A semiotic interpretation of linguistic landscape

2022-05-08 0 By

Language landscape is composed of language symbols and/or non-language symbols. The writing of language symbols is embodied in words, and non-language symbols include graphics, images, ICONS, colors, lights, carriers, etc.The symbols of linguistic landscape are divided into core symbols and edge symbols.The textual meaning of linguistic landscape is constructed by single or combined core and marginal elements.The core elements of linguistic landscape include text (language), graph, image, graphic, color, etc., mainly to construct the text meaning of landscape.Characters are the symbols that record language, and linguistic symbols are the most commonly used symbols in linguistic landscape. They occupy a special position in numerous symbol categories. Their main characteristics are “semantic penetration”, which can directly understand the meaning conveyed by them, while other symbols can only be understood by translating into linguistic symbols.Language symbols in language landscape, namely codes, can be monolingual, bilingual or even multilingual.Multilingualism is an important feature of the linguistic landscape in the world today. The linguistic landscape of an administrative region varies in terms of its code combination type, code ordering, font size and information presentation, which are determined by the setter of the linguistic landscape, the intended audience and the value of symbols.The first two factors depend on objective facts, while the third reflects the political and social psychological background of the linguistic landscape, reflects the language policy, ideology and values of a country or region, and reflects the status and power of different languages as well as the social reality of language use.Hu Zhuanglin believes that language is a kind of social symbol and meaning potential, and other symbols besides language, such as image, sound, color and space, are also the source of meaning.In addition to language, the representation of linguistic landscape meaning also includes graphic, image, graphic, color and other symbolic forms, which jointly construct complete meaning in communication.There are three forms of embodiments in signs: only figures, images and illustrations, sometimes accompanied by text alone.When combined with words, it has the following meanings: ideographic alone (expressing different meanings with words respectively), ideographic in collaboration with words (supplementary function), same meaning with words (meaning is anchored), irrelevant with words (decorative function), etc.To represent or illustrate something by means of a graph, picture or diagram is often intuitive and easy to understand.However, in order to make graphics, images and diagrams understandable to people, it is necessary to achieve the “signified” through the social agreement and produce symbolic meaning under the social agreement.Because symbols are eye-catching, concise, and clearly visible from a distance, oral and written instructions are gradually replaced by simple and intuitive symbols.In the mixed symbol structure of linguistic landscape, color is also an important element in the text meaning of linguistic landscape.Color, as a special visual element, is attached to objects but has independent visual attributes. It forms signs with specific carriers to form “signifiers” and points to “signified” under social conventions.Different colors have different symbolic meanings. Various colors in the linguistic landscape participate in the construction of text meaning through different meanings generated by single use or combined use.The edge components of linguistic landscape include font, glyph, carrier, layout, lighting, time and space.Only font glyphs, carriers and spatial layouts are discussed here.Font refers to the external form characteristics of the text, is the coat of the text.The artistry of typeface is reflected in its perfect external form and rich connotation.The rules of writing in the linguistic landscape depend on the language culture and the different pragmatic intentions of communicators.For the linguistic components of language landscape, the expressive and ideographic functions of fonts may be embodied by auxiliary graphic elements: hypergraphic and local graphic.Hypergraphics include font change, font replacement and font size;Local graphics are changes in the composition of text planes.The linguistic landscape constructs the special meaning of the text through the change of font.For example, pictograms enter a word and replace a letter as a symbol of the word or text.Language of landscape is attached to a certain entity symbol aggregation of present in different ways, its physical performance for different material, material is visual and tactile feel about certain intrinsic material properties, can convey a variety of language landscape background information, such as the ancient material according to the ancient culture, modern materials show the modern culture, mottled walls revealed the long history.Different materials and textures give people different sensory feelings and associations.In the long-term development process of human culture, people gradually endowed it with different characters. For example, granite gives people a feeling of solid, heavy and rugged; bronze reminds people of history and classics; marble gives people a mild and delicate feeling.Therefore, materials carry certain meaning and participate in the construction of linguistic landscape text meaning.Space is the objective