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.
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.
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).
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).