How Does Intercultural Communication Differ from Intracultural Communication?

  • Istvan KECSKES
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 24)


The chapter discusses the differences between intracultural communication and intercultural communication from a socio-cognitive perspective that treats this issue as a continuum rather than a dichotomy. Variation on the continuum and differences between the two phenomena are affected by different factors. While discussing those factors I will refer to issues that are relevant to the three focus points of this volume: internationalization of education, ethnicity, and ideology with special attention to Southeast Asia.


  1. Bates, D. G., & Plog, F. (1980). Cultural anthropology (2nd ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  2. Blommaert, J. (1998). Different approaches to intercultural communication: A critical survey. Plenary lecture, Lernen und Arbeiten in einer international vernetzten und multikulturellen Gesellschaft, Expertentagung. Universität Bremen, Institut für Projektmanagement und Witschaftsinformatik (IPMI), 27–28 February. Retrieved 27 July 2017 from
  3. Cappelen, H. (2008). Content relativism and semantic blindness. In M. García-Carpintero & M. Kölbel (Eds.), Relative truth (pp. 265–286). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark, H. H. (2009). Context and common ground. In J. L. Mey (Ed.), Concise encyclopedia of pragmatics (pp. 116–119). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  5. Cnagarajah, A. S. (2009). The plurilingual tradition and the English language in South Asia. AILA Review, 22, 5–22.Google Scholar
  6. Coulmas, F. (Ed.). (1981). Conversational routine: Explorations in standardized communication situations and prepatterned speech. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  7. Deterding, D. (2013). Misunderstandings in English as a Lingua Franca: An analysis of ELF interactions in South-East Asia. Berlin/Boston: DeGruyter Mouton.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Durkheim, E. (1982). The rules of sociological method (W. D. Halls, Trans.). New York: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gudykunst, W. B., & Kim, Y. Y. (1992). Communicating with strangers: An approach to intercultural communication. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. Gudykunst, W. B., & Mody, B. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of international and intercultural communication. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gumperz, J. J., & Roberts, C. (1991). Understanding in intercultural encounters. In J. Blommaert & J. Verschueren (Eds.), The pragmatics of intercultural and international communication (pp. 51–90). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gumperz, J., & Gumperz, J. C. (2005). Making space for bilingual communicative practice. Intercultural Pragmatics, 2(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gumperz, J. J., & Tannen, D. (1979). Individual and social differences in language use. In C. J. Fillmore, D. Kempler, & W. S.-Y. Wang (Eds.), Individual differences in language ability and language behavior (pp. 305–325). New York: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Habermas, J. (1979). Communication and the evolution of society. Toronto: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hinnenkamp, V. (1995). Intercultural communication. In V. Jef, Ö. Jan-Ola, B. Jan, & C. Bulcaen (Eds.), Handbook of pragmatics (pp. 1–20). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  17. House, J. (2002). Developing pragmatic competence in English as a lingua franca. In K. Knapp & C. Meierkord (Eds.), Lingua Franca communication (pp. 245–267). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  18. House, J. (2003). Misunderstanding in intercultural university encounters. In J. House, G. Kasper, & S. Ross (Eds.), Misunderstanding in social life: Discourse approaches to problematic talk (pp. 22–56). London: Longman.Google Scholar
  19. Hymes, D. H. (1968). The ethnography of speaking. In J. A. Fishman (Ed.), Readings in the sociology of language (pp. 99–138). The Hague/Paris: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaur, J. (2010). Achieving mutual understanding in world Englishes. World Englishes, 29, 192–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kecskes, I., & Papp, T. (2000). Foreign language and mother tongue. Mawah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  22. Kecskes, I. (2002). Situation-bound utterances in L1 and L2. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  23. Kecskes, I. (2007). Formulaic language in English lingua franca. In I. Kecskés & L. R. Horn (Eds.), Explorations in pragmatics: Linguistic, cognitive and intercultural aspects (pp. 191–219). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  24. Kecskes, I. (2008). Dueling context: A dynamic model of meaning. Journal of Pragmatics, 40(3), 385–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kecskes, I. (2010). The paradox of communication: A socio-cognitive approach. Pragmatics & Society, 1(1), 50–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kecskes, I. (2011). Interculturality and intercultural pragmatics. In J. Jackson (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of intercultural communication (pp. 67–84). