Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages

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Journal Article
International Journal of Multilingualism, 2017, 14 (3), pp. 269 - 282
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper asks what translanguaging could start to look like if it incorporated an expanded version of language and questioned not only to the borders between languages but also the borders between semiotic modes. Developing the idea of spatial repertoires and assemblages, and looking at data from a Bangladeshi-owned corner shop, this paper suggests on the one hand that it is important to include a wide range of semiotic possibilities in any analysis. On the other hand, however, we cannot merely add more semiotic items to our translinguistic inventories, but need instead to seek out a way of grasping the relationships among a range of forms of semiosis. The notion of assemblages allows for an understanding of how different trajectories of people, semiotic resources and objects meet at particular moments and places, and thus helps us to see the importance of things, the consequences of the body, and the significance of place alongside the meanings of linguistic resources.
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