Abstract: Recent studies on Linguistic Landscapes (LL) use the geographic linguistic architecture of 'place' – an under-examined notion of 'context' – to substantiate theoretical claims of bilingual language dynamics (cf. Landry & Bourhis 1997, Shahomy et al. 2010, Coupland 2012), enabling an analysis of public multilingualism that captures the relationship between visible, stationary examples of language and larger linguistic issues operating on sociocultural and socioeconomic levels. This study focuses on displays of multilingualism in six neighborhoods (2,416 signs total recorded in the summer of 2013) in South Delhi, India, to provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the sociolinguistic patterns of this public urban space.
In analyzing South Delhi's LL, this study aims to characterize the representation and placement of multilingualism on a macro and micro level, in order to investigate the broad array of meanings that these differences index, and how their distribution reveals local linguistic ideologies that shape, or are shaped by, these socio-economically and geographically distinct spaces. Using Goffman's frame analysis (1974) and theories of postmodern Indian middle class identity (Appadurai & Breckenridge, 1995; Toor, 2000), I will show how South Delhi's LL reflects proposed sociocultural trends, and how the distribution of languages in South Delhi is influenced by socioeconomic and geographic factors. Findings are then investigated using a multinominal logistic regression model – presenting, thus, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the local linguistic geography: the distribution, interaction, and representation of languages in the multilingual ecology of South Delhi.