Road Signs as Linguistic Landscape in Nigeria: A Semiotic Communication (Published)
The term ‘sign’ as used in this work, in relation to road architecture, refers to the nonlinguistic symbols used as linguistic landscape to communicate intended information in form of instructions, warnings, directions, etc. to road users. The study of signs in semiotics is all encompassing, involving the inference of meaning from signs and symbols using interpersonal, cultural, contextual and personal experience. Semiotics’ preoccupation is the study of all that can be taken as sign. It is noted that in spite of the use of the road signs in the Nigerian cities and suburbs, many road mishap are still being recorded. This study, guided by semiotics principles, and using gestalt theory of visual perception, examines the communicative effectiveness of road signs in Nigeria, using Akure metropolis as case study. Thus, the paper examines the effectiveness of road signs as linguistic landscape (information agent) for road users in Nigeria using the Akure metropolis in Ondo State as the case study. Through a survey research method, the study, interviewed 260 respondents who were mainly made up of: commercial drivers, private drivers and pedestrians in order to obtain their opinions, attitudes, feelings and dispositions towards road signs as linguistic landscape. The study reveals that most road accidents were due to the flagrant disobedience of the road and traffic signs by the motorists and pedestrians. The incessant road mishap calls for serious questions on the effectiveness of the road signs as a vehicle of information dissemination to road users.
Keywords: Highway Code, Linguistic Landscape, Road Architecture, Road Signs, Signs., communication