Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3215
Title: Linguistic landscaping in selected South African universities : case studies of University of Cape Town (UCT) and University of the Western Cape (UWC)
Authors: Adekunle, Temitope Oluwakemi 
Keywords: Linguistic landscaping;Mode;Case study;University of Cape Town;University of the Westerern Cape;Interpretive Paradigm;Multimodality;Critical Discourse Analysis;South Africa;Language Practice;Intertextuality;Resemiotisation;Silent Discourses;Degenderisation;Diabled
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: "Language is, then, positively a distinctly human opening of an opening to the world: Not just a distinguishable or instrumental but a constitutive faculty." Williams (1977: 23)

The dissertation explored the linguistic landscaping (LL) of University of Cape Town (UCT) and University of the Western Cape (UWC). The study’s purpose was to analyse language forms or modes as they are utilised in disseminating information in the public places of the Main Campus (UWC) and the Upper Campus (UCT), since Kress (2012: 205) asserts that modes are interactive channels of communication.
The study was guided by five objectives (the usage of modes as forms of communication in the selected universities, the modes used to represent signs in the selected universities, the influence of cultural overtones on language use and choice, the historical and current significant semiotic symbols and signs used in the selected South African universities, and the depiction of power relations in the LL of the selected universities), which ultimately guided data collection and analysis. The interpretive paradigm was employed and it informed the researcher’s choice of Multimodality (MDA - Pienaar and Becker 2007) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA - Kress 2003b) as theoretical frameworks and methods of analysis. They enhanced the structuring, collection, analyses and interpretation of data (written, drawn, images, among others), while also providing several means of interpreting and detecting hidden patterns in modes. An in- depth qualitative study was conducted using an explorative case study design and data were collected by means of visual-photography. A digital camera and a phone camera were used to take photographs of signs/texts inside the campuses. A total of 400 data were initially, purposively collected, however, 200 were finally selected for analysis (100 from each university), as they were deemed suitable for the study’s scope, aim, objectives and questions. The research revealed the services, and schools of thought that exist on both campuses, which may also be true reflectors of ‘the norm’ at the universities. There were inconsistencies in the

linguistic structures, with regard to language practice and policy, as well as the observed political, social, and religious dynamics on the campuses. This raised curiosity regarding the effectiveness of language policy (the nation/institution), in relation to the language practices of the institutions. Furthermore, the researcher determined the influence of language as a door that opens other doors, due to the utilised modal resources.
Authors seem to deliberately select texts envisioned to attract a specific audience. A few texts were resemiotised, while others were modified ideas/concepts - adopted from foreign or different texts, and languages (intertextuality). The researcher additionally identified elements of discursive silence, which facilitated a broader analysis of some identified power dynamics, relevance of time and space, as well as their impact on the LLs of the universities. Degenderisation of the disabled was also one of the key findings and it was examined from the perspective of the services (for instance, toilet spaces) rendered, as opposed to the beneficiaries of those services.
Recommendations focused on the definitive promotion of genuine language practices in accordance with the language policy of the country and province in which both universities are located. Emphasis was placed on the reformation of language practice at the universities, which could impact the observed power dynamics, authorship autonomy, and unbiased and accurate historical/political information. This move can possibly promote inclusivity, racial integration, international recognition, and global marketing for the universities and South Africa (SA) as a whole.
The findings provide enlightenment about the current LLs at the universities and contribute to knowledge on language practice in multicultural/ multilingual settings. A framework for LL was created based on the study’s findings, which could be relevant to the South African multicultural and multilingual context. It accentuates the need for a conscious production of texts (to accommodate a broad readership) and an adequate examination of modes (to determine both the existing and hidden elements of discourse and/or discursive practices) in the LLs of SA’s public and private establishments.
Description: Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Language Practice, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2019.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3215
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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