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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

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Editor-in-Chief: Chilton, Paul / Kopytowska, Monika

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1898-4436
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I-identity vs we-identity in language and discourse: Anglo-Slavonic perspectives

Tatiana V. Larina / Vladimir I. Ozyumenko / Svetlana Kurteš
Published Online: 2017-09-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2017-0006

Abstract

Being a much-studied concept in the social and political sciences and cultural studies (Jenkins 2004; Chandra 2006; Phinney 2003; Phinney and Ong 2007, and others) (ethnic) identity has become an object of study of linguistics and intercultural communication (Besemeres and Wierzbicka 2007; Koller 2012; Leontovich 2017; Mole 2007; Regan and Chasaide 2010; Scollon and Scollon 2001; Sousa 2014; Spreckels and Kotthoff 2009; Kalyango and Kopytowska 2014; Larina and Ozyumenko 2016, to name but a few). This is not surprising, as language is one of the most pivotal building blocks of identity, ethnic or otherwise. In addition, as daily interaction – professional, public, mediated, or otherwise – in an ever more globalized world requires finely developed intercultural skills, pragmatic competence and cultural fluency, having a deeper insight into the intricate relationship between language, communication and (ethnic) identity is of critical importance. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to shed more light on the role that language, and particularly discourse, play in constituting (ethnic) identity and, conversely, how identities could possibly assume an active role in the construction of discourse. It focuses on some discursive characteristics of Anglo (Wierzbicka 2006) and Slavonic (more specifically Russian and Serbian) ethnic identities, especially their perception of Self and modes of interaction with others. The corpus-informed analysis of Russian and Serbian languages and discursive practices indicates that, despite considerable changes in the demographic profile of the respective societies over the last couple of decades, the we-orientation is still overwhelmingly predominant in their collective and individual identities. Conversely, the I-orientation seems to be a typical preference of the representatives of the Anglo culture. The paper also suggests a possible interpretation of the differences in these orientations and their apparent embeddedness in the very structure of the languages in question (lexico-phraseological, morpho-syntactic, stylistic, etc.), potentially shaping its discursive characteristics as well. The theoretical framework is based on Larina’s approach to culture-specific communicative ethno-styles (2008, 2009, 2015, etc.), as well as a number of approaches within identity, discourse and intercultural studies (Hofstede 1991; Jenkins 2004; Kalyango and Kopytowska 2014; Kurteš and Kopytowska 2015; Scollon and Scollon 2001; Wierzbicka 1991|/2003, 1997, 2002, 2006, etc.).

Keywords: (ethnic) identity; I-culture; we-culture; I-identity; we-identity; I-orientation; we-orientation; culture-specific communicative style; communicative ethno-style; intercultural communication; discourse

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About the article

Tatiana V. Larina

Professor Tatiana V. Larina is Professor of Linguistics at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Faculty of Philology. Her research interests include Intercultural Pragmatics, Intercultural Communication, Sociolinguistics, Discourse Analysis, Ethnostylistics and Politeness Theory. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Journal of Linguistics and a member of board of several international journals, as well as academic networks and associations, including the European Network for Intercultural Education Activities (ENIEDA), of which she is a founding member. She regularly presents at international conferences and publishes both in Russian and English. As an invited professor she taught intercultural communication and pragmatics in India, Kazakhstan and Finland.

Vladimir I. Ozyumenko

Dr Vladimir I. Ozyumenko is Associate Professor at Foreign Languages Department, Institute of Law, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. His research interests include Contrastive Linguistics, Discourse analysis, Legal English, Theory and Practice of Translation and Intercultural Communication. He regularly presents at international conferences and publishes internationally. As an active member of the European Network for Intercultural Education Activities (ENIEDA), he has participated in a number of its projects and activities.

Svetlana Kurteš

Dr Svetlana Kurteš is a UK-based scholar with an extensive international experience in the area of linguistic and intercultural education spanning over two decades. Currently affiliated with Texas A&M University at Qatar, she has taught at universities in Serbia, the UK, Azerbaijan and Portugal. The focus of her research interests clusters around interdisciplinary approaches to communication, culture and society and issues surrounding their pedagogical applications. She is Vice President of the European Network for Intercultural Education Activities (ENIEDA), having initiated, coordinated and convened a significant number of its activities. A member of several scholarly associations and editorial boards of academic journals, she is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. She regularly presents and publishes internationally.


Tatiana V. Larina Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Faculty of Philology Miklukho-Maklaya 10/2, PO Box 117198 Moscow Russia


Published Online: 2017-09-02

Published in Print: 2017-08-28


Citation Information: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 109–128, ISSN (Online) 1898-4436, ISSN (Print) 1895-6106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2017-0006.

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[1]
Tatiana V. Larina, Vladimir I. Ozyumenko, and Svetlana Kurteš
Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, 2017, Volume 13, Number 1

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