The aim of the paper is to present and classify various names of nations and ethnic groups mentioned in Pan Balcer w Brazylii by Maria Konopnicka. The poem includes interesting variant forms, such as Portugał, Portuges and Portugalczyk (for a Portugese) or Prusak and Prus (for a Prussian). Synonymous names referring either to a member of a given nation or to another homogeneous group of people are also to be found in Konopnicka’s poem. This is best exemplified by names denoting Germans, such as: Niemiec, Niemczysko, Szwab, Szwabisko, Prusak or pluder. Various derivatives of the noun Murzyn (a black person), such as: Murzyńczuk, Murzynisko or the mass noun Murzyństwo can serve as other examples. Besides the names of nations, the paper also examines the names of inhabitants of certain regions of Poland. The ones that are brought to attention are derivational doublets, such as: Podlasiak and Podlasianin or Kurp and Kurpiak, metonymic ones, such as Polska and Podlasie (used with reference to inhabitants) as well as prepositional phrases indicating the place of origin by a given river, e.g.: od Warty or od Bugu and od Buga (with a variant genitive ending) or a given location, i.e.: od Sokołowa, z Łęki or z Łęgi.
The names of inhabitants coined from the names of locations, such as Łomżyńce, Łahiszyńce or Płocczany refer not only to their inhabitants but also to those living in the neighbouring areas. All the names are provided with relevant contexts, which enables to determine their emotional or stylistic value. Moreover, longer quotations reveal the attitude of emigrants towards themselves and strangers.
The paper contains a semantic and pragmatic analysis of nominal phrases with an indefinite pronoun functioning as the superior constituent or the subordinate constituent, which are ambiguous in certain contexts. This is related to the identifiedness or non-identifiedness of the set to which the referent of the phrase belongs and the location it occupies in this set – it is either a component of the entire set or a component of its subset.
For instance, the phrase gdzieś na ulicy [somewhere on the street] refers either to a non-identified location belonging to an identified set of places, which is a street known to interlocutors in the city where they are at the moment, or to a place characterised as situated on a street of an undefined city, that is belonging to an non-identified set of streets. A different type of ambiguity is characteristic for the phrase jakieś owoce [some fruit(s)], the referent of which is either a component of an identified set of fruit, e.g. in the sentence Daj mi jakieś owoce z tych, które kupiliśmy dzisiaj [Give me some fruit(s) from among those we have bought today], or it belongs to a subset of a non-identified set of fruit in the situation referring to a species of fruits, e.g. in the sentence addressed at a seller Czy mógłby mi pan sprzedać jakieś owoce [Could you sell me some fruits].
The ambiguity described in the paper disappears when pragmatic factors, such as context and situation of speaking, are taken into account, which was proved after analysing numerous uses of the Polish pronouns gdzieś [somewhere], kiedyś [sometime] and jakoś [somehow].