Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

Founded by Cap, Piotr

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

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.35

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.249
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.074

See all formats and pricing
More options …

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


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


  • Besemeres, Mary & Anna Wierzbicka (eds.). 2007. Translating lives. Living with two languages and cultures. Queensland: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar

  • Bugarski, Ranko. 2012. Language, identity and borders in the former Serbo-Croatian area. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 33. 219–235.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Chandra, Kanchan. 2006. What is ethnic identity and does it matter? Annual Review of Political Science 9. 397–424.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Ellis, Don. 2007. A discursive theory of ethnic identity. In Richard Mole (ed.),Discursive construction of identity in European politics, 25–44. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • Gladkova, Anna. 2007. The journey of self-discovery in another language. In Mary Besemeres & Anna Wierzbicka (eds.), Translating lives. Living with two languages and cultures,139–149. University of Queensland Press. Queensland.Google Scholar

  • Hryniewicz, Laura and Jean-Marc Dewaele. 2017. Exploring the Intercultural Identity of Slovak Roma Schoolchildren in the UK. Russian Journal of Linguistics, 21 (2). 282–304. .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Hofstede, Geert. 1991. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the mind. McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK) Limited.Google Scholar

  • Jenkins, Richard. 2004. Social identity (2nd edn.) Routledge: London/New York.Google Scholar

  • Kalyango, Yusuf & Monika Kopytowska (eds.). 2014. Why discourse matters: negotiating identity in the mediatised world. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Koller, Veronika. 2012. How to analyse collective identity in discourse: textual and contextual parameters. CADAAD Journal. Special issue on Ideology, Identity and interaction (ed. by M. Kopytowska) 5(2). 19–38.Google Scholar

  • Kopytowska, Monika. 2015. Mediating identity, ideology and values in the public sphere: towards a new model of (constructed) social reality. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 11(2).133–156 .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kurteš, Svetlana. 2003. Genus verbi in Serbo-Croat: a re-analysis of se-verbs. In Peter Kosta, Joanna Blaszczak, Jens Frasek & Ljudmila Geist (eds.), Investigations into formal Slavic linguistics: contributions of the Fourth European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages, 617–631. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Kurteš, Svetlana. 2013. Where next for comrade? On the use of ideology-based address forms in post-Communist societies (with reference to modern-day Serbia). Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 9(1). 49–75.Google Scholar

  • Kurteš, Svetlana and Monika Kopytowska. 2015. Communicating identities in daily interaction: Theory, practice, pedagogy. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 10(1). 1–17.Google Scholar

  • Kurteš, Svetlana, Tatiana Larina and Vladimir Ozyumenko. 2017. A constructivist approach to intercultural communication teaching and learning. EDULEARN17 Proceedings: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Barcelona: IATED, 591–597.Google Scholar

  • Larina, Tatiana. 2008. Directness, imposition and politeness in English and Russian. Cambridge ESOL: Research Notes 33. 33–38.Google Scholar

  • Larina, Tatiana. 2009. Katergoriya vezhlivosti y stil’ kommunikaciyi: sopostavleniye angliyskikh y russkikh lingvokul ‘turnikh tradiciy [Politeness and communicative styles: comparative analysis of English and Russian language and culture traditions]. Moskva: Jazyki Slavianskih Kul’tur.Google Scholar

  • Larina, Tatiana. 2013. Anglichane y Russkiye: Yazyk, kul’tura, kommunikaciya [The British and the Russians: Language, culture and communication]. Moskva: Jazyki Slavianskih Kul’tur.Google Scholar

  • Larina, Tatiana. 2015. Culture-Specific Communicative Styles as a Framework for Interpreting Linguistic and Cultural Idiosyncrasies. In International Review of Pragmatics 7(5). 195–215.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Larina Tatiana & Vladimir Ozyumenko. 2016. Ethnic identity in language and communication. Cuadernos de Rusística Española 12. 57–68. http://revistaseug.ugr.es/index.php/cre/issue/view/358/showToc

