Hunting for signs in the public space – the method of linguistic treasure hunts as a form of citizen science
2020 March 27
Treasure hunts are games in which a group of people follows a series of clues to win a prize. Since the participants move in the public space, which is full of written texts, treasure hunts are also interesting to linguistic landscaping. Therefore, linguistic treasure hunts combine linguistic landscaping done by citizens with gamification to contribute to research on linguistic landscapes. The method of the linguistic treasure hunt aims at collecting and analysing language variation in written form in the public sphere. A group of people follows a series of clues through an urban space with the additional task to take, upload and tag pictures of signs and lettering in the public sphere. The group who solved the puzzles, uploaded the highest number of pictures and tagged them according to certain criteria wins a prize. The pilot study showed that the criteria, i.e. tags for the linguistic analysis of the pictures that were provided by the scholars may not only need further explanation but also a different prioritisation to find the right balance between data quantity and data quality.