Title

Linguistic Landscape in Colombia: The Case of Commercial Ads in Spanish

Subject Area

Hispanic Linguistics

Abstract

Language is all around us in textual form and it is displayed in shop windows, and on commercial signs, traffic signs, etc. Most of the time people do not pay attention to the ‘linguistic landscape’ that surrounds them. However, in the past decade or so, linguists and other social scientists have turned their attention to visible linguistic phenomena in public spaces. The object of these studies can be identified as the linguistic landscape.

Linguistic landscape is ‘the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs in a given territory, region, or urban agglomeration’ (Landry & Bourhis 1997:25). The linguistic landscape of a particular territory can serve two functions: informational (communicative) and symbolic.

Colombian advertisers use various appeals to convey certain messages, create an image that the target audience can identify with, and build a relationship with the desired consumers. In order to achieve those purposes, advertisers seem to rely on the utilization of creative, linguistic, ironic, humoristic, comparative, mocking, and cultural devices in their ads. The purpose of this presentation is to show and analyze the use of Spanish and visual and narrative techniques on commercial and public signs in Colombia, a Spanish-speaking country. The presentation will also discuss the use of pop culture and social media images and references, as well as the proliferation of copycats or quasi clones in the different signs.

Brief Bio Note

Francia Martínez is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Foreign Language Methods in the Department of Culture, Language, and Communication at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her research interests include general linguistic studies of the Spanish and English used in Colombian mass media and sociolinguistics (Hispanics in Detroit). She has published research in journals such as World Englishes, The Southern Journal of Linguistics, and Revista de filología y lingüística de la Universidad de Costa Rica.

Keywords

Linguistic Landscape, Language of advertising, Colombian Advertising

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-8-2016 11:10 AM

End Date

4-8-2016 11:30 AM

Embargo

11-5-2015

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Apr 8th, 11:10 AM Apr 8th, 11:30 AM

Linguistic Landscape in Colombia: The Case of Commercial Ads in Spanish

Coastal Georgia Center

Language is all around us in textual form and it is displayed in shop windows, and on commercial signs, traffic signs, etc. Most of the time people do not pay attention to the ‘linguistic landscape’ that surrounds them. However, in the past decade or so, linguists and other social scientists have turned their attention to visible linguistic phenomena in public spaces. The object of these studies can be identified as the linguistic landscape.

Linguistic landscape is ‘the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs in a given territory, region, or urban agglomeration’ (Landry & Bourhis 1997:25). The linguistic landscape of a particular territory can serve two functions: informational (communicative) and symbolic.

Colombian advertisers use various appeals to convey certain messages, create an image that the target audience can identify with, and build a relationship with the desired consumers. In order to achieve those purposes, advertisers seem to rely on the utilization of creative, linguistic, ironic, humoristic, comparative, mocking, and cultural devices in their ads. The purpose of this presentation is to show and analyze the use of Spanish and visual and narrative techniques on commercial and public signs in Colombia, a Spanish-speaking country. The presentation will also discuss the use of pop culture and social media images and references, as well as the proliferation of copycats or quasi clones in the different signs.