ISSUE 9 / 2014


  • Tomasz Karpowicz : Hierarchisation of the orthographic standard as a theoretical and practical issue

    Although a codified orthographic standard is not associated with hierarchisation, it is worth considering the status of various variants with a more specific description of language units in mind. Spelling proves to be subject to variant relatively rarely, but e.g. names of historical and literary periods are a subgroup that is wellestablished in the linguistic awareness of those who write in Polish. The spelling that corresponds better with the Polish orthographic standard assumes a small letter at the beginning of examples such as średniowiecze (the Middle Ages), odrodzenie (the Renaissance) or romantyzm (Romanticism). This advantage, which arises from the relations observed in a group of nouns, translates not only into deeming such forms as model ones but also into using them in academic texts, where forms written with capital letters are unsuitable as ones resulting from a simplification.

    The selected orthographic variants prove to be popular in language practice and omitted from codification. The spelling Noc św. Bartłomieja (St. Bartholomew’s Day) has a great advantage: despite the formally ambiguous name, it identifies a particular historical event. The absence from the orthographic dictionary should not always translate into the statement of non-prescriptiveness. Other variants, some of which were recorded as early as in the lexicography of the Polish People’s Republic, e.g. pośpieszny and pospieszny (hasty), require a description allowing for the specificity of a multi-layer standard.

  • Radosław Pawelec : Orthography in the office, that is about all that clerks would like to ask linguists
    This paper presents orthographic problems related to spelling in official documents. One of them is the use of capital letters and typefaces in names of EU programmes, priorities, actions and projects. Codification does not sufficiently allow for such names and therefore only preliminary suggestions of regulations based on usage can be presented. Another problem is spelling of titles of domestic and EU legal documents. There is consistence in usage and regulations regarding the language of the law, which should be taken into account when changing rather inappropriate regulations provided for in orthographic dictionaries. The last two issues, which are briefly discussed, are new propositions of acronyms of code names, which reflect the spelling of whole names, and a change regarding the use of hyphens in names of districts / parts of cities, such as Warszawa-Środmieście. Due to numerous doubts provoked by this type of spelling, return to the spelling without a hyphen might be considered.
  • Marek Ruszkowski : Alternative forms of acronyms

    The issue of variation of acronyms has never been systematically studied in the Polish linguistic literature. The terminological differentiation between the terms abbreviation and acronym has been an object of linguists’ interest multiple times but semantic ranges of both notions have not been clearly delimited. It is assumed in this paper that acronyms are words founded by corresponding proper names being open compounds, that is one-word abbreviations of proper names. The object of the discussion is only acronyms motivated by native words and therefore forms such as FIAT (variants: F.I.A.T., Fiat), Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, were not taken into consideration. The acronyms were excerpted from Wielki słownik skrótów i skrótowców (Great Dictionary of Abbreviations and Acronyms) by Piotr Müldner- Nieckowski. Containing 74,370 shortened forms of words and expressions present in Polish texts from the period 1974–2006, it is the largest dictionary of this kind in Poland. Other dictionaries of abbreviations record a significantly lower number thereof: from 3,700 to 12,744.

    Variation of acronyms regards ten-odd situations but only nominative forms of acronyms were taken into account. A separate issue is inflection alteration of abbreviations. The presented material demonstrates a variety of acronym variance. A valuable supplementation would be presenting the frequency of individual variance types, which, however, requires separate research.

  • Zofia Smuga : The issue of Dolina za bramką (the Valley behind the Gate)
    Prepositions in proper names should not pose orthographic problems since appropriate regulations seem to specify the use of small and capital letters in an unambiguous manner. However, the Polish language has a model of geographical names which has not been studied to date and, consequently, there are no specific orthographic rules. These are specifically names being constructs with a preposition, where the first element is formally identical to a common word. Due to the fact that Tatra-related names, which are the object of this paper, are abundant and existing for a long time, their spelling should be standardised and appropriate orthographic rules should be formulated, the more so that spellings of this types of names are extremely inconsistent. This paper provides both an analysis of problematic toponyms and a suggestion regarding their spelling.
  • Andrzej Markowski : Orthography in Dzienniki (Diaries) by Maria Dąbrowska
    This paper analyses the orthography of Maria Dąbrowska’s Diaries. This extensive document, which was written in different “orthographic ages”, demonstrates an interesting attitude of the writer to spelling rules. Conclusions are based on an analysis of spellings of words and phraseologisms with respect to using j or i letter after consonants, one-word and separate spelling of prepositional phrases, the use of capital and small letters, and using digit and letter hybrids. The analysis proves that Dąbrowska applied a specific orthography in these areas: in general, she relied on the spelling applicable in 1918 but she did it inconsistently at the same time using rules of both an older and newer orthography. Forms such as kwestja and kwestia (an issue), materjał and materiał (material), popołudniu and po południu (in the afternoon), przedemną and przede mną (before me) are present in her texts interchangeably and without a clear “ascription to a time”. Spellings such as 6-tej (6th), 2-go (2nd), 1921-ym (1921st) are very frequent. It can be concluded that the writer did not attach much attention to orthography both the in the typed and handwritten part of Dzienniki (Diaries) although obviously no fundamental deviations from the spelling standard can be noticed there.
  • Marcin Jakubczyk : The dictionary of Empress Catherine the Great against European linguistic theories of the second half of the 18th century and lexicographic tradition
    This paper presents Cpaвниmeльныe cлoвapи вcѣxъ языкoвъ и нapѣчій… – Linguarum totius orbis vocabularia comparativa... (1787–1789), a dictionary published in Petersburg, which is called the dictionary of Empress Catherine the Great in the relevant literature. The 18th-century lexicon, where “all languages of the world” were recorded in Cyrillic, is discussed in this paper from the viewpoint of its contemporary European linguistic theories and multilingual lexicographic tradition, which was already established in Europe. The first attempts to develop a more serious linguistic typology, discussions of the protolanguage and relations between languages, as well as seeking a universal language and alphabet at that time shaped attitudes and set the stage for scientific linguistics, which was to be born soon. The dictionary Cpaвниmeльныe cлoвapи…, which is discussed in the paper, was to be a certain response to the abovementioned linguistic issues.


  • Mirosława Mycawka : Bogusław Dunaj (ed.), Słownik współczesnego języka polskiego (The Dictionary of Contemporary Polish), Warsaw 1996


  • Bartłomiej Czarski : Compendium linguae Polonicae by Nicolaus Volckmar – the first Gdańsk grammar of Polish and its author



  • Bogdan Walczak : Anna Zielińska, Mowa pogranicza. Studium o językach i tożsamości w regionie lubuskim (The speech of the borderland. A study of languages and identity in the Lubuskie region), Warsaw 2013
  • Sylwia Iglewska : Kinga Banderowicz, Nazwiska nowych obywateli poznańskich na podstawie ksiąg przyjęć do prawa miejskiego (1575–1793) (Names of new Poznań citizens based on libri iuris civilis (1575–1793)), Poznań 2013