A multifactorial sociolinguistic analysis of business naming practices in Turkey

Selvi, Ali Fuad
The growing world supremacy of English and its relentless spread across the globe is both widely criticized for becoming a ‘threat’ and causing socio-cultural destruction in the form of linguistic imperialism and appreciated for being a ‘basic survival skill’ and a global commodity to which every individual adds a distinct flavor and which has crucial pragmatic and instrumental functions, benefits and prestige for its users. Acknowledging the current global role and status of English in mind, this thesis investigates the causes and consequences of English language use in business naming practices in shop names in Turkish business discourse. As a result of the study, it was concluded that foreign influence in shop names in Turkish discourse might be grouped under three major categories: (a) foreign signs (both English and non-English signs), (b) hybrid signs (Turkish-English, English-Turkish), and (c) Englishized Turkish signs (names using of Turkish words spelled according to English orthographical conventions to looks like English and sound like Turkish). Research results indicated that business naming practices are manifestations of English language dominance in Turkey. Foreignization of shop names in Turkish is spearheaded by English. Nevertheless, foreign words in business names include those from languages other than English. The undisputed dominance of English in business discourse is not limited to business names but includes window displays, signs on the window or door of commercial entities, exterior signs for public entities such as billboards, as well as advertising posters. While certain sectors such as personal care, restaurants and cafes, stores selling information system goods are more susceptible to English language use, others such as durable consumer goods, pharmacies, auto galleries, gas stations, car repairers, driving schools, bookstores, and publishing houses almost have no place for the English language occurrences.


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Citation Formats
A. F. Selvi, “A multifactorial sociolinguistic analysis of business naming practices in Turkey,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2007.