Issue No. 4 of the Annual Volume XCVII

Jubilee of Professor Maria Malec

Professor Maria Malec – a historian of the Polish language.


    TOMASZ MIKA: On idealization and other attitudes towards Old Polish texts
    The term “idealization”, proposed by the present author, represents a research and editorial attitude that is based on the belief that the text under scrutiny is in some respect (and more often than not, in a number of respects) more perfect than it seems from a simple reading of its written form as it is preserved in a manuscript. This attitude can be manifested by changes in the transcription made by editors that go far beyond the basic scope of editorial interference arising from the essence of this form of transmission. The present article lists numerous examples of transcriptions of Old Polish texts which illustrate the editorial interference that exceeds far beyond the boundaries of accepted practice. The author proposes that as long as it is possible to understand the text in the Old Polish language, editors should refrain from correcting it, even if (from today’s perspective) it does not show content’s conformity with form or semantic and structural coherence.
  • MAGDALENA PASTUCH: How to combine historical language units in functional sets? The problems with isolating the appositions (reactives) in the historical language material
    The article presents problems connected with applying the synchronous division into parts of speech to the historical language material. The author assumes that it is impossible to conform all the contemporary findings to the historical analysis. As a consequence, she adopts the term historical unit of language which was proposed by Piotr Sobotka. The example of lexical units (which in some synchronous studies fall into a category called ‘appositions’) proves that when taking a historical approach into account the aforementioned units do not fulfil the criteria for parts of speech. The presented arguments refer both to the synchronous division concerning parts of speech (e.g. how to separate an apposition from an interjection) and to practical problems (e.g. the multitude of discontinuous lexical units in the function of apposition). In the conclusion the author suggests not using the term ‘apposition’ as well as treating the distinguished units as a function of specific particle types.
  • RAFAŁ ZARĘBSKI: Persistence and/or stability of biblical proper names (from the research on toponymy of Szarffenberg’s New Testament from 1556)
    In his article the author proposes the description of toponymy in Szarffenberg’s New Testament (1556) in the context of persistence (continuity) and stability as two categories which determine the form of onomastic tradition in the Polish translations of the Bible. Both phenomena are analyzed in connection with non-linguistic factors associated with multilingual sources of the 16th century versions of the Bible and the religious affiliation of translators. Those phenomena prove that there are significant correlations in the linguistic form of toponyms between medieval and Renaissance translations. On the toponymic map of common and different points the translation from 1556 occupies the important position as the one that marks the beginning and establishment of the tradition of translation.
  • ZBIGNIEW BABIK: A gloss or a terrain name? On two disputable passages from the 15th century Old Polish Acta Terrestria
    The article, apart from an introduction devoted to the general issues illustrated with pertinent examples, consists of two main parts. In the first one, attention is drawn to the passage <ad torrentem do strumyena qui torr. Malwyna exilit Winiką s. defluit vel currit de fluvio s. alio torr. d. Scharowo> (Acta terrestria from the Kalisz area, Greater Poland, 15th century) known since 1922. Its <Winiką> was formerly interpreted as a proper name. However, a thorough analysis of the text leaves little doubt that this is an Old Polish gloss wynikā translating the preceding Latin ex(s)ilit ‘begins (of a river)’, thus a meaning otherwise unattested for this verb in Polish. The second part is devoted mainly to the etymology of the place name Wąbrzeźno (Northern Poland). It is suggested that the name derives from an almost fully extinct Ancient Slavic term *ǫbergъ ‘valley’, retained at the appellative level only in the somewhat remodeled formally dialectal Ukrainian appellative uberezʹ ‘id.’. There were some suggestions made by Cracow historians that a similar topographic term wąbrzeżek shows up in a passage from the local Acta terrestria dating from 1429. However, according to lexicographers compiling The dictionary of Old Polish the respective passage of the source text reads as <Gnaszdowa brziszka>, which instead should be interpreted as a microtoponym. Thus, the problem needs further philological elucidation.
  • ANDRZEJ SIERADZKI: Word formation of female personal names in the aldermen’s book of Szamotuły from the years 1567–1579
