‘Return to the International Family of Democracies’: Keyness Factor in the International Speeches of the Baltic Presidents





presidential speeches, Baltic States, corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, identity, keyness


Presidential speeches as a type of political discourse are aimed not only at the negotiation and construction of the national identity of a nation-state at a local level but also at the representation and shaping of the national identity internationally. The presidents of the Baltic States have represented their individual, collective and regional identities in the international gatherings of world leaders since the restoration of independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from the Soviet Union. The current study displays an analysis of how the keyness factor of particular lexical items used in 142 speeches given by the presidents of the Baltic States internationally from 1991 until 2021 helps to identify the tendencies of identity construction and representation, which can then be investigated in detail via a critical analysis of the discursive strategies and linguistic means applied in the speeches. Moreover, the analysis of keyword tendencies across speeches marked by different criteria shows how the process of identity construction as marked by lexical change varies across time and states. The keyness factor points to multiple identities being constructed in the international speeches, where the national identities are constructed most frequently, followed by the common European identity, Baltic regional identity, and global identity. It is also concluded that a common political past is one of the main elements of national and Baltic identities, while shared values such as democracy and cooperation are the main elements of supra-national identities.

Author Biography

Līga Romāne-Kalniņa, University of Latvia

Līga Romāne-Kalniņa (Mg. Philol.) is a PhD candidate of linguistics at the University of Latvia, currently working with technology transfer (science commercialisation) at the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. Her research interests include language of innovation, political and media discourse, critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics.


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How to Cite

Romāne-Kalniņa, L. (2022). ‘Return to the International Family of Democracies’: Keyness Factor in the International Speeches of the Baltic Presidents. Baltic Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture, 12, 114–135. https://doi.org/10.22364/BJELLC.12.2022.08