Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language, Education and Innovation 2016

Top-Down and Bottom-Up Linguistic Layering in The Linguistic Landscape: The Case of Jordan

Omar Ibrahim Salameh Alomoush

Tafila Technical University, Jordan


The current study focuses on the functions of linguistic layering on both official and nonofficial signs in Jordanian cities. In this study, we argue that the visibility of different languages in linguistic layering is indicative of conflicting top-down and bottom-up language policies in the linguistic landscape (henceforth LL). By means of quantitative and qualitative methods, the study aims to uncover the extent to which linguistic diversity is reflected in linguistic layering. The quantitative data were collected in six Jordanian cities in November and December 2012. Sixteen research participants viewed the signs and expressed their attitudes and perceptions of the languages used and the differences between the old and new editions of signs. The findings suggest that both Modern Standard Arabic and English in Jordan have communicative and symbolic value in top-down linguistic layering. In addition to Modern Standard Arabic and English, a wide range of languages are used for commercial value on bottom-up signs.


top-down and bottom-up linguistic landscaping, linguistic layering, multilingual writing

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