    The article focuses on the analysis of female names recorded in the aldermen’s book of Szamotuły from the end of the 16th century. 174 personal names of this type have been excerpted from the studied book, documented in the text in 527 nominal groups of different lexical composition. The outlined subject of the article eliminates from the field of observation those groups, referring to women, which are based only on the name. Personal names are analysed from two points of view: as units of the linguistic system and as units functioning in a specific communicative community. This scope of analyses allows researchers to look upon the anthroponymic units not only with regard to their formal word-formative structure (reconstruction of word-formative models), but also from the point of view of their functions in the text (the units with defined references, including co-referential units). The studied derivatives are exponents of two semantic relationships: ojciec–córka (father–daughter) and mąż–żona (husband–wife). The first group is represented by 17, the second by 151 derivatives. Among onyms referring to women, there are also few derivatives created according to formal word-formative models, e.g., Popczynka < *Popczyna.
  • MIROSŁAWA SIUCIAK: City archives as a source in historic-linguistic research
    The article examines the possibility of researching the Upper Silesia region city archives ranging from the 16th to the 18th century. Some of the sources have already been analysed from the historical and linguistic perspective; however, current developments in style and discourse analysis offer new interpretative vistas. So far, city archives have been treated as texts representing the language of official documents, whose major characteristics are the use of schematic syntax, templates, and specialised terminology. Including such sources in the study of legal discourse allows for a broader range of interpretations. These could go beyond formal textual indicators and form a basis for recreating the worldview and value system in past urban communities. City archives, in particular court records, may be used for recreating the everyday language people spoke centuries ago.
  • JOANNA KAMPER-WAREJKO: The structure of the names of plants appearing in the 16th century Polish translation of the guidebook by Peter Crescentius compared against the standards of the period
    The outline presents the structure of numerous phytonyms (556) recorded in the Polish translations of the guidebook by Peter Crescentius titled O pomnożeniu i rozkrzewieniu wszelakich pożytkow ksiąg dwojenaście… [Twelve books about multiplying and spreading all kinds of benefits] (Cracow 1571) compared against the condition of the 16th century Polish language. The comparison of the phytonyms with the standards of the time was to provide a closer look at the mechanism of the structure of the names of plants in the Polish language of the time and to record productive affixes. The collected material comprises both singular names and compound names. Many of the names constitute already existing words; some of them are names not mentioned in the previous sources; there appear also borrowings – both older ones and more recent ones. On the basis of the analysis of their structure and the degree of assimilation , the productivity of some affixes and historical motivation have been noticed (e.g. -ina, -ka, -ik, -ica, -ec) taking into account the analogy in the word formation of botanical names. What has also been noticed are rare suffixes (-nia, -ucha, -erz, -ew), which in the 16th century were known exclusively from this text or were recorded here for the first time; they may be regarded as the indirect evidence of linguistic mechanisms, rules and schemes which operated in the language at that time. They also demonstrate the high competence of the translator or editor of the text.
  • ANNA LENARTOWICZ-ZAGRODNA: Polish-Latin dictionaries of Luke Brzezwicki. Between Volckmar and Knapiusz
    The article is an attempt to draw attention of researchers to the lexicographical activity of Łukasz Brzezwicki who was the author of two Polish-Latin dictionaries (1602, 1625). His works have never been a subject of linguistic research, probably due to the unfavourable opinion of a respected lexicographer Grzegorz Knapiusz who said that Brzezwicki slavishly imitated the work of the German Nicolaus Volkmar and that Brzezwicki transferred all his linguistic mistakes to the Polish language. But the analysis shows that the opinion of Knapiusz refers only to the first dictionary by Brzezwicki. However, over the centuries there has been a reevaluation and the opinion has been wrongly extended also to the second dictionary, which is in fact significantly different from Volckmar’s dictionary.


  • MARIUSZ LEŃCZUK: Dorota Masłej, Modlitwa Pańska w polskim średniowieczu. Znad staropolskich rękopisów
  • KRZYSZTOF TOMASZ WITCZAK, RAFAŁ ZARĘBSKI: Ranko Matasović, Slavic Nominal Word-Formation. Proto-Indo-European Origins and Historical Development
  • ZYGMUNT SALONI: Robert A. Rothstein, More Words to the Wise. Further Reflections on Polish Language, Literature, and Folklore


  • ANNA KOSTECKA-SADOWA: Academic conference Aesthetics of Language in Communication, Zielona Góra, June 8–9, 2017


  • Publishing novelties
  • A list of reviewers of the annual volume XCVII