practice can only be properly understood in the context of its emplacement. By the same token, we recognize how the physical location and public visibility of different ways of speaking/communicating have deep social, political implications. The nine previous gatherings of the Linguistic Landscape Workshop were in Tel Aviv, Siena, Strasbourg, Addis Ababa, Namur (Belgium), Cape Town, Berkeley, Liverpool and Luxembourg.

About the field

Initiated some twenty years ago in a now “classic” paper by Landry & Bourhis (1997), with some notable precursors, such as Spolsky & Cooper (1991), the field of linguistic landscape scholarship has grown rapidly and established itself as a core intellectual project within the broader disciplines of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, discourse studies and linguistic anthropology. One field-defining publication was Scollon & Wong Scollon’s (2003) Discourses in Place. Since then, the field has been marked by several major journal special issues, including those in the International Journal of Multilingualism (ed. Gorter, 2006), the International Journal of Bilingualism (ed. Moriarty, 2014), the International Journal of the Sociology of Language (ed. Zabrodskaja & Milani, 2014) and Social Semiotics (ed. Järlehed and Jaworski, 2015). There have also been some important edited collections which helped expand the field: Shohamy & Gorter (2009) and Jaworski & Thurlow (2010). Arguably the most clear marks of the field’s maturity and status was the initiation of the Linguistic Landscape Workshop (2008) and, most recently, the 2015 launch of the journal Linguistic Landscape, edited by Elana Shohamy and Robert Blackwood (with Eliezer Ben-Rafael as editor emeritus).

For further insight into the field, we recommend the impressive Linguistic Landscape Bibliography maintained by Durk Gorter and Robert Troyer.

Future workshops

The Linguistic Landscape Workshop had moved from location to location each year without a steering committee. The planning and organization of each gathering is entirely in the hands of the respective convenors and their host institutions, who are selected by workshop delegates at an open business meeting. If you would like to bid to host a future gathering please see the following guidelines draw up by the convenors of LL9 (Luxembourg) together with the X-SCAPES convenor: Bidding Guidelines (PDF).


Gorter, D. (2006). The study of the linguistic landscape as a new approach to multilingualism. Special issue of International Journal of Multilingualism, 3 (1).

Järlehed, J. & Jaworski, A. (eds.) (2015). Typographic landscaping: Creativity, ideology, movement. Special issue of Social Semiotics, 25/2.

Jaworski, A. & Thurlow, C. (eds). (2010). Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space. London: Continuum.

Landry, R. & Bourhis, R. Y. (1997). Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 16(1), 23–49.

Moriarty, M. (2014). Languages in motion: Multilingualism and mobility in the linguistic landscape. Special issue of International Journal of Bilingualism, 18(5).

Scollon, R. & Wong Scollon, S. (2003). Discourses in Place: Language in the Material World. London: Routledge.

Shohamy, E. & Gorter, D. (eds). (2009). Linguistic Landscape: Expanding the Scenery. New York and London: Routledge.

Shohamy, E. & Ben-Rafael, E. (eds). (2015). Linguistic Landscape – An International Journal. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Spolsky, B. & Cooper, R. L. (1991). The Languages of Jerusalem. New York: OUP.

Zabrodskaja, A. & Milani, T. (2014). Signs in context: Multilingual and multimodal texts in semiotic space. Special issue of International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 228.