Cross-Cultural Study Of 22 Versions of “Priority Seating” Signs
22 priority seating signs have been collected in public transit based on three groups: English speaking countries like UK, USA, Canada, and Australia; a multilingual country, namely, Singapore; and China where English, as a foreign language, is requested in metropolitan transit. By conducting a contrastive study on how these signs convey information while performing interpersonal, moral and cultural functions, this essay reveals implications of these versions on public signage in respective societies. After probing into divergence in semantic，syntactic and pragmatic facets，the essay verifies possibilities of varied versions in the light of language and culture, language and decision-making, language and communication style. The study reveals innate reasons for writing different versions of the same sign form cultural perspectives.
Keywords - versions of “Priority Seating”; Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis; culture and decision making; communication styles