This article offers an overview of the main developments in the field of linguistic landscape studies. A large number of research projects and publications indicate an increasing interest in applied linguistics in the use of written texts in urban spaces, especially in bilingual and multilingual settings. The article looks into some of the pioneer studies that helped open up this line of research and summarizes some of the studies that created the springboard for its rapid expansion in recent years. The focus is on current research (from 2007 onward), including studies that illustrate main theoretical approaches and methodological development as key issues of the expanding field, in particular when applied in settings of societal multilingualism.
Publications on the linguistic landscape cover a wide range of innovative theoretical and empirical studies that deal with issues related to multilingualism, literacy, multimodality, language policy, linguistic diversity, and minority languages, among others. The article shows some examples of the use of the linguistic landscape as a research tool and a data source to address a number of issues in multilingualism. The article also explores some possible future directions. Overall, the various emerging perspectives in linguistic landscape research can deepen our understanding of languages in urban spaces, language users, and societal multilingualism in general.