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Title:From street to screen: Linguistic productions of place in San Francisco's Mission District
Author(s):Lyons, Kate
Director of Research:Bhatt, Rakesh M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bhatt, Rakesh M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Girju, Roxana; Kallen, Jeffrey; Roy, Joseph; Sadler, Randall
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Linguistic Landscapes
Interdisciplinary Methods
San Francisco
Abstract:Sociolinguistic research has predominately relied on spoken language to understand how social structures influence and are influenced by communication and interaction. This dissertation, however, turns to the increasingly prevalent and understudied realm of written or displayed language. Focusing on texts on display in public places, I investigate the different ways individuals use linguistic and semiotic resources to create, engage and regiment these interactive spaces. Uniting theory and methods from anthropology, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics and corpus linguistics, I explore what language does in these open and expanding interactive environments to gain insight on the reciprocal dynamics of individuals, socio-ideological structures and meaning. I examine the language of public displays in the Mission District neighborhood in San Francisco, drawing chiefly from the linguistic landscape -- networks of signs and inscriptions -- and the digital, 'filtered' landscape -- networks of recontextualized images of place on Instagram to look at how linguistic and semiotic choices shape the meaning of place. To characterize the mechanisms by which place is produced in Mission displays, I engage both qualitative assessments of individual instances and quantitative analyses of larger sign and post corpora to identify salient patterns in how people enact the Mission in different ways on various scales. In so doing I show that the landscape is not a static indicator but an integral tool by which people shape their environment, demonstrating that what the Mission 'means' as a neighborhood at any given time or place is a continuous and often incongruous negotiation between various people, establishments and institutions.
Issue Date:2018-04-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Kate Lyons
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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