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Multilingual voices of unification in ‘No man’s land’: evidence from the linguistic landscape of Nicosia’s UN-controlled buffer zone

Themistocleous, C. (2020) Multilingual voices of unification in ‘No man’s land’: evidence from the linguistic landscape of Nicosia’s UN-controlled buffer zone. Linguistic Landscape, 6 (2). pp. 155-182. ISSN 2214-9961

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1075/ll.19030.the

Abstract/Summary

The island of Cyprus and Nicosia, its capital, have been divided by a UN-controlled buffer zone since the 1974 war. The ease of movement restrictions in 2003 saw Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots crossing into each other’s area after 30 years of complete separation and increased mobility, especially through the UN-controlled buffer zone at the Ledras street crossing-point in Nicosia, interjected a new dynamic in the area. The analysis of photographic data collected over a period of three years from the Linguistic Landscape of the buffer zone reveals that ephemeral signs in Greek, Turkish and English are used to establish connections and strengthen social ties between the former enemies and project ideologies that go against popular nationalist narratives. By adopting new conceptualisations of the term ‘community’ (Blokland, 2017), this study discusses how a new, imagined community can emerge in conflict-ridden contexts through the display of written public signs in the Linguistic Landscape.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:89469
Publisher:John Benjamins

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