Multicultural identity in the context of urban landscape

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The purpose of the article is to identify and describe the structure of urban signs containing code switching, foreign language or pseudo-foreign language information. This topic seems to be relevant, since modern cities with a Russian-speaking population are flooded with inscriptions that mislead about foreign cultural realities and are executed with grammatical and lexical errors. In the course of the study, the names of catering establishments, beauty salons, car service enterprises and law firms, fixed on the signboards of the respective organizations and presented for public viewing were analyzed. The specificity of the designations of service enterprises of various kinds and its compliance/nonconformity with the mission of the organization has been established. Analyzing the signboards as a verbal fragment of the urban landscape, the author of the article comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to introduce a new term - pseudo-multicultural identity. The phenomenon of pseudo-multicultural identity characterizes the communicative space of a large city and can be considered a destructive phenomenon formed in a pseudo-other-cultural environment, where the authors of foreign names neglect both the structure and the meaning of the proposed designations, and the target audience forms inadequate language stereotypes.

About the authors

Tat’yana V Poplavskaia

Minsk State Linguistic University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Speech and Communication Theory, Minsk State Linguistic University, member of the Higher Certification Commission of the Republic of Belarus, head of the research group “Language situation in Belarus: intercultural aspect” (Minsk, Republic of Belarus). Research interests: communication space, communication strategies, organizational communication, intercultural communication

21 Zaharova St., Minsk, 220034, Republic of Belarus


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