ISSUE 7 / 2014


  • Stanisław Dubisz : The situation of the Polish language in Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus

    The history of the Polish language within the present territory of Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus is comprised in several, chronologically diverse, historical periods of these lands and countries: 1) the 14th-18th centuries – the phase of political and cultural expansion of the Kingdom of Poland; 2) 1795-1918 – the phase of the partitions of Poland and, what followed, dominance of Russia; 3) 1918- -1939 – the phase of political dominance of Poland and Soviet Russia; 4) 1939-1945 – the phase of the Second World War and occupation; 5) 1945-1990 – the phase of dominance of the USSR; 6) the phase of political sovereignty of Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.

    What bears particular significance for the contemporary situation of Polish in Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus is its history of the second half of the 20th century. Its development was regressive at that time, since it lost its earlier rank of an interlect in favour of Russian and remained merely a language used by an ethnic minority. Hence, while the prestige and social range of Polish gradually increased in those areas (from the 16th c.), the phase of dominance of the USSR (1945-1990) changed that situation to the disadvantage of the Polish language.

    At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st c., the situation of the Polish language in the three countries – Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus – is diverse, yet its common intralinguistic, extralinguistic and nonlinguistic considerations can be observed.

  • Agnieszka Ewa Piotrowska : An attempt to characterise words ni and ani and indefinite pronouns with the particle ni- in Old Polish and Middle Polish ages in terms of semantics (on a dictionary material)

    This paper presents etymology, semantic and syntactic functions of conjunctions and negative particles ni and ani as well as indefinite pronouns with prefix ni-: nic, niczyj, nigda, nigdy, nigdzie, nijaki, nijeden, nikakie, nikt, niktóry, niżadny, nikam and nikędy together with examples of their usages in the oldest surviving texts from the period until the end of the 16th century.

    It is hypothesised that in the case of some of the above-listed lexemes a homonymy occurred as a result of phonetic merger of forms including two different formants: ni- < from Proto-Slavic *ni- or nie- < from Proto-Slavic *ně- (after the formation of constricted vowels), which is noticeable upon comparison of the past meanings of words such as niegdy and nigdy, niejaki and nijaki, niejeden and nijeden, niekakie and nikakie, as well as niektóry and niktóry.

  • Kinga Tutak : Dedykacja (Dedication) and its linguistic equivalents in 16th and 17th-century Polish prints
    The object of this paper is genre names functioning in 16th- and 17th-century Polish prints attributed to dedications. My discussions are double-track. One track is determined by observations related to places that are particularly privileged in the space of the old book: the heading and the running head. This is where authors usually placed two (genre) names: list dedykacyjny (dedicatory letter) and prze(d)mowa (foreword). This is because the dedicatory work followed the convention that had its root in the epistolographic and oratorical theory and practice. The other track of the discussions is connected with a dictionary research. I looked for equivalents of dedykacja (dedication) in 16th- and 17thcentury lexicons. I distinguished four gerunds: poświącanie/poświęcenie (devoting), ofiarowanie (sacrificing), przywłaszczenie (approprating) and przypisanie (attributing), and then I investigated the manner in which they were used in texts. I also allowed for the underlying verbs. I supported my own examples with documentation derived from Słownik polszczyzny XVI wieku (Dictionary of the 16th-century Polish). The mentioned linguistic units can be divided into two groups. I classified the verbs poświącać, poświęcić (to devote), ofiarować (to sacrifice) and the corresponding gerunds to one group. They set the sender’s decisions related to handing over a work to someone in the space of sacrum. The other group, in turn, is represented by the verbs przywłaszczyć (to appropriate) and przypisać (to attribute) and the derived gerunds. Although they were a part of the secular code, they were “ennobled” through amplification.
  • Anetta Luto-Kamińska : What is it that the 16th-century Pole could and the contemporary one cannot do? Semantic and grammatical characteristics in the nest potrafić (can) (the 16th century and the present)
    The author, departing from the contemporary meaning of the verb potrafić (can), presents how this word functioned in the same meaning in the 16th century. She also points to a range of differences in the linguistic characteristics of the lexeme in both epochs: the issues of the aspect, syntactic considerations, relations with the formal root word, and normative generalisations. Through the application of the nested analysis, it was possible to reproduce and systematise formal and semantic correlations between prefixal verbs potrafić, potrafiać and non-prefixal verbs trafić, trafiać, which are historically alive. Owing to genetic relations between them, prefixal verbs could be presented as regular adverbial forms situated on the first tact of several word formation nests TRAFIAĆ, TRAFIĆ, while the contemporary verb potrafić is an independent centre of two empty nests, exclusively in the form POTRAFIĆ, which is interpreted as bi-aspectual. Apart from that, other numerous forms with the prefix po-, which are situated on both the first and successive tacts of the nests TRAFIAĆ, TRAFIĆ of those times, occur in 16thcentury texts.
  • Elżbieta Krasnodębska : Nominal proper collective names in the 16th-century Polish