  • Larina Tatiana, Arto Mustajoki & Ekaterina Protassova. 2017. Dimensions of Russian culture and mind. In Katja Lehtisaari & Arto Mustajoki (eds.), Philosophical and cultural interpretations of Russian modernisation. Series: Studies in Contemporary Russia (Introduction chapter), 7–19. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Leontovich, Olga. 2017.“A Mirror in which Everyone Displays their Image”: Identity Construction in Discourse. Russian Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 247–259. .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Loester, Barbara. 2017. “A Significant Part of an Insignificant Identity”: Tradition, Globalisation and the Re-Articulation of North-East Scots. Russian Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 335–347. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Mitchell, Rosamond F., Kevin McManus & Nicole Tracy-Ventura (eds.), 2015. Social interaction, identity and language learning during residence abroad. Eurosla Monographs series.Google Scholar

  • Mole, Richard (ed.). 2007. Discursive construction of identity in European politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • Oliveira, Maria do Carmo & Carla Mirelle Lisboa. 2017. Narratives about Displacement and Stigmatization of Identities. Russian Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 320–334. .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Ozhegov, Sergey I. 1981. Slovar’ russkogo yazyka [Dictionary of the Russian language]. 13th edn. Moskva: Russky yazyk.Google Scholar

  • Paxman, Jeremy. 1999. The English: A portrait of a people. Penguin Group. London.Google Scholar

  • Phinney, Jean S. 2003. Ethnic identity and acculturation. In Kevin Chun, Pamela B. Organista & Gerardo Marin (eds.), Acculturation: Advances in theory, measurement, and applied research,63–81. American Psychological Association. Washington, DC.Google Scholar

  • Phinney, Jean S. & Anthony D. Ong. 2007. Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counselling Psychology 54. 271–281.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Regan, Vera & Ni Chasaide (eds.). 2010. Language practices and identity construction in French. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Samovar, Larry A., Richard Porter & Edwin R. McDaniel. 2007. Communication between cultures (6th edn.).Boston: Wadsworth.Google Scholar

  • Scollon, Ron & Suzanne Scollon. 2001. Intercultural communication: A discourse approach (2nd edn.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar

  • Smith, Anthony D. 1992. National identity and the idea of European unity. International Affairs 68(1). 55–76.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sousa, Alcina. 2014. Gender stereotypes in media business discourse: variations in identities, contexts and cultures. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 10(2). 197–212.Google Scholar

  • Sperckels, Janet & Helga Kotthoff. 2009. Communicating identity in intercultural communication. In Helga Kotthoff & Helen Spencer-Oatey (eds.), Handbook of intercultural communication, 415–439. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Sternin, Iosif A. 2002. Russkoe kommunikativnoe soznanie. Russkoe i finskoe kommunikativnoe povedenie. Vyp. 3. 5–13.Google Scholar

  • Ting-Toomey, Stella. 1999. Communicating across cultures. New York/London: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar

  • Triandis, Harry. 1995. Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar

  • Visson, Lynn. 2013. Where Russians go wrong in Spoken English. Words and phrases in the context of two cultures. Moskva: R. Valent.Google Scholar

  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 1997. Understanding cultures through their key words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 1991/2003. Cross-cultural pragmatics: The semantics of human interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 2002. Russian cultural scripts: The theory of cultural scripts and its applications. Ethos 30(4). 401–432.Google Scholar

  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 2006. English: Meaning and culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Zaliznyak, Anna. 2012. Zametki o slovakh obshchenie, otnoshenie, pros’ba, chuvstva, emotsii. In Anna Zaliznyak, Irina Levontina & Aleksei Shmelev (eds.), Konstanty i peremennye russkoi yazykovoi kartiny mira, 167–174.Moskva: Yazyki slavyanskikh kul’tur.Google Scholar

  • Zappettini, Franco. 2017. Transnationalism as an index to construct European identities: an analysis of “transeuropean” discourses. Russian Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 260–281. .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

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.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

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

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in