ISSUE 7 / 2011


  • Ewa Wolnicz-Pawłowska : Polish onomastics (beginnings – people – nationwide programmes)

    The article presents the beginnings of onomastic research in Poland, distinguished researchers and the greatest research programmes in the field of anthroponymy (Słownik staropolskich nazw osobowych) [Dictionary of Old Polish Personal Names], toponymy (Atlas onomastyczny Słowiańszczyzny, Nazwy miejscowe Polski) [Onomastic Atlas of Sclavinia, Polish Place Names], hydronymy („Hydronymia Europaea” series) and zoonymy (dictionary of Slavic folk zoonymy).

    Each of the programmes was begun by a remarkable personality; these were profoundly knowledgeable scholars characterised by charisma and organisational talents. Only one of the programmes, i.e. the compilation of Old Polish names, was accomplished. The remaining ones have still been continued. The name categories which fascinated the former generations of the researchers who attempted to discover the oldest onomastic resources have been pushed into the background by new civilisation phenomena (mass media). However, modern transformations and development tendencies could not be understood were it not for the research and the great material and theoretical works.

  • Robert Mrózek : Polish versus Slavic onomastics in the confrontative and postulative approach
    Polish and Slavic onomastics (divided into West Slavic, East Slavic and South Slavic onomastics) – which are not internally uniform in terms of selecting directions of research, schools of methodology, or typological and classificatory approach to proper names – associate their development prospects with continuing the selected research directions and projects (mainly South Slavic onomastics) or with seeking and implementing innovative analytical and interpretative approaches to nomenclature diversified in terms of categories, which serve also relevant theoretical generalisations; with this respect the most significant achievements are observed in West Slavic onomastics, within which the attainments of the Polish onomastics are clearly visible.
  • Aleksandra Cieślikowa, Maria Malec : Onomastics in Institute of the Polish Language, Polish Academy of Sciences [Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN] in Cracow. The present state, research prospects
    The article presents the state of onomastic research and prospects through selected team and individual works related to Institute of the Polish Language, Polish Academy of Sciences [Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN] during the last years of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century. As is evident from the review, onomastic works of the centre, not only the one in Cracow, demonstrate multi-directionality of interests reflected in the conducted research. Discussions concerned with both old and contemporary views on language and on the relation between onomastics and other humanities are present in numerous team and individual works. Onomastics is in the centre of both academic investigations and explanations and those intended for the general public. Attention is also given to the organisational and social work of numerous linguists-onomasts.
  • Wanda Decyk-Zięba : Semantic classification of Polish place names: basic problems and resolutions
    The semantic classification of place names employed in Polish publications concerned with the toponymy of large or small areas was presented by Witold Taszycki in 1946 in the book titled Słowiańskie nazwy miejscowe (Ustalenie podziału). The classification did not account for all categories of names and did not satisfy the criterion of even treatment of the material. The most debatable group in that division was the group of diminutive names, that is names formed from the existent place names with the Polish suffixes -ek, -ec, -ik. Distinguishing this group of names initiated the discussion on the status of place names derived from other place names, or more broadly speaking, from proper names of other geographical objects. The result of this discussion was distinguishing toponymy-based (relative) names as a distinct group of place names. The status of place names equal to personal names, which are treated by some researchers as possessive names and by others as a distinct group of names, constituted yet another issue in the book.
  • Monika Kresa : Onomastic (hypo)theses – on the issue of multi-motivation of surnames in anthroponymic research
    Despite the fact that multi-motivation of surnames is a common phenomenon accounted for in both theoretical discussions and examination of specific collections of anthroponyms, it still remains underestimated and pushed into the margin of onomastic discussions. This article is an analysis of the reasons for multi-motivation of surnames as a phenomenon underlying not so much the description units but the description itself and resulting, on the one hand, from the ignorance of researchers about the mechanism of forming particular surnames, and on the other hand, from increasingly more detailed research on the mechanisms of forming surnames in general and transferring it to individual facts. The article also demonstrates various approaches to multi-motivation as well as its relation to structural research. One of the objectives of the study is to present a classificatory proposition, based on multi-motivation of surnames, which permits separating units with one motivation and with several motivational possibilities.
  • Zofia Abramowicz : Denomination of Jewish people in the oldest 19th-century birth and death certificates from the region of Podlasie
    The subject of the analysis is personal names of Jews from Tykocin recorded in the earliest registries of births and deaths (years 1826–1828) preserved in the State Archive in Białystok. The selection of sources is not random. They are the most reliable source of information on the way of denominating and identifying Jewish people in official acts, they provide knowledge on the functioning of Jewish names in ethnically diversified areas. The application of the documentation and comparison method allows to follow through the process of the formation and stabilisation of the Jewish names in Podlasie. The analysis of the source material leads to the following conclusions:
    1. The most significant role in the Jewish anthroponymy was attributed to the first name. Native names were given. When identifying, the most popularly used formula was: X son/daughter of Y.
    2. The influence of the naming habit of the country of settlement is reflected in:
    a) forming derivatives of Biblical, post-Biblical names originating from Yiddish (diminutive, abbreviated, phonetically transformed forms);
    b) creating synthetic patronymic formations.
    3. Imposing the obligation to acquire a surname by the authorities of the country of settlement results in:
    a) expanding the function of patronyms and gradual natural development of the patronymic-type surname;
    b) acquiring surnames which are characteristic for autochthonic population: ones derived from places, professions, characteristics, nick-names;
    c) assuming artificial surnames of foreign origin.
  • Kinga Banderowicz : A few comments on the linguistic characteristics of surnames based on the Poznań księgi przyjęć do prawa miejskiego (16th–18th centuries)

    The subject of the article is a linguistic analysis of proper names (anthroponyms) excerpted from the Poznań księgi przyjęć do prawa miejskiego [books on the civil law] (1575–1793). The surnames of the residents of Poznań characterised here confirm the progress of various linguistic phenomena over three centuries (16th, 17th, 18th centuries), that is those typical of the historical Polish language and characteristic for the dialect of Greater Poland. Although it is difficult to draw conclusions based on individual excerpts, it is possible to discern features of the dialect of Greater Poland in the analysed names, e.g. diversification -ow//-ew, high frequency of the suffix -ski, lack of forms created as a result of the simplification of the consonant cluster chw- to f-.

    The onomastic processes indicate the existence of certain anthroponymic predilections of creators of names, which became the onymic usage, e.g. the formation of certain types of surnames or the employment of characteristic surname-forming suffixes. Certain processes became a consequence of the social, economic and/or cultural correlations of those days (e.g. Germanisation /Polonisation of proto-surnames). The geographical location of the city was also reflected in the anthroponymic structures of the residents of Poznań (dialectal elements in historical surnames).


  • Joanna Gruba : The Internet portal of phonetics – assumptions of the project
  • Maria Żaboklicka : Report from the speech-therapy conference Głos w sprawie głosu


  • Ewa Rudnicka : Co w kanałach piszczy [What’s up in channels]