    The object of the research in this paper is 16th-century noun-motivated proper collective names.

    The conducted analysis proves that: 1) proper nominal collective names used in the 16th-century Polish were diverse in terms of semantics, and the most numerously represented were the names of collections of believers of religious theories that were inconsistent with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, collective forms naming clergymen, 2) the few collective structures bore negative emotional load, e.g. gburstwo (boors) (sometimes with a tinge of contempt for lower rank, uncouth, simple people), hultajstwo (villains) (sometimes abusively about rogues, blackguards, scoundrels), kacerstwo (heretics) (often insultingly about infidels from the perspective of Catholics), 3) the analysed forms were derived with formants -stwo/-two/-ostwo and -‘a 4) a quite numerous word formation type was created only by forms with the suffix -stwo/-two/-ostwo, with this trend noticeable in the entire history of Polish, 5) half of the discussed forms were 16th-century neologisms, and the majority of them disappeared, unlike the collective structures formed in Old Polish 6) new forms, like in the Old Polish period, were coined mainly with the formant -stwo/-two/- ostwo, 7) over half of all proper collective nouns present in the analysed material have survived until today (9 derivatives), 8) however, the majority of the preserved structures have lost their collective meaning (only 3 derivatives with the suffix -stwo still fulfil the function of collective nouns).

  • Tamara Graczykowska : The impact of the Russian language on the vocabulary of the Polish press published in the USSR in the interwar period (on the example of the lexis related to the agricultural area in “Trybuna Radziecka” (“Soviet Tribune”))

    This paper presents lexical Russicisms related to the broadly defined agricultural lexis. The collected units were excerpted from all annual volumes of “Trybuna Radziecka” (“Soviet Tribune”), a central Polish paper published in the USSR in the interwar period (1927–1938). The thematic group <<agriculture>> is forms i.a. by names of agricultural works (e.g. bukierować, polewać, przeszarować, skirdowanie), names of agricultural machinery (e.g. grzebałka, łobogrejka, sianokosiłka), and names of plants and cultivations (e.g. koksogyz, raps, turneps).

    Thirty-seven lexemes derived from Russian were represented in “Trybuna Radziecka”. A portion of those Russicisms established themselves in Polish lexical resources in the USSR (15 words), a few of them (6 lexemes) were recorded in other parallel resources (in the Polish language of Kaunas, Moscow and Soviet Belarus).


  • Mirosław Bańko : M. Szymczak (ed.), Słownik języka polskiego (Dictionary of Polish), vol. 1–3, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw 1978–1981



  • Aneta Wysocka : Halina Pelcowa, Maria Wojtak (eds), Słowa. Style. Metody (Words. Styles. Methods), Lublin 2012
  • Joanna Wierzchowska : Włodzimierz Wysoczański, Umieranie i śmierć. Wielowymiarowość językowa (Dying and death. Linguistic multidimensionality), Wrocław 2012


  • Dorota Połowniak-Wawrzonek : The phraseologism (ktoś jest) kobieta pracująca (żadnej pracy się nie boi) ((someone is) a hard-working woman (is not afraid of any work)) in the contemporary Polish language