Jerzy Bartmiński

Lublin Ethnolinguistics

[Published in: Schools of Polish Language studies in 20th century, ed. by Irena Bajerowa, Warsaw 2004, pp.41-61]

1. Introduction.

The ethnolinguistic research in Lublin is gathered around the Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols (1980, 1996, 1999) and the “Ethnolinguistics” periodical. At the beginning this research involved the Polish folk language as it developed in the 60’s and 70’s on the verge of dialectology and folklore. However as the study progressed the research focused on the colloquial Polish language and its internal, stylistic and dialectal diversity. Then it incorporated comparative and interlingual aspects, especially based on semantics and axiology, which consequently led to the appearance of numerous general questions and theoretical problems. In the end Lublin ethnolinguistics found its place in the anthropological-cultural and cognitive area of linguistics.

I will present Lublin ethnolinguistics by showing the stages of its development and conclude with its short synthetic characteristics. First I will talk about the study of the folk language in connection to local dialects. Then I will discuss the concepts of the Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols, whose first editions started to appear in 1996; theoretical aspects of those studies and its most important areas of interest, which became subjects of national conferences, and then the expansion of those studies on colloquial language and finally research projects, both those completed and still in progress.


2. Folk language as compared with colloquial dialect

The starting point for Lublin ethnolinguistics was dialectological research conducted by prof. Paweł Smoczyński from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, who was the initiator and author of the unpublished Atlas of Lublin dialect and prof. Leon Kaczmarek, who initiated the tape recordings of local folk conversations. Prof. Maria Renata Mayenowa gave these recordings a new and important folkloristic and cultural dimension in 1961. It was thanks to her that people started recording dialect conversations in their entire diversity. Therefore they included everyday conversations, stories, narratives of life, work, memories as well as songs, fairy tales, proverbs, poems and any available texts that made up the spoken folklore. This diversity is also shown in Dialectal Texts of the Lublin Region (Teksty gwarowe z Lubelszczyzny) by Bartmiński and Mazur (1978). Despite this diversity it was possible to research the language of folklore and to prove that it has a specific status, that is a specific stylistic variation of the dialect and that it is in contrast to the colloquial dialect and its reach is supradialectal and interdialectal.. Jerzy Bartmiński’s book On the Language of Folklore (O języku folkloru) (1973), which is based on the differential theory of poetic style of Jakobson and Kuryłowicz, combines the dialectological description (including phonetics, morphology, vocabulary and syntax of folk poetic texts) with the stylistic description. The folk poetic inter dialect has exhibited so many regular differences in comparison to colloquial speech, i.e. colloquial dialect that it allowed for the introduction of the phrase “stylistic derivation”. This was the title of J. Bartmiński’s book published in 1977, which focused on the function of folk dialect in poetic language. This book was his post-doctoral dissertation. The derivative concept of style found a broader use: it was used to interpret relations between different styles of the colloquial Polish language. The colloquial style was pronounced to be the center of the stylistic system of language and other styles, such as scientific or official, as its stylistic derivatives. In the first stage of research conducted in Lublin on the folk language two PhD dissertations were written: Modernistic Processes in the Polish Poetic Folk Language (Procesy modernizacyjne w języku polskiego folkloru wierszowanego) by Jan Adamowski (1982) and Inter-dialectal Elements in the Polish Folk Song (Elementy interdialektalne w polskiej pieśni ludowej) by Jerzy Sierociuk (1984, published later as a book entitled. Folk Song and Dialect (Pieśń ludowa i gwara, Lublin 1990).

3. Ethnolinguistic archives: recordings, documents, computer data base

The development and further research on folklore began in 1976, when the topic of linguistics and folklore was incorporated into the research program on the national culture headed by prof. Czesław Hernas and prof. Mieczysław Klimowicz from Wrocław. A research group was established in Lublin, which was to prepare a dictionary of folklore language and most of all “formulas”, that is song phraseologies and phrasemes. The Polish Department at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University gathered archives of folk songs based on about 60 thousand typed and hand written entries gathered in the field. In recent times Christmas songs were separated from this huge archive for a more detailed study as they are the ones that gain most interest. After the work Singing Carols in the Lublin region (Kolędowanie na Lubelszczyźnie) (1986) the publication of the anthology Polish Folk Christmas Songs (Polskie kolędy ludowe) (2002) is expected.

