Multilingual Repertoire Management and Illocutionary Functions in Yiddish Signage in Manchester

Abstract

Drawing on a corpus of annotated images that capture the linguistic landscape of a residential neighbourhood in Greater Manchester (UK) with a large Hasidic-Haredi (so-called ‘ultra-Orthodox’) Jewish population, we show how choices within a multilingual repertoire are both indicative and constitutive of different communicative acts and illocutions. Written Yiddish is embedded into an established tradition of literacy where creativity is accompanied by authoritative citations from Hebrew scripture. We discuss the use of Yiddish in affective, appellative, mobilising, regulatory and prohibitive actions. Semi-public use of written Yiddish is directed at participants who share a repertoire of closely intertwined social, religious and linguistic practices. Unlike many other lesser-used languages, the use of Yiddish in Haredi communities is not restricted to indexical identity flagging or commodification purposes. We show how in this multilingual setting, the indexical ordering of languages on written artefacts does not represent a hierarchy of absolute valorisation but rather a complementarity of functions that draws on simultaneous activation of several repertoire components.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.07.005
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
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Additional Information: ©2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Linguistic Lanscapes,Yiddish,Hebrew,Regulatory Discourse,Multilingual Literacy,Arts and Humanities(all)
Publication ISSN: 0378-2166
Full Text Link: https://www.res ... df5cc1cc9).html
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 59a5f9aeaa92ffb (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-10-01
Published Online Date: 2018-08-01
Accepted Date: 2018-06-26
Authors: Reershemius, Gertrud K (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0906-6199)
Matras, Yaron
Gaiser, Leonie

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