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Consuming English in rural China: lookalike language and the semiotics of aspiration

Wang, Xuan 2018. Consuming English in rural China: lookalike language and the semiotics of aspiration. In: Kroon, Sjaak and Swanenberg, Jos eds. Language and Culture on the Margins: Global/Local Interactions, Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism, New York and Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 202-229. (10.4324/9781351244350-12)

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This chapter outlines the ethnographic approach taken to language commodification space, more specifically, the approach of ethnographic linguistic landscaping with respect to English in local space. The English text contains a brief but odd-looking commercial slogan: 'warm winter, harm feet'. Based on the above understanding ‒ by placing English within its Chinese context in and for which it was created ‒ one begins to see the linguistic and cultural meanings and functions of its use. 'Balabala' draws attention to an intriguing process of 'enregisterment' of English that is highly specific to margins such as Enshi. The way 'Tedelon' is locally construed as English, however, goes beyond the visual-semiotic play with the materiality of quotidian language contained in commercial signage in the local market. The margin in the case is a nascent consumer market in a small town in rural China where English is beginning to emerge on public signage in local shopping streets.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Additional Information: Note: copyright year is 2019
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780815373025
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 09:24

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