The linguistic landscapes of Girona and Perpignan: A contrastive study of the display of the Catalan language in top-down signage
The linguistic landscape constitutes an ideal area of focus for the analysis of national and local language policies and their application, as well as the consideration of public institutions’ role in language revitalization and promotion. As such, this study contrasts fixed and mobile public signage in the towns of Girona in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and Perpignan in Northern Catalonia. The study seeks to establish and contrast the implication of national and local public institutions and entities in the use of the Catalan language by examining their degrees of contribution, as well as the ways in which they elect to represent the language, through their input in top-down signage. The analysis of Girona’s public signage highlights the significant and successful role of Catalonia’s linguistic laws in the promotion of Catalan. In Perpignan, although French is preponderant in top-down signage, regional and municipal authorities have introduced measures that promote the use of Catalan in bilingual and multilingual signage. The results are interpreted, using metalinguistic remarks and insights by members of public institutions.