A linguistic landscape of the central business district of Accra

  • Jemima Asabea Anderson
  • John Franklin Wiredu
  • Gladys Nyarko Ansah
  • George Frimpong-Kodie
  • Elizabeth Orfson-Offei
  • Dennis Boamah-Boateng
Keywords: Linguistic landscape, ethnolinguistic vitality, Accra, multilingualism, Ghana, signage


Using the mixed method research approach, this study investigated the linguistic landscape of the central business district of Accra, Ghana. The study employed both the Ethnolinguistic Vitality Theory (EV) and the Place Semiotics Theory to explore the types of signage displayed by shop owners in the Makola market, the languages used on these signs, the dominant language(s) on the signs and how the use of language reflects the ethnolinguistic vitality of the local languages used in Accra. The findings present a very busy linguistic landscape where shop owners use the names of their companies and the products they sell as a marketing strategy through a variety of modes including signboards, billboards, taglines, and signposts to attract customers. There was also a preponderance of English in the linguistic landscape of Accra, which establishes English as a powerful tool for inter-ethnic communication and national integration, giving an implicit impression of low vitality of indigenous languages in the space.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502