Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Ofelia García

Committee Members

Beatriz Lado

Ricardo Otheguy

Ofelia García

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Latina/o Studies | Spanish Linguistics


Linguistic Landscape Studies, Language Policy


This dissertation studies the linguistic landscape of the neighborhood of Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, New York by taking into account both a main commercial avenue and a public school with a dual language bilingual program in English and Spanish. Sunset Park is a multi-ethnic and immigrant neighborhood (Hum, 2014). While research has been done into the linguistic landscape of streets, cities, and communities, on the one hand, and about the linguistic landscape in education, on the other, the co-existence of these two in the same context has barely been studied (cf. Maldonado, 2015). This dissertation makes a contribution to the field of Linguistic Landscape Studies by taking both into account. Building on Gorter and Cenoz (2014), I ask: How do the linguistic landscape of the community and the school compare and what meanings can we infer from the difference about the power relations between English and Spanish? Samples of the linguistic landscape of the street and that of the school were collected, counted, and codified according to named language(s), monoglossic or heteroglossic language representation, informative or symbolic message function, and top-down or bottom-up authorship. The streetscape and the schoolscape followed several of the same tendencies in terms of a preponderance of English, a monoglossic representation of language, a preponderance of informative messages, and mostly bottom-up authorship of the signs. However, the school evidenced a stricter separation of languages and a greater percentage of monolingual signs. It was also found that Spanish/English bilingualism has political power by being used on signs of community and political organizing. Finally, the linguistic landscape of both the school and the street are connected to the cyberscape.