Palawan’s Prime Tourist Destinations’ Tourism Landscapes and Discourse

Authors: Janet Oab (Palawan State University, The Philippines)
Speakers: Janet Oab
Strand: Applied Sociolinguistics
Session Type: General Session


This study investigated Palawan’s Prime Tourist Destinations’ Tourism Landscapes and Discourse. Employing Pennycook’s (2007) Language as a local practice, it highlighted the relationship between language, locality, and practice; as to the determination of locale’s identity through discourse, Quakenbush’s (1989) language use and proficiency in a multilingual setting was used and Bourdieu’s (1992) concept of linguistic capital and market was also included.

To comprehensively analyse the discourses present in the tourism landscapes, the study used quasi-descriptive quantitative; in which it specifically looked into the prevailing language/s used in the landscapes and descriptive qualitative design was used to examine the textual features of the landscapes and the prevalence of multimodalities of the discourses in the signages. Likewise, in this paper the researcher employed casual interviews with tourism officers, observations, photo taking, and textual analysis.

This study considered a total of 150 photographs of signages. Specifically, 50 signages were taken from each of the three locales. The photographs were taken from the different sources namely: tarpaulins, panaflex, wood, brochures and souvenirs.

Specifically, the study analyzed photographs and visual representations in the signs. The data were analyzed according to the frequency of representation specific to languages in the public space and according to the visual presentation of languages in sign board, polarized as top-bottom.

Informed by Pennycook’s (2007) Language as a local practice in the tourism landscapes, found that as to the language choice, English language and the combination of both English and local languages were prevalently used in the landscapes. Highlighting the inevitability of the use of local language in the signs is tantamount to giving value and importance to the language, thus, making it stable and preserved. Moreover, textual and multimodal properties in the signages displayed clarity in terms of aesthetic presentation and linguistic efficacy. Further, existential authenticity and mobility were observable in the discourses of the landscapes were structured in non-hegemonic mechanism; and had established an inimitable identity of the Province.

Finally, linguistic landscapes investigation may be conducted using other approaches with consideration of other possible domains that could provide a different angle or perspective of their linguistic value.

Keywords: Tourism landscape, Multimodality, Discourse.