Inside the Shop Names: Hybridity, Language Awareness and Globalization in the Linguistic Landscape of a Local Commercial Neighborhood in Bangkok
The present study explores the patterns of language use and the influence of English on the shop names in the linguistic landscape of Si Yan market, a local commercial neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand with respect to script, lexicon and syntax. Using photographs and interviews with the business owners as sources of data, analysis of the language in shop names showed that a combination of Thai script, lexicon and syntax were found most often, followed by shop names with a mix of Thai and English script, lexicon and/or syntax. Shop names written with English script, lexicon and syntax were a distant third. Shop names written in English script with Thai lexicon or syntax were not found in the area. The interviews with the business owners revealed that most of the creators of the shop names with a combination of Thai and English script, lexicon or syntax were not aware of the presence of English in the shop names. This study suggests that English lexical borrowing and the hybridization of language provide evidence not only of the globalization of English but also of the subconscious nature of the pervasive influence of English on Thai.