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Conflict and unification in the multilingual landscape of a divided city: the case of Nicosia's border

Themistocleous, C. ORCID: (2019) Conflict and unification in the multilingual landscape of a divided city: the case of Nicosia's border. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40 (2). pp. 94-114. ISSN 1747-7557

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2018.1467425


The Republic of Cyprus is a country characterised by long-term conflict which resulted in the geopolitical division of the island. Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots have lived in separation for more than 30 years until the border re-opened in 2003, allowing people to cross and visit ‘the other side’. One of the crossing points is located in the heart of the commercial area in Nicosia, the capital. This study explores the visibility of the two official languages, namely Greek and Turkish, and also English in the multilingual public space near the border. Unlike previous quantitative Linguistic Landscape investigations, this study is using a qualitative Semiotic Landscape approach (Scollon & Scollon, 2003; Jaworski and Thurlow, 2010) to understand how the public space that divides the two communities interacts with written discourse, visual modalities, spatial arrangements and dimensions of history and culture to create meaning and project ideologies, identities and power relations. The findings show that traditional discourses of separation and conflict are dominant in the public space but at the same time new discourses of unification, peace and integration slowly begin to surface.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:76660
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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