Aesthetic Symbolic and Communicative Functions of English Signs in Urban Spaces of Jordan: Typography, Multimodality, and Ideological Values


Department of English Language and Literature, College of Arts, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Jordan


This study examines the visual aesthetic function of English signs in line with ethnographic approaches as a means of achieving various symbolic and communicative implications in the linguistic landscape (LL) of Jordan. Having coded the data in 6 urban streets of the major Jordanian cities, the social semiotic analysis centers on the visual layout of signs based on the typographical features of English texts and the multimodal interrelationships amongst the typographical characteristics wherein images and drawings are often supplemented to the English letter-forms in decorative manners. These aesthetic resources utilized in the construction of the English signs encourage symbolic ideological meanings of practices and customs related to young femininity, amusement and entertainment values, and shared cultural concepts. After all, this study establishes the aesthetic and ornamental aspect of visual English as a new approach in communicating the symbolic commercial messages in the Jordanian public space for both Arabic- and English-speaking audiences.


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