“it’s good, Taven Baktali!” Visuality of an Oral Culture: the Presence of Gipsy Language in the Semiotic Landscape of YouTube Cover Image

„Jó lett, Taven baktali!" Egy orális kultúra vizualitása: a cigány nyelv meg-JEL-enései a Youtube szemiotikai terében
“it’s good, Taven Baktali!” Visuality of an Oral Culture: the Presence of Gipsy Language in the Semiotic Landscape of YouTube

Author(s): Ágnes Hámori
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Scientia
Keywords: Romani language;oral culture;YouTube;semiotic landscape
Summary/Abstract: The study investigates the use of Romani (Gipsy) language in YouTube in an expanded multimodal linguistic landscape approach. The study is based on the analysis of appr. 100 YouTube pages (50 Gipsy songs and 50 videos of Gipsy family events as weddings, birthday parties, etc. from Hungary), involving both the uploaded videos and the comments. The analysis brings out that Romani language is present on YouTube, it is being actively used by users both in uploaded videos and in comments, and it can fulfil different functions as a tool of communication or as a symbol of Gipsy culture, as the sign of ethnic identity or of respectful attitude. The Romani language is generally accompanied by the use of Hungarian in a bilingual setting; in the comments, also other languages appear, creating a super diverse translanguaging space. Besides language use, also signs of other modalities – music, pictures of automobiles, clothes or foods, dance, emoticons – have often been used to represent different meanings. Through these multimodal communicative practices, YouTube turned into a multimodal, multilingual-multicultural semiotic landscape where users actively and creatively communicate complex meanings in connection with Romani language and culture, too.

  • Page Range: 13-31
  • Page Count: 19
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Hungarian