Changes in the Commemorative Streetscape of Leipzig over the past 100 years

Isabelle Buchstaller*, Seraphim Alvanides, Frauke Griese

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper presents the results of an interdisciplinary project which explores street name changes in Leipzig, a city in Eastern Germany, over the past 100 years. Our analysis focuses on the ways in which semantic choices in the streetscape are recruited to canonise traces of the national past that are “supportive of the hegemonic socio-political order” (Azaryahu 1997:480). We triangulate results from variationist sociolinguistics, Linguistic Landscape (LL) studies and geographical analysis to visualise waves of street (re)naming during a century of political turmoil. Drawing on historical archival data allows us to interpret spatial and temporal patterns of odonymic choices as the public embodiment of subsequent political state ideologies. The analysis provides quantitative and longitudinal support to Scollon & Scollon’s (2003) claim that the indexing of officially sanctioned identity and ideology as well as the appropriation of human space are performed by and in turn index state-hegemonic politics of memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-129
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Linguistic Geography
Issue number2
Early online date1 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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