form of material existence, and the spatial configuration of linguistic landscape includes geographical regions and spatial arrangement of symbols.”Geographic region” refers to the location of linguistic landscape, which can be divided into macro and micro.Macroscopically, the current research on linguistic landscape focuses on cities.In fact, language landscape is not limited to cities, but can be divided into regional language landscape, rural language landscape, urban language landscape, urban language landscape and national (geographical concept) language landscape.Micro refers to the specific location of each language landscape.Generally concentrated in the city business center, transportation hub, leisure and entertainment places, tourist attractions, large population flow areas.Language of landscape spatial distribution by state and local government’s policies, the overall urban planning, national, population, politics, economy and so on many factors, because public Spaces belong to the government, is by the government’s order to culture construction of public space, such as the bilingual or even multi-lingual signs in the large and medium-sized cities in our country, mainly is the behavior of government departments,But do not exclude enterprises and individuals and other unofficial entities for economic interests driven by the signage.The spatial arrangement of symbols refers to the arrangement and combination of symbols on the carrier of linguistic landscape, including the size and location of characters, graphics, images and ICONS, etc.It also includes the shape, proportion and scale of the carrier of language landscape.The placement of these symbols is controlled by spatial logic. Different spatial positions determine the meaning of symbols. Characters, graphics, images, ICONS and other symbols have different meanings when they are located up, down, left, right, center or edge.According to Kace and Lewen, the symbols at the top of the sign are ideal, the symbols at the bottom realistic, the known commonsense information on the left, the new and controversial information on the right, and the information balance in the center, which has visual power, stabilizes the symbols around and around the edges.Just as Lefebvre’s ternary space theory points out: culture is invisible, and tangible space is the projection of invisible culture in the concept of time and space.Landscape makers give space what kind of character and characteristics, will present the corresponding appearance and spirituality.Therefore, the space carrying the linguistic landscape and the spatial arrangement of codes on the landscape both carry special meanings and enter the construction of textual meaning.The linguistic landscape is composed of characters, graphics, images and so on, individually or in combination with each other, with colors, sometimes with lights and other linguistic and non-linguistic signs.The linguistic landscape text composed of linguistic and non-linguistic symbols can be called mixed text or heterogeneous text.The fabric of the core elements of heterogeneous text mainly has the following three forms: language priority, image superiority, and language image equality.The edge elements of heterogeneous text play an auxiliary role and participate in the construction of text meaning together with the core elements. For example, the daily traffic sign is a color, image and text composed of multiple modal symbols, which together give this traffic sign a specific meaning.Character is the symbol of language sign, through recognition to understand the meaning of the text;The placement and ordering of codes, the size of fonts and the amount of information presented all embody certain meanings.Whether it is Pierce’s iconicity, indication or symbol, its meaning is intuitive and can be recognized at a glance.The selection, combination and application of color or its own certain meaning (such as the national and international characteristics of color) into the text, or given meaning after entering the text;Space, font, carrier, light and other symbols as long as they enter the text, it must have a certain meaning.The construction of textual meaning of linguistic landscape is coordinated by the convergence axis and the combination axis. The form of text presentation is combination, and the formation of combination is based on convergence, which in turn is premised on the overall meaning after combination.Aggregation is the way in which text is constructed. Once the text is constructed, it falls back behind the scenes.Composition is the projection of aggregation, the presentation of text.Aggregation is hidden and belongs to the deep structure;The combination is manifest and belongs to the surface structure.The construction of textual meaning of linguistic landscape is the unification of the surface structure and the deep structure of the text and the integration of the combined meaning and the hidden aggregate meaning.Therefore, any component element of linguistic landscape, no matter the core symbol or the edge symbol, is selected as the implicit part of the text and the explicit part of the text, forming an organic whole and constituting a complete linguistic landscape text together, which is the most perfect combination of linguistic landscape symbols.(Authors: Center for Translation Studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; Center for Russian Language, Literature and Culture, Heilongjiang University;School of Foreign Languages, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China