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Challenging the “Public or Private” Dichotomy in Linguistic Landscape Studies

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DOI: 10.25236/icembe.2020.119


Li Yi

Corresponding Author

Li Yi


This paper is a preliminary study aiming to tackle the semiotic landscape issues peculiar to the ecolinguistic phenomena found in China’s southern city of Guangzhou. With new data emerged from the above-mentioned corpus, it is necessary to expand the theoretic framework on top of the conventional linguistic landscape (LL) methodology. On the one hand, this paper reviews previous studies that involved the unfamiliar “middle-ground” between the categories of public and private signage, which often posed questions to the “public or private” dichotomy that is usually and widely taken for granted in many semiotic landscape studies. On the other hand, this paper offers a longitudinal case study to discuss the possibility of opening up a new category of LL data to fill the gap, which might complement the conventional LL’s dichotomic scheme.


Semiotic landscape, Public or private dichotomy, China’s linguistic landscape, Guangzhou, Ecolinguistics