Language Policy

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 25–47 | Cite as

The co-influence of the natural, built, and linguistic landscape: indexing security

  • Caroline H. Vickers
  • Christopher Lindfelt
  • Marsha Greer
Original Paper


This study examines physical aspects of place and how such visible aspects work to index a discourse of insecurity, including an insider–outsider binary, particularly through security signs in the linguistic landscape (LL). Our main focus is the relationship between policy and the uses of written language that appear in the LL in different census tracts in Palm Springs, California. Data includes community demographic and discourse data, geographical information systems maps, and comprehensive photography of the three census tracts, which include contiguous low income, middle-income, and high-income tracts. Findings demonstrate that the discourse of insecurity is indexed differently in each of the tracts as explicit and implicit policies are enacted in the LL based in the way that residents in each tract reproduce a discourse of insecurity. Implications include the effects that these different ways of indexing the discourse of insecurity through the LL may have on social inequality.


Ideology Identity Linguistic landscape Power Public health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline H. Vickers
    • 1
  • Christopher Lindfelt
    • 2
  • Marsha Greer
    • 2
  1. 1.English DepartmentCalifornia State University, San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Science and Human EcologyCalifornia State University, San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA

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