The article is an attempt to reconstruct the ethnic identity of the young generation of the Polish living in the Vilnius region based upon data gained from the works of Vilnius Polish philologists. The works include: definition of language fluency level, areas where Polish is used, attitudes towards Polish language and Polish culture in the Vilnius region.
The results of the analysis support confirm the idea of the dual Polish-Lithuanian identity and cultural bivalency of the objects of the research. The conclusions, however, must be carefully observed as the process of identity formation requires application of interdisciplinary tools.
The subject of the article is the notion of ‘mniejsze zło’ (‘less evil’). The phrase is presented only in the most recent Polish dictionaries, defining it similarly to ‘the necessary evil’ (malum necessarium): ‘it is something bad, that we choose consciously, or agree to, in order to avoid something worse’. Nowadays, it is mainly associated with the marshal law (1980s), though it is not mentioned in dictionaries.
In the first part, the author attempts to explain the cognitive mechanism of gradation, used in the expression. Gradation usually occurs when the viewer is able to notice two physical objects of the same kind A and B, though different in size (smaller and bigger) and we can formulate judgments like: ‘A is bigger than B’; ‘B is smaller than A’. Apparently, gradation ability may be excellently used in metaphorical projection concerning ‘moral choice’ between smaller and bigger evil.
In the latter part of the article, the author points out that, apart from descriptive character of the phrase, though extremely handy in a philosophical and ethical discourse, there is a danger of using it for relativisation of moral evil.
The paper presents a few selected morphological features of utterances addressed to children. The author is interested in two grammatical categories: ‘person’ and ‘number’ used in verbal forms. The article answers some questions connected with the discussed categories, for example:
The analysis is based on the linguistic material collected during the so-called participating observation – all the analyzed utterances represent texts created by adults and addressed to infants and toddlers.