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KIM JESTEŚMY ARTYKUŁY CIEKAWE LINKI 2002-2009 NASZ PATRONAT KRONIKA KRAKOWA DZIŚ W POLSCE

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PAKT WOJSKOWY POLSKA - IZRAEL.  
Ewa Jasiewicz,Yonatan Shapira na spotkaniu w Krakowie 22 czerwca 2010  
Polscy "nacjonaliści" o żydach 
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A brief history of the Polish language


Its Ancient Origins

The originality of Polish culture is tied to its language and to its Slavonic roots. Linguistic studies indicate that 5000 to 4000 years ago early Balto-Slavic languages were part of the Arian or the Eastern Indo-European languages. Over 3500 years ago, the languages of the Balto-Slavs separated from the Arian languages; some 3000 years ago, the Baltic and Slavic languages separated from each other; and for the next 1500 years, the Slavic languages evolved parallel to the Greek, Latin, Celtic, Germanic, and other languages. The evolution of the Polish language occurred during the following 1500 years.

Development of the Polish Language

Polish language reflected the intellectual and material culture in spoken words and later in literature. Early Polish vocabulary contained much earlier cultural information than do written records. The adoption of foreign words grew with the passage of time. During the present information age, new European and American terms related to fashions, sports, arts, politics, and technology are being adopted by the modern Polish language. Unabridged Polish dictionaries presently contain some 200,000 entries; one-third of these are foreign adaptations, while about one-fourth are still close to Old Slavonic words.

Although Polish was the national language of Poland, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church introduced Poland to Latin - the lingua franca of western European culture. Polish translations of Latin texts and other Polish publications were the only source of the eastern Slavic peoples’ knowledge about Western civilization. Thus were nearly all ruling members of the Russian Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917) were fluent in Polish.

The name of Poland, in Polish "Polska," originated from the name of Polanians. Linguistic data of the highly diversified early Slavic vocabulary proves familiarity with elaborate abstract ideas. In Slavic self-perception the ethnic meaning of the word "Slav" or Słowianin (swo-vyah-ńeen) in Polish was derived from the term for the spoken word, or "słowo" (swo-vo). Thus, to the Slavs, their name testified to their mastery over spoken words, in contrast to others, whose languages they did not understand.

The chronicle of the Cistercian abbey at Henryków (1227-1310) includes the oldest preserved sentence written in Polish.

A constitutional monarchy evolved in this period (1370-1493). During this evolution, due legal process was established in Poland; Polish became a language of elegance and civility in east central Europe, as Poland acquired a civilizing role between the Baltic and the Black Seas and Polish was used as the language of diplomacy.

By the end of the 15th century, national and regional parliaments became catalysts of social and cultural life in Poland - a role played in the rest of Europe by the royal court and the town. The first Digest of Polish Law was printed in Kraków in 1488; it included a royal guarantee against searches and seizures. Approximately 15,000 different Polish words were used in the preserved medieval texts.

Progress during the Renaissance

Jan Mączyński published the first extensive Latin-Polish dictionary Lexico Latino-Polonorum in 1564. A pioneer of cardiology, a professor of medicine and philosophy, Józef Struś (1510-1568) published a 1555 treatise on the pulse entitled Sphygmicae artis libri quinque. In 1583, Andrzej Patrycy Nidecki edited and published the partially preserved writings of Cicero. His Fragmentorum M. Tulli Ciceronis was very popular among European humanists.

Printing houses were also opened in provincial areas. Polish orthography was standardized chiefly by printers who helped the development of the Polish language by encouraging the publication of Polish books and dictionaries. A Polish grammar book for foreigners was printed in 1568 by Piotr Stratotius-Stojeński; his book was in French. During the first one hundred years of Polish printing some three-and-half million books were printed. By 1550, printers in Kraków had reached the highest European level.

Widespread polemics on the religious questions in Poland often resounded throughout Europe. Protestants contributed to the wider use of the Polish language. Mikołaj Rey, called the father of literature in the Polish language, first wrote moralizing dialogues published in 1543. In them he criticized overspending, luxury, and drunkenness. He wrote the best 16th-century Polish satire and gave an excellent picture of everyday life in Poland. His Life of an Honorable Man gave a vivid picture of the customs of Polish country squires.

The Great Scientific Dictionary of Polish-Latin-Greek by Grzegorz Knapski, entitled Thesaurus Polono-Latino-Graecus, was published in 1621. It was an important work for Polish and Slavic lexicography. The first printing shop in Warsaw was established in 1624. Polish dictionaries, grammars, and other books were printed in Królewiec (Koenigsberg) in the Polish Fief of Prussia.

Enlightenment in Poland in the 18th century brought further advancement in the development of the Polish language, literature, and press during the reign of King Stanisław II Poniatowski.

Development during the 19th and 20th c.

The first complete dictionary of recent Polish was published in six volumes in 1807-1814 by Samuel Bogumił Linde (1771-1847), a lexicographer who worked at the Załuski Library - the first public library in Europe. At that point, the Polish language was as equally developed as the German and more advanced than the Russian; it was one of major European languages possessing a rich literature and a vocabulary of arts and sciences. The character of Linde’s dictionary was historical and not normative. It included 60,000 entries.

In 1861, the learned circles of Wilno published Słownik języka polskiego (A Dictionary of the Polish Language), sometimes called The Wilno Dictionary. It included many regional words from north-eastern parts of Poland and is proof of a strong cultural connection between the Wilno region and the rest of ethnic Poland.

The reform of the orthography of the Polish language was completed in 1891. Following its inauguration of Prace Filologiczne (The Philological Studies) in 1885, the Kraków Academy of Learning begun to issue two other publications: Poradnik Językowy (The Language Handbook)in 1901, and Język Polski (The Polish Language) in 1913. In addition, the Academy of learning published Słownik Gwar Polskich (Dictionary of Polish Dialects) from 1900 to 1911; and in 1915, Język Polski i jego historia (The Polish Language and Its History) - two volumes of the Encyklopedia Polska.

Another reform of Polish orthography was carried out in 1918.

Polish literature blossomed. Adam Asnyk wrote poetry linking the Romanticist traditions with social problems viewed in a Positivist manner. Adolf Dygasiński wrote excellent naturalist novels about animals. Eliza Orzeszkowa, writer and journalist, wrote tendentious positivist literature; her best and most famous novel was Nad Niemnem (On the Shores of Niemen, 1887). Bolesław Prus (Aleksander Głowacki, 1847-1912) was a writer and columnist of the period of realism. In Lalka (The Doll, 1890), he described the "last Romanticists" and the defeat of the positivist "dreamers." Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) wrote Polish historical novels. His novel, Quo Vadis, about early Christians in Nero’s Rome won him a Noble Prize (1905) and was by far the greatest bestseller worldwide at the time.

Total of about twenty people born in Poland won the Noble Prize for their contribution to science, literature, and peace. Thus, Polish language and culture are of considerable importance today, flourishing as they do in the geographical center of the European continent.
26 czerwiec 2005

Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski 

  

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