A Comparative Study of Cultural Categories in American English and Vietnamese Shop Signs





cultural categories, prototype, American English, Vietnamese, shop signs


There is a lack of studies on shop sign language from the perspective of Cultural Linguistics. This study contributes to the approach by investigating cultural categories in American English and Vietnamese shop signs. The corpus for analysis includes 1,748 shop signs in the US and 1,585 shop signs in Vietnam. The cultural categories are analyzed and evaluated based on their prototypes and subcategories compared from three dimensions: (1) linguistic expressions and frequency of occurrence, (2) generative capacity (in combination with other categories), and (3) pragmatic meaning (other functions related to communicative reality). The results show certain variations of the cultural categories in the three dimensions between the two speech communities, making each prototype distinctive from others in the same register and its own cross-cultural equivalents. The category variations reflect the two speech communities’ typical psychology, cognition, shared knowledge, and experience.

Author Biography

  • Pham Ngoc Truong Linh, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University HCM City, Vietnam

    Linh Ngoc Truong Pham is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Linguistics at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He majors in TESOL and Linguistics. His research interests include ELT, cultural linguistics, and English-Vietnamese contrastive analysis. He has about 10 years of experience in EFL teaching at high schools, language centers, and universities in Vietnam.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Pham, N. T. L. (2024). A Comparative Study of Cultural Categories in American English and Vietnamese Shop Signs. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 4(2), 1-30. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijte.24421

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