• Olga Ilchenko Professor of English, DSc, Research and Educational Center for Foreign Languages, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukraine
  • Natalie Kramar Senior lecturer at the Research and Educational Center for Foreign Languages, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukraine




the history of the World Wide Web (WWW), Tim Berners-Lee, narration, narrative identity, humanism, interconnectedness.


Background. The history of science is a multifaceted endeavor. It comprises theory and practice of scientific inquiry, epistemological issues, the formation and evolution of scientific paradigms, language and science, but, above all, people’s trials and tribulations, needs and aspirations. Ours is the age of the World Wide Web – also termed as the WWW or simply the Web - part and parcel of present-day information and communication technologies age. The key person behind this seminal invention and disruptive innovation is the British scientist and engineer Timothy Berners-Lee.
Objective. The aim of this paper is to unveil the history of the World Wide Web through the prism of the narrative identity of Tim Berners-Lee – the WWW initiator and developer.
Methods. We used mixed (both quantitative and qualitative) methods, specifically, discourse analysis and postmodern narrative research methods, as well as quantitative Lawrence Anthony’s AntConc corpus analysis toolkit for the keyword, frequency, collocation and text analysis. The material of our analysis is mostly Tim Berners-Lee’s book “Weaving the Web” plus several other resources.
Results. The case of the WWW, specifically, the story of Tim Berners-Lee is an example of a “little narrative” that fits within the current postmodern narrative paradigm. His narrative identity is elucidated via Michael Bamberg’s “three-level
positioning” narrative analysis technique: authorial positioning on the level of the story, on the level of the interaction, and on the level of self-defining. Berners-Lee is viewed as a humanist, an altruistic and modest person who is enthusiastic about scientific progress for the benefit of humanity.
Conclusions. The story behind the history of the WWW invention proves the importance of studying “little narratives”. Berners-Lee’s story could best be described as the narrative of human interconnectedness via technology to solve problems.


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