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Kecskes, I. (2012). Is there anyone out there who really is interested in the speaker? Language and Dialogue, 2(2), 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kecskes, I. (2013). Why do we say what we say the way we say it? Journal of Pragmatics, 48(1), 71–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kecskes, I. (2014). Intercultural pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kecskes, I. (2015). Is the idiom principle blocked in bilingual L2 production? Chapter 2. In R. Heredia & A. Cieslicka (Eds.), Bilingual figurative language processing (pp. 28–53). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kecskes, I., & Zhang, F. (2009). Activating, seeking and creating common ground: A socio-cognitive approach. Pragmatics & Cognition, 17(2), 331–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kidwell, M. (2000). Common ground in cross-cultural communication: Sequential and institutional contexts in front desk service encounters. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 11(1), 17–37.Google Scholar
  33. Kirkpatrick, A. (2010). Researching English as a lingua franca in Asia: The Asian Corpus of English (ACE) project. Asian Englishes, 31(1), 4–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kirkpatrick, A. (2014). English in SEA: Emergent concepts: Pedagogical and policy implications. World Englishes, 33(4), 426–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Koole, T., & ten Thije, J. D. (1994). The construction of intercultural discourse: Team discussions of educational advisers. Amsterdam/Atlanta: RODOPI.Google Scholar
  36. Lippi-Green, R. (1994). Language ideology and language change in early modern German: A sociolinguistic study of the consonantal system of Nuremberg. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Neuliep, J. W. (2006). Editorial welcome. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 35(1), 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nishizaka, A. (1995). The interactive constitution of interculturality: How to be a Japanese with words. Human Studies, 18, 301–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pawley, A., & Syder, F. H. (1983). Two puzzles for linguistic theory: Nativelike selection and nativelike fluency. Language & Communication, 5(5), 191–226.Google Scholar
  40. Prodromou, L. (2008). English as a Lingua Franca: A corpus based analysis. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  41. Rampton, B. (1995). Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  42. Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Rommetveit, R. (1992). Outlines of a dialogically based social-cognitive approach to human cognition and communication. In A. H. Wold (Ed.), The dialogical alternative: Towards a theory of language and mind (pp. 19–44). Oslo: Scandinavian University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Samovar, L. A., & Porter, R. E. (2001). Communication between cultures (4th ed.). New York: Thomas Learning Publications.Google Scholar
  45. Scribner, S. (1997). A sociocultural approach to the study of mind. In E. Tobach, R. J. Falmagne, M. B. Parlee, L. M. W. Martin, & A. S. Kapelman (Eds.), Mind and social practice: Selected writings of Sylvia Scribner (pp. 266–280). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Simmel, G. (1972). On individuality and social forms (D. N. Levine, Ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Strickland, M. J. (2010). Are they getting it? Exploring intersubjectivity between teachers and immigrant students in three culturally diverse classrooms. The International Journal of Learning, 17(6), 197–214.Google Scholar
  48. Subtirelu, N. C. (2015). “She does have an accent but…”: Race and language ideology in students’ evaluations of mathematics instructors on Language in Society, 44(1), 35–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ten Thije, J. D. (2003). The transition from misunderstanding to understanding in intercultural communication. In L. I. Komlósi, P. Houtlosser, & M. Leezenberg (Eds.), Communication and culture: Argumentative, cognitive and linguistic perspectives (pp. 197–214). Amsterdam: Sic Sac.Google Scholar
  50. Thomas, J. (1983). Cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  52. Varonis, E. M., & Gass, S. M. (1985). Miscommunication in native/nonnative conversation. Language in Society, 14(3), 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge: Harvard University press.Google Scholar
  54. Winch, P. (1997). Can we understand ourselves? Philosophical Investigations, 20(3), 193–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wittgenstein, L. (2001). Philosophical investigations (3rd ed.). Oxford/Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  56. Woolard, K. A., & Schieffelin, B. B. (1994). Language ideology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 23, 55–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wray, A., & Namba, K. (2003). Formulaic language in a Japanese-English bilingual child: A practical approach to data analysis. Japanese Journal for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, 9(1), 24–51.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational TheoryState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

Personalised recommendations