Ethnolinguistic Identity, Coping Strategies and Language Use among Young Hungarians in Slovakia

Laszlo Vincze, Marko Dragojevic, Jessica Gasiorek, Milica Miočević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present paper was to investigate the propositions of ethnolinguistic identity theory among young Hungarian speakers in Slovakia. Specifically, we aimed to explore the role of ethnolinguistic identification, vitality and boundary permeability in coping with negative ethnolinguistic identities, and also how these effects impact language use. Self-report questionnaire data were collected among Hungarian-speaking secondary school students in (N = 311). The data were analyzed using a Bayesian moderated mediation analysis with informative priors for coefficients based on an earlier study. The results provided mixed support for the hypotheses. Ethnolinguistic mobility appeared to be an outcome of a complex process, where identification, vitality and permeability operate interactively; at the same time, ethnolinguistic competition was independent of the perception of vitality and permeability, but a sole consequence of strong Hungarian identification. In addition, the results indicated that identification, vitality and competency in the outgroup language were factors predicting language use, whereas there was no support for the anticipated mediating effect of coping strategies. Findings are discussed in relation to ethnolinguistic identity theory and to the particular qualities of the local context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 9 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • Coping with negative identities
  • Ethnolinguistic identity theory
  • Hungarian in Slovakia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies


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