Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 4. December 2018                                   Pp. 88-107

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 The Englishization of Materiality in the Linguistic Landscape of a Southern
Jordanian City 

Ghazi Khaleel Al-Naimat
Department of English Language and Literature, College of Arts,
Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma’an, Jordan

 Omar Ibrahim Alomoush
 Department of English Language and Literature, College of Arts,
Tafila Technical University,Tafila, Jordan



This article investigates the interrelationship between English used on signs and materiality in the linguistic landscape (LL) of a touristic Jordanian town, Petra. Its aim is to analyze how the materials that signs are made of reflect recurrent practices of identity formation and numerous socio-cultural norms in the Jordanian tourism context. The signs were first coded according to language, and then categorized within the framework of material practices enacted by sign designers. The results show that signs written on stone and metal surfaces often displaying English in uppercase letters and replicating governmental practices convey a sense of quality, continuity and permanence within economic and tourism-centered ideologies and polices; the visibility of English painted on wooden board signs is evidence of the creativity further manifested in block capitals to denote a sense of freshness and newness; signs printed and hand-written on paper often appearing in uppercase letters manifest the dynamic nature of the LL, ensuring the flow of special offers and even linguistic and non-linguistic changes; most remarkably, monolingual English signs painted inside sand bottles symbolize important environmental, historical, and cultural information on the ancient city of Petra, which contributes significantly to the popularity of Petra as a worldwide tourist destination among members of the tourist population, particularly the international visitors.
Key words: English, linguistic and paralinguistic practices, linguistic landscape, materiality, Petra

Cite as:  Al-Naimat, G. K., & Alomoush, O. I. (2018). The Englishisation of Materiality in the Linguistic Landscape of a Southern Jordanian City.
Arab World English Journal, 9 (4), 88-107.


Ghazi Khaleel Al-Naimat (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of
English Language and Literature at Al-Hussein Bin Talal University in Ma’an, Jordan. He
completed his PhD at the University of Liverpool, UK. His research interests focuses on
Sociolinguistics in particular semiotic aspects of signs in the LL, Semantics, Syntax, and
Discourse Analysis.