[Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (2024)

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[Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (1)


    • Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan

    • Author(s):Keolakawai K.G. Spencer[Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (2)
    • Source:Linguistic Landscape
      Available online:02 July 2024
    • DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/ll.23076.spe
      • Received:20 Oct 2023
      • Accepted:25 Apr 2024
      • Version of Record published :02 Jul 2024



    Traditional linguistic landscape research focuses on the diversity, vitality, and structure of languages in publicspaces. However, this study takes a critical lens and examines how certain multilingual signage reflects the normalised, harmfulideologies which target minorities in Japan. The study reveals examples of punitive multilingualism, highlighting the informationdisparities between languages in public signage found in Aichi, Hokkaido, and on the Internet. The paper discusses instances ofdiscriminatory public signage, including online advertisem*nts, based on the premise that foreigners are unruly, and officialgovernment signage that appears to target foreigners. The study also delves into problematic instructions posted in publicrestrooms, showing how the presentation of language(s) can reinforce stereotypes and implicit bias. Through a critical analysis ofmultilingual signage, this study reveals the challenges and consequences of punitive multilingualism in the context of Japanesesociolinguistics.

    © John Benjamins Publishing Company

    [Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (3)

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    [Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (5)

    [Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans



    [Japanese] toilets are not garbage cans: Discriminatory multilingual signage in the Linguistic Landscape of Japan (6)

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    • Article Type:Research Article

    Keywords: 日本の社会言語学;情報の格差;Linguistic Landscape;Japanese sociolinguistics;information disparities;言語景観;懲罰的多言語主義;多言語看板;punitive multilingualism;multilingual signage

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