The rules of gathering and use of these texts were based on the descriptive language of information research, whose details were presented in a special issue of “Folk Literature („Literatura Ludowa”) (4-6, 1979). The entire collection, i.e. as many as 25,000 items, of song lyrics and poems from the issue of Lud by Kolberg was typed into a specially designed computer program by the Head of the Chair of Enumerative Methods at Maria Curie-Skłodowska, Prof. Światomir Ząbek in collaboration with prof. Jerzy Woronczak. In this way a data base was created (known under the working name of FOLBAS), which allows for an easy and multiple lexical search and is the basic assistance tool in developing different topics/groups of texts and recognizing stereotypical motifs to write a dictionary. The folk love poems and songs were researched by Dobrosława Wężowicz-Ziółkowska with a special emphasis on the repetitiveness of motives and themes (PhD in 1988, publication entitled Folk Love (Miłość ludowa), Wrocław 1991).

Simultaneously with the development of the songs’ archives and making excerpts from the printed sources, the recordings of live dialect texts from the field were continued to be made. The ethnolinguistic archives which included not only songs but also common stories and folk artistic prose now contain c. 1300 tapes and video tapes (see Maksymiuk, Michalec, 1999). Transcripts were made of texts and melodies of most of the songs, which made up the so-called regional archives including 12 thousand recordings. On the basis of these archives the Lublin chapter to The Polish Folk Songs and Music series published by IS PAN and edited by Ludwik Bielawski is being prepared. Stanisława Niebrzegowska in her book Fear to Fear. Herbs in Folk Spoken Accounts (Przestrach od przestrachu. Rośliny w ludowych przekazach ustnych, Lublin 2000) used the material collected in the archives. This book opens the planned series entitled Ethnolinguistic materials


4. The trial issue of the Dictionary – the concept of stereotypes as components of the linguistic vision of the world

The trial issue of The Dictionary of Folk Linguistic Stereotypes (Słownika ludowych stereotypów językowych) (Wrocław, Wyd. Uniwersyteckie), which was published in 1980 and developed by a whole group of researchers became a kind of „a manifesto” of Lublin ethnolinguistics. This dictionary set the basic notions as well as the goal and methods of work. The goal of the dictionary was semantic: it was agreed that it was to recreate the folk side of the world, the “folk believes about the world”. On the selected examples of the sun, horse, ox, cuckoo bird, rosemary, taller and loving the concept of stereotypes was introduced viewed as a stable semantic and/or formal relation and described by a set of structured sentence definitions known as minimal contexts (later described as “stereotypical motifs”), which had been compiled on the basis of folk and colloquial texts by means of morphological and textual analysis. Sentence definitions (and their equivalents) were arranged in „semantic categories”, later (after Wierzbicka) they were called facets. For the first time in lexicography text documentation was separated from explications, combining the two parts of the theme articles with numerical endnotes. Next to the word formulas such as the cuckoo birds cuckoos kukułka kuka / kuje the dictionary provided information that in wedding songs the cuckoo bird is the bride and the popular belief that the cuckoo bird predicts how many children a woman will have and it heralds good harvest and wealth etc.

The reviewers of the trial issue stressed that it is „an attempt to develope a new type of a dictionary” and is “a very brave lexicological experiment” (A. Lewicki) and a proposal of a “new synthetic, ethno linguistic-folk or ethno cultural type of Slavic lexicography” (S. and N. Tolstoys). It was seen as a work that would be very useful for the systematic arrangement of folklore texts (H. Kapełuś) and “it can be used as an example for other similar works on other folklore groups (A. Hönig). The set of materials entitled The Folklore Vision of the World and Man (Ludowa wizja świata i człowieka) published later in No. 26 of Akcent (1986) presented the selected entries such as the sun, fire, water, stone, mountain and wind in yet another version.


