Multilingual writing

On April 26 2019, a workshop was organized on Multilingual Writing at the University of Gothenburg. The workshop contained the following presentations:

Mark Sebba, Lancaster University: The origins of multilingual writing: or, why write multilingually?

Michelle Waldispühl, University of Gothenburg: “Heterographia”: The practice of mixing writing practices in historical sources

Alessandro Palumbo, Oslo UniversityLanguage switching and script mixing: Multilingual landscapes of medieval Scandinavia.

Tove Rosendal, University of Gothenburg: Signs of Change – below the multilingual surface in urban Rwanda

Johan Järlehed, University of Gothenburg:  “Mas ke letras”: Orthographic and typographic differentiation in bilingual displays in Galicia and the Basque Country


Registers of Digital Writing – Hamburg

On June 1 and 2, 2017, the Symposium Register des Digitalen Schreibens: Soziolinguistische, schriftlinguistische und sprachdidaktische Perspektiven takes place at the University of Hamburg (chaired by Jannis Androutsopoulos and Florian Busch). The symposium investigates into graphic variation as a social practice, metapragmatic reflections on writing practices and script as well as into didactic implications of digital writing.

Of our group, J. Spitzmüller will talk about Ideological Inscriptions: Writing as a Means and Anchor Point of Social Positioning. Check out the full program here.

Typotage Leipzig: Script and Epistemology

On May 13, 2017, the Typotage Leipzig, an annual meeting of biblio- and typophiles, design and printing practitioners, and researchers, took place for the 23rd time at the Museum of the Printing Arts, Leipzig. The event was opened by a talk by Jost Hochuli on Jan Tschichold’s estate, archived in the Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen (CH) and partly exhibited in the Museum currently.

The conference furthermore included talks on the Contextualization of Typography (J. Spitzmüller), Music Notation (W. Wolff), an exhibition on Erasmus of Rotterdam (M. Henry), Bible Typography (M. Schlierbach), Handwriting in Schools (T.-D. Albert), the Cultural History of (German) Primers (L. Neuhafen) and experiments on New Forms of Digital Writing (T. Diezmann).

Read more in these (German) reports of the Slanted Magazine and of

Social Semiotics Special Issue: Typographic Landscaping

Out now: Social Semiotics 25/2 (2015), Special Issue: Typographic Landscaping: Creativity, Ideology, Movement. Guest Editors: Johan Järlehed and Adam Jaworski.


Editorial: Typographic landscaping: creativity, ideology, movement
Johan Järlehed & Adam Jaworski (pp. 117-125)

Research paper: Graphic variation and graphic ideologies: a metapragmatic approach
Jürgen Spitzmüller (pp. 126-141)

Research note: The Latino-ness of type: making design identities socially significant
Johana Londoño (pp. 142-150)

Visual essay: Between Frutigerization and tradition: diversity, standardization, and readability in contemporary typographic landscapes
Indra Kupferschmid (pp. 151-164)

Research paper: Ideological framing of vernacular type choices in the Galician and Basque semiotic landscape
Johan Järlehed (pp. 165-199)

Research note: The ideological appropriation of the letter <k> in the Spanish linguistic landscape
Francesco Screti (pp. 200-208)

Visual essay: Urban palimpsests and contending signs
Sydney J. Shep (pp. 209-216)

Research paper: Globalese: a new visual-linguistic register
Adam Jaworski (pp. 217-235)

Research note: Creativity in polyscriptal typographies in the linguistic landscape of Taipei
Melissa L. Curtin (pp. 236-243)

Research paper: Notes towards a semiotics of kinetic typography
Theo van Leeuwen & Emilia Djonov (pp. 244-253)

Happy semicolon-day!

I just learnt that today is the day of the semicolon. Well, at least in Sweden this contentious little punctuation mark is celebrated every year on the 6th of February. The motive is that it is the day when Aldus Manutius died in 1515 (so today 500 years ago!), and he was the one who established the modern use of the semicolon (
But then I looked around, and found that there are also at least another two semicolon days out there: the 16th of April people around the globe tatoo semicolons on their wrists in order to present hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury (; and the 24th of September the semicolon is celebrated on the National Punctuation Day in the US (

It’s fascinating to think about what a wide array of adaptations, meanings and values that can be ascribed to one single punctuation mark 😉