Semiotic landscapes of multilingual border regions


Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA)
Friedrich Schiller University Jena


Project directors

PhD Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković, Institute for Balkan Studies SASA
PhD Valeska Bopp-Filimonov, Friedrich Schiller University Jena



PhD Svetlana Ćirković,
Institute for Balkan Studies SASA
PhD Mirjana Mirić, Institute for Balkan Studies SASA

MA Rastko Lompar, Institute for Balkan Studies SASA
MA Anđelija Miladinović Radonjić, Institute for Balkan Studies SASA
PhD Monika Balla, Philology Faculty of the Belgrade University

PhD Snežana Stanković, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

PhD Željana Tunić, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

PhD Lukas Eibensteiner, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

PhD Carl Bethke, University of Tubingen

MA Jorina Fenner, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

About the project 

The project explores the multilingual character of border regions of Central and South-Eastern Europe, looking into the different semiotic resources that shape the borderland, and combining several areas of scholarly interest. The main research will take place in the Serbian part of the Banat region, with expansion to other border regions according to the expertise of the research team members. We claim that sociolinguistics, cultural anthropology and history are critical in understanding the construction and workings of the semiotic landscape, especially when it comes to space appropriation and (re)signification in multilingual border regions. Our project applies a mix-method approach, which departs in several respects from the already classical methodological apparatus used so far for the study of the much narrower linguistic landscape.

The main objective of the project is to form and consolidate a team of linguists, anthropologists and historians to study the semiotic landscape of multilingual border regions, from a double fold perspective, synchronic and diachronic. In doing so, the project will bundle distinct academic competences of German and Serbian participants and will enable cooperative research work between two scientific institutions, a research institute and a university, at a high interdisciplinary level.

As the result of this interdisciplinary work, the project promises to promote a better understanding of the interaction of historical, social and linguistic factors, which support and encourage the multilingualism of these regions, and to discuss in which way the historical developments have influenced and shaped the current state. As well, it aims at improving existing methodology for the study of the semiotic landscape by combining methods from several relevant disciplines, which could be implemented further to other multilingual regions of the world. Finally, the collected data will be used to develop teaching units for teaching minority languages present in the region.


Financing and duration  

The project is financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD), within the program of scientific and technological cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Germany, for the period 2022-2023.