Willkommen in Hahndorf: A Linguistic Landscape of Hahndorf, South Australia

Adam Koschade


The town of Hahndorf in South Australia was established in 1839 by German migrants. Despite the significance of Hahndorf as the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia, one of the oldest towns in South Australia, a prominent tourist location and its inclusion on state and national heritage registers, a linguistic landscaping survey of the town has not previously been conducted. This paper presents a linguistic landscaping study of Hahndorf. Eighty linguistic signs located near the main street of Hahndorf were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Results indicated that English (92.5%) was the most common language choice for signs in Hahndorf, followed by German (18.75%). Chinese and Indian languages were used in a small number of signs. Signs were more likely to be monolingual (82.5%) than bilingual (17.5%). Monolingual signs predominantly used English while most bilingual signs were written in English and German. Discrepancies were found between the linguistic landscape and languages spoken at home for languages other than English. Factors such as informational versus symbolic function of languages, sign authorship, intended audience, code preference, social positioning and a diachronic perspective were considered. Multiple socio-historical (settlement history and community), socio-political (heritage listing, government regulations/laws and war-related anti-German sentiment) and socio-economic (tourism and advertising) factors were identified as having a significant impact on the linguistic landscape of Hahndorf


linguistic landscape, social positioning, diachronic, tourism, South Australia.

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