Scott/ October 24, 2018/ Reflective Essay #2/ 3 comments

The sign that I decided upon for my linguistic landscape is located on 90th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens on the window of a small convenience store (also commonly known as a bodega). The languages that are utilized are English and Spanish in equal amounts which makes it a multilingual landscape. The window poster itself is a three panel spread. However, only the left panel is used for text as the other two are used to showcase appetizers and other delicacies. The only illustration that is shown within the left panel is a pair of hands holding American money as if counting it and the New York Lottery logo. The size of the letters are average in comparison to the panel and not too overbearing. There are also no special fonts being used as it resembles plain text. It is an authorized polyphonic sign that is complementary mixed to where the words themselves are stacked upon each other as if forming a column that includes nine statements. Most of the text is in the color white except for, starting from the top, the first statement (green), third (yellow), seventh (green), and ninth (light blue). The layering is somewhat linguistic and has a bottom-up directedness.

The landscape, judging from the lottery logo and delicacies, is an open invitation to others to not only take part in those activities, but that those activities are available within the establishment as well. And, perhaps, to get more customers by assuming their interests. This can also be directed to the stratification and demographics of the borderline low to middle class as the lottery and image of money can be used to entice customers for more, while the delicacies urge that they can also afford to spend more as well. Because the landscape is complementary, it informs that the majority of the community and neighborhood is bilingual mostly capable of speaking both Spanish and English. The landscape also seems to be tailored towards adults as there is no present advertising of childhood attractions such as toys, games, candy, and…balloons.

Even though the linguistic landscape is a combination of both Spanish and English, the community itself offers a bit more than that. Within the neighborhood there are also Asians, Arabs, and other races that reside in the area alongside Spanish and English speakers that speak and communicate in other languages. Although, with the exception of Chinese restaurants, there are not many other stores or locations that have a hybrid of English with Asian, Arab and other languages. In addition, the amount of Spanish and English landscape stores are actually scarce throughout the neighborhood. However, the chances of the personnel inside being able to communicate in those languages are and can be pretty high.

Q1: Does this essay seem fluid and connected? If not, how can I arrange it as so?

Q2: Is there anything that you feel lacks clarity or needs more emphasis/input?

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3 Comments

  1. This essay is fluid and explains a lot about the landscape. It also connects a lot back to the neighborhood and how it shows what languages they speak in that neighborhood..

  2. I think your essay was fluid and it was arranged well. You were very descriptive on your linguistic landscape and it gave me a good visual. You also provided a good insight on the general area that the bodega is located. Overall, I think it was a very good essay.

  3. Scott, great job in your draft! I agree with Alisia and Xavier – I think that you have described very well your sign. Your introduction is very detailed and informative. Your sign is really rich and I will suggest to delve more critically into the use of English and Spanish and thin about the target audience (regarding the multiple layers of meanings connected to the sign).

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