Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



Within the discipline of sociolinguistics is a new area of study referred to as linguistic landscapes. The publicly displayed words and images that compose a linguistic landscape are able to tell us about a specific environment’s demographics such as the languages spoken by its community members, the countries where the speakers have originated from, and how these immigrant groups identify themselves within wider English-speaking society. In a linguistic landscape where English is the dominant language, St. Paul, Minnesota’s University Avenue presents numerous languages representative of the local immigrant groups. A survey of the avenue’s linguistic landscape reveals public signs displayed in Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, African languages, Somali, Spanish, Cambodian, and Arabic. Commentary provided on these signs offers insight as to how local immigrant groups have navigated the relationship between language, culture, and identity.