English as a “Trojan Horse” in the Algerian Linguistic Landscape The case of Bouira, City Center
Sidhoum, Nour Elhouda
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The display of languages in public spaces is as old as history. However, the attention given to this phenomenon is not that old. The current study explores the expansion of English use in Algeria through analyzing instantiations of English, mainly on shop and building names, in the Linguistic Landscape of Bouira city center. This research work attempts to determine the features influencing Algerians to use English in commercial domains. The motivating factors for the display of English are addressed using Spolsky’s theory of Language Choice, by means of a mixed method research. To this purpose, all the shop and building signs labelled in English were photographed. The pictures were supplemented with a set of semi-structured interviews with the available actors responsible for the creation and use of these signs, namely the sign owners, the sign makers, and the sign recipients. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used for statistical data analysis, while the results of the interviews were interpreted through the Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) to gain an in-depth understanding about the real reasons behind the use of English in deep Algeria. Despite the small number of its speakers, the residents of Bouira show a great tolerance and acceptance towards English. The results reveal that the majority of signs labelled in English are of a subjective nature and the spread of English in Algeria is an offshoot of globalization. Recommendations and suggestions for future LL research are provided to have better insights about the exact positioning of English within the complex language situation in Algeria, thus offering further visibility to the present linguistic market.
- Département d'Anglais