ISSUE 5 / 2014


  • Jadwiga Puzynina : Why am I defending the culture of the word?

    This paper is a polemic response to the text by Bogdan Walczak titled Aksjologia a językoznawstwo (Axiology and linguistics), where the author objects to linguists pursuing the ethics of the word and the culture of the word, which comprises its components. Yet Puzynina points to the high popularity of studies on various elements of the ethics of the word in the Polish linguistics of the past three decades.

    The author of this paper finds the fact that Bogdan Walczak persists in his conviction that linguists should observe the principle: “the only object of linguistics is language considered in itself”, which is characteristic of structuralism, the major cause of his reluctant attitude towards the ethics of the word. The author, in turn, is an advocate of interdisciplinary studies of language in action in applied linguistics, which permit evaluation and advice regarding the ethics of linguistic communication.

    In the conclusion part, the author introduces numerous quotations proving the significance of ethics in the individual and the community life. In her opinion, they might serve as aid for the linguists who recognise the need to study the ethics of the word, which plays an extremely important role in building a healthy human psyche and a healthy society.

  • Magdalena Steciąg : Who is a prescriptivist linguist today? A contribution to the debate on objectives of the contemporary prescriptivism
    The currently reviving debate on the direction and objectives of prescriptive linguistics in the changing conditions for linguists to cultivate science and function in the Polish society raises the question about who a prescriptivist linguist is today. The answer to this question is not straightforward but it seems that there are three ranks of images within which prescriptivist linguists are portrayed: ADVOCATE – AUTHORITY – PROPAGATOR, GUIDE – CONTROLLER – OBSERVER, GUARD – GARDENER – JUDGE. They emerge from the analysis of the presentations in prescriptive linguistics released in “Poradnik Językowy” (“The Linguistic Guide”) and “Język Polski” (“The Polish Language”) as well as other selected prescriptive publications of the past decade, which was conducted from the cognitive perspective.
  • Mirosław Bańko : What are we defending when defending language? On potential causes of aversion to loanwords
    Loanwords are an object of dislike for many people. It is important to understand the causes of this aversion: it can help shape proper attitudes towards language and even increase social acceptance for changes in the extra-linguistic reality. This paper presents a hypothesis that the actual cause of aversion to loanwords is not the officially declared factors, e.g. patriotic, theoretical linguistic, teaching, or stylistic ones, as these motives can only result from rationalisation of the attitudes represented by people who are unaware of the causes of their behaviours. The actual cause of aversion to loanwords, at least in the case of certain people, can be their unreadiness to open to changes in language and, in broader terms, in the social environement, which results from sociological and psychological factors. Arguments for the thesis, which are presented in this paper, are derived from research conducted by sociologists, psychologists and linguists.
  • Ewa Woźniak : The heritage of Old Polish or the legacy of the partition period – on the syntax of the official language
    This paper presents arguments substantiating the need to undertake systematic research on the syntax of the official Polish language of the partition and post-partition periods. The absence of such research, the practice of formulating evaluations based on random examples, and referring to predecessors’ opinions results in the establishment of negative judgements about the level of official Polish in the period of rebirth of Poland. The sources of such opinions can be found in the debate occurring in “Poradnik Językowy” (“The Linguistic Guide”), “Język Polski” (“The Polish Language”), and other interwar publications on Polish usage. The popular stereotypical judgements about the impact of German on the syntax of official documents require verification also in light of research on the official and legal variant of Polish of the pre-partition period so that it is possible to determine which properties constitute the Old Polish heritage and which are the legacy of the partition period.
  • Magdalena Bartłomiejczyk : Women in the military: masculine or feminine nouns?
    In Polish, all nouns have grammatical gender; however, many traditionally “male” professions lack feminine names. For women employed in these professions masculine names are used. The word żołnierka ‘female soldier’ is present in contemporary dictionaries of the Polish language and also on the Internet, but many language users object to it. In order to check preference for masculine or feminine nouns referring to women in the military among young Poles I administered a short translation test to 38 trainee translators (students of English Philology). The word soldier, which appeared repeatedly in the source text, obviously referred to an individual woman. Żołnierka was only used by three participants. The composite feminine form pani żołnierz proved to be more popular (seven participants chose it at least once), yet the great majority of the translators (almost 87%) used the masculine generic noun żołnierz. In spite of their preference for the masculine noun, most participants were not able to use it correctly, in accordance with the relevant rules of the Polish grammar and with the situational context. The fact that so many participants chose masculine forms although in this case feminine ones were much easier to use suggests that new feminine forms proposed for some professions and positions in the name of the fight against linguistic sexism do not stand a big chance of being generally accepted.
  • Monika Biesaga : Names of fi tness classes (productivity sources and mechanisms)
    The aim of this paper is to characterise the linguistic mechanisms that affect the currently observed dynamic expansion of the set of fitness class names. It has been proved in the course of the conducted analyses that it is underlain by three processes related to the selection of lexical components in terms of origin, segmentation and semantics of forms. Their operation is motivated by extra-linguistic factors, namely the need to distinguish a training in one fitness club from a training in a competitive club. Hence, it has been proved that commercialisation – as a factor that that had never been allowed for in the studies of the language of sport – inspires changes on the linguistic plane.
  • Anna Kamińska : Smolić kieliszki, być na fleku, or on phraseologisms from the lexical fi eld
    This paper attempts to present the diversity of the phraseological lexis the is a fragment of the semantic field related to the action of consuming alcohol, the effects of intoxicating with ethanol, and the names of intoxication states. The analysis of the linguistic material, excerpted from Słownik frazeologiczny języka polskiego (The phraseological dictionary of Polish) by S. Skorupka and from Słownik polszczyzny potocznej (The dictionary of colloquial Polish) by J. Anusiewicz and J. Skawiński, proves that this is a layer of the colloquial language characterised by certain specialisation, a significant load of expression, and not seldom – of jocularity. Using phraseologisms from the semantic field of “alcohol” proves the need of alcohol-drinking environments to have multiple linguistic instruments of that kind at their disposal, and hence the attempt to capture difficult, socially unaccepted facts euphemistically and metaphorically.


  • Małgorzata B. Majewska : Aleksander Zdanowicz et al., Słownik języka polskiego (Dictionary of Polish), Vilnius 1861



  • Barbara Pędzich : A report from IX Forum Kultury Słowa (9th Forum on the Culture of the Word)
  • Józef Porayski-Pomsta : Activities of Towarzystwo Kultury Języka (Society for Language Culture) in the period 2011–2013. A report of the Management Board
  • Joanna Zawadka : A report from the General Meeting of the members of Towarzystwo Kultury Języka (Society for Language Culture) on 24 January 2014