EJLLS Publication

Title: Interface Between Language and Road Traffic Signs
Author(s): God’sgift Ogban UWEN
Abstract: The paper focuses on the intrinsic interface between the general concept of language and road traffic signs with a view to examining the underlying features of language embedded in them within the English semiotic system. The study adopts Scollon and Scollon’sTheory of Geosemiotics; an aspect of Suassure’s Semiotics, as the relevant conceptual framework. Data for the study were collected through primary and secondary sources; participant observation and relevant materials. The findings indicate that non-verbal language is a vital medium of communication which can be in the form of kinesics (the use of body signs), proxemics (the use of space), and the use of other socioculturally-transmitted signs. In addition, there are fundamental features of language such as arbitrariness, semanticity, learnabiltiy, specialization, displacement, cultural transmission, prevarication, reflexiveness, feedback mechanism, contextuality, among others, found to be inherent in the signs. The study is significant because, it has further broadened the multifaceted concept of language with the conclusion that conventionally meaningful and interpretable signs, and particularly road traffic signs, perform overt functions of language by communicating well-intended messages which road users depend on for their safety. It is therefore recommended that researchers should explore similar horizons for a broader interpretation of language as a multidimensional phenomenon.
Keywords: Language, Underlying features, Road traffic signs, Geosemiotics, Communication