Linguistic Landscape in Tanjungbalai

  • Rita Meutia
  • Bambang Gulyanto


This study investigated the texts used in public spaces in Tanjungbalai, North Sumatera, Indonesia. From 182 signboards analyzed, it was found that the items in the bottom-up category had a large number than in the top-down category. This finding approved that shop notes, private business notes, and private broadcasts dominated the Tanjungbalai’s linguistic landscape. The texts used in top-down and bottom-up categories were monolingual (using BI/FL/LL) and bilingual (using BI and FL/ BI and LL/ FL and LL). In terms of monolingualism, BI was dominantly used in both categories. In the top-down category, BI was used in 19 nameplates of public institutions, 7 public notes of common interest, and 11 public broadcasts. In the bottom-up category, BI was used in 46 shop notes, 11 private business notes, and 16 private broadcasts. However, LL had the least number in use. It was merely used in 1 public broadcast and 2 shop notes. In terms of bilingualism, in the top-down category, bilingualism was only found in public broadcasts while in the bottom-up category, it was found in all types of items. Public broadcasts in Tanjungbalai combined BI with LL. Such combination will allow a culturally diverse society to comprehend the information provided by state and local government. In the bottom-up category, BI and FL were the major combinations identified (found in 15 shop signs, 2 private business signs, and 14 private announcements), followed by FL and LL combination (found in 3 shop signs), and BI and LL combination (found in 1 shop sign). Low LL usage in all categories (top-down, bottom-up, monolingual, and bilingual) indicated the failure of local government to promote LL and the potential for the death of LL. This study, then, can be a self-reflection for the local government in Tanjungbalai to redesign language policy and planning.


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How to Cite
MEUTIA, Rita; GULYANTO, Bambang. Linguistic Landscape in Tanjungbalai. Asian Journal of Research in Education and Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 176-185, apr. 2022. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 july 2022.