Volume 13, Issue 4 (2022)                   LRR 2022, 13(4): 531-568 | Back to browse issues page

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Shariatpanah S, Zandi B, Pourebrahim S, Beyraghdar R. Graffiti in the Linguistic Landscape of Kermanshah. LRR 2022; 13 (4) :531-568
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-50200-en.html
1- PhD Candidate in linguistics, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran
2- Professor of Linguistic, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran , zandi@pnu.ac.ir
3- Associate Professor of Linguistic, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran
4- Assistant Professor of Linguistic, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (744 Views)
Linguistic landscape is considered as one of the new branches in sociolinguistics which deals with linguistic signs in written forms used in public places. Based on this definition, all road signs, advertisement billboards, street names, place names, shops advertisement signs, graffiti and etc. constitute the linguistic landscape of a particular area. This study tries to investigate and decode graffiti in the framework of linguistic landscape. Since the multilingualism phenomenon is so important in the framework of linguistic landscape, the researchers in this study aim at the investigation of multilingualism representation in the graffiti in Kermanshah. Graffiti is the expression of the interests, feelings and thoughts of people. The present study is a descriptive one done by a documentary method. The number of 2008 graffiti in Kermanshah was analyzed. Among 2008 graffiti, 95.1 percent belong to Farsi language, 3.08 percent are in Arabic, 1.5 percent are in English, and there is no graffiti in Kurdish .The results indicate that the graffiti in Kermanshah is mostly derived from informal culture engraved on walls by ordinary people. Among Persian, English and Arabic, three writing systems, Persian was mostly used to indicate values in a formal context and was also used to indicate advertisements in informal context.. The top rate in English graffiti was about names while Arabic graffiti was ideological-religious.
Sociolinguistics as a branch of linguistics examines the relationship between language and society. Since the purpose of the present research is to investigate linguistic signs in the social environment, this research fits into the framework of sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics has always been the focus of other branches of science such as anthropology and dialectology. The analysis and investigation of linguistic signs has attracted not only linguists but also researchers from other fields such as semiotics, sociology, psychology, art and urban planning. Such an attitude towards the analysis and investigation of linguistic signs has led to the presence of a new research field in sociolinguistics studies entitled "linguistic perspective". A language is a region. Linguistic landscape is the study of the language displayed in certain spaces and it deals with the analysis of advertising boards, billboards, signs and graffiti, etc. Research in this field includes various aspects such as social, economic and ideological issues. One of the basic concepts in the concept of linguistic framework is multilingualism, and many researchers have investigated the phenomenon of multilingualism in multilingual cities. Multilingualism is very important in drawing the linguistic landscape of multilingual cities. The researchers of this research have chosen the city of Kermanshah for their research and had a component-oriented approach to collect data, so that they have examined a small part of linguistic signs in the social context, i.e. wall writings. This research seeks to investigate wall graffiti in the framework of the concept of linguistic landscape and to investigate the representation of multilingualism in the wall writings of the city. The purpose of this research is to analyze and examine the graffiti of Kermanshah city in the linguistic landscape of Kermanshah city, which hopefully will lead to the scientific development of urban sociolinguistic studies.
The questions that this research seeks to answer are:
What is the frequency of verbal and visual graffiti in the city of Kermanshah?
What is the frequency of graffiti taken from official and informal discourse?
What is the frequency of Persian, Arabic and English graffiti in the city of Kermanshah?
What are the social themes of the graffiti in terms of the three languages ​​Persian, Arabic and English?
What does the comparison of official and popular graffiti show?
The upcoming research has been done using the content analysis method and we have benefited from the field methodology in this way. The city of Kermanshah has been chosen as the geographical scope of this research. The time frame of this research is 2018 and 2019. The number of 2008 graffiti of Kermanshah city, which were collected through photography. The selection of wall writings was not selective and all photographed wall writings were analyzed. The data were a range of different murals with different purposes and themes in the form of language writings (meaningful and meaningless) and pictures. The graffiti were placed in a folder. Wall writings that were not clear and clear, or part of them were crossed out or duplicated, were all removed from the said folder. After that, they were coded separately. In order to adjust the data, criteria were considered according to the goals and questions of the research and the data were categorized based on these criteria.
At first, all graffiti were categorized in terms of being linguistic or pictorial (graffiti) or a combination of writing and image. Wall writings that were only images were excluded from the present study.
In another classification of data, the wall writings of the city were divided into two categories derived from official discourse and informal discourse. Wall writings related to official discourse are written on the walls in a systematic and purposeful manner, in a neat appearance and in accordance with the goals and values ​​of the government system and related to government organizations, and wall writings related to informal discourse are also written on the walls. They have been painted on the walls by the mass of people with different purposes such as wall advertisements.
According to the language used in them, the graffiti were categorized into Persian, Arabic and English.
At the end, the wall writings were examined in terms of content and categorized into different topics in order to provide a suitable platform for examining the topic and content of the wall writings. In the content division of graffiti, different social and personal issues were seen. Social issues included economic, political, educational, information-warning and ideological-religious advertisements, and individual issues included wall graffiti related to names, taboos, and expression of feelings. Also, the content of wall writings taken from official discourse and informal discourse were also analyzed. Examining the content of Persian, Arabic and English wall inscriptions is also one of the other things investigated in this article. With the general review of the results obtained from the analysis of the grafitti and the examination of the representation of multilingualism in the graffiti of the city of Kermanshah as the main goal of this research, it can be concluded that despite the use of the Kurdish language by the people in their daily conversations, the Persian language, The dominant language is the graffiti, and the Kurdish language has no share in the city's graffiti, and this is despite the fact that in addition to Persian, Arabic and English graffiti can also be seen in the city. The thematic comparison of graffiti in three languages ​​shows the importance of Persian language as the national and official language of the country by the people to convey messages in the form of advertising and information themes and Arabic language by official institutions to promote religious beliefs and values ​​in the form of themes. They are used ideologically. On the other hand, the English language is the only vehicle for expressing the feelings of young people in the form of the theme of the name of a specific audience and romantic words and sentences. Based on this, we can confirm Spalski's (2008) opinion regarding the different use of languages ​​and suggest that in future researches, the relationship between the written language behavior of citizens, whether in the physical space of cities or virtual space, with the linguistic phenomenon Social bilingualism should also be considered. In addition, graffiti includes linguistic symbols that are worth investigating. Studying and deciphering wall writings is necessary to solve society's problems, to know people's desires, motivation and desires. Investigating wall writings is also important in government macro-planning in social and cultural issues. Studying wall writings is a very reliable way to get to know people's political, cultural, social, economic, and religious desires and wishes.

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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Sociology of language
Published: 2022/12/1

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