Linguistic Landscapes as Public Communication: A Study of Public Signage in Gaborone Botswana

Dele Olufemi Akindele


The study of public signage is termed linguistic landscape (LL). Landry & Bourhis (1997) define the notion as “the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings combines to form the linguistic landscape of a given territory, region, or urban agglomeration” (p.25). The present study intends to contribute to this development in Gaborone the capital city of Botswana. The aim of this study is to show that LL can provide valuable insight into the linguistic situation of Gaborone Botswana, including common patterns of language usage, official language policies, prevalent language attitudes, and the long-term consequences of language contact, among others. This was be done by analyzing the data collected from specific public domains such as street signs, advertising signs, building names, warning notices and prohibitions, billboards, shop signs, informative signs (directions, hours of opening), etc. in Gaborone.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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