5. Theoretical problems of linguistic semantics

According to one of the reviewers of the trail issue of the dictionary the accomplishment of the introduced project demanded the solution of problems in the area of the theory of language and semantics. These problems were addressed by a group of linguists which was gathered around the national seminar “Language and Culture (financed between 1976 and 1990 by the Wroclaw Center of “The Polish National Culture” programme and later by the Committee for Scientific Research grants and university and own resources). It must be noticed that the addressed issues exceeded the demands of the dictionary and went on their own path engaging many researchers from other research centers, mainly from Wroclaw, Warsaw, Katowice and Gdansk. The areas of this group analysis included for example: problems of derivation in relation to different language organization levels (the book entitled The Meaning of Derivation in Linguistics (Pojęcie derywacji w lingwistyce), 1981); the place of so-called “cultural connotations” in the meaning of a word (Connotation (Konotacja), 1988); the role of language in the formation of the vision of the world (The Linguistic Vision of the World (Językowy obraz świata) 1990, II ed. 1998); the methods of defining words in contemporary semantics (On Definitions and Defining (O definicjach i definiowaniu), 1993); the role of values in language (The Names of Values (Nazwy wartości), 1993, The Meaning of Homeland in Contemporary European Languages (Pojęcie ojczyzny we współczesnych językach europejskich), 1993, Language surrounded by values (Język w kręgu wartości), 2002); the linguistic concept of stereotypes as colloquial notions (Stereotype as a Subject of Linguistics (Stereotyp jako przedmiot lingwistyki), 1998); profiling of basic concepts in various types of utterances (Profiling in Language and Text (Profilowanie w języku i w tekście), 1998); the categories of perspectives in language, text and discourse (Conference of 2002, in print). There were also some questions formed as to the text as a manifestation of individual and group self-awareness and a tool used to create the image of the world (Oral text (Tekst ustny – texte oral), 1989; Text – theoretical problems (Tekst – problemy teoretyczne), 1998, Text – analyses and interpretations (Tekst – analizy i interpretacje), 1998). After the conferences materials were printed in Lublin (mainly as part of the so-called “red series” of the Polish Department at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University) and in some cases in Wroclaw.

Some topics became the subjects of PhD dissertations. Under the supervision of prof. J. Bartmiński the following dissertations were prepared: The Polish Folklore Dream Book (Polski sennik ludowy) by Stanisława Niebrzegowska (1995), Trees in the Linguistic Folk Vision of the World (Drzewa w ludowym językowym obrazie świata) by Marzena Marczewska (1996), Weather Forecasts as a Type of Speech (Przepowiednie pogody jako gatunek mowy) by Anna Koper (2000), Etymology and Word Connotation (Etymologia a konotacja słowa) by Małgorzata Brzozowska (2001), The Profiles of the Concept of “Water” in Polish Folk and Colloquial Language (Profile pojęcia ‘woda’ w polszczyźnie ludowej i potocznej) by Urszula Majer-Baranowska (2002). The PhD dissertation of Joanna Szadury on the differentiations of the stylistic symbol of fire in the Polish language is also coming to a close. Closely related to the research conducted in connection with the Dictionary of Stereotypes was also the post-PhD dissertation of Jan Adamowski entitled The Category of Space in Folklore. Study of Ethnolinguistics. (Kategoria przestrzeni w folklorze. Studium etnolingwistyczne) (Lublin 1999).

While tackling further questions the research of Lublin ethnolinguistics developed into the direction of cultural anthropology and the cognitive trend, which was becoming more popular in the world linguistics, especially in the USA.


6. The first volume of The Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols

The first issues of the ethnolinguistic dictionary were published as late as in 1996 and 1999. The main goals set in the trial issue remained the same. A decision was made to enlarge the description from exclusively linguistic stereotypes onto cultural stereotypes. This resulted in including not only songs, as it was originally planned, but also other types of folklore such as prose and records of beliefs and behaviour. This allowed for the presentation of a more accurate conceptualization of the folk world and mentality. The most important innovation was the arrangement of the documentation following various types of speech. This improved the clarity and the attractiveness of the dictionary and also provided new information on different types of meaning differentiation.

The dictionary is of an ideographic character, i.e. the basic unit is not that of a word (as in a language dictionary) or an object which depicts the word (like in an encyclopedia) but it is the semantic correlate, which is placed between the word and the real object that it depicts. This type of a dictionary demanded a new type of definition, which was called the “cognitive definition” (Bartmiński 1988). Its goal is to describe completely a typical object as understood by a “naive user of language”. The description is arranged in sets of beliefs (facets), which depict the cognitive structure of the concept. The arrangement of facets depends on the type of the concept and the accepted genus proximum (major component).[1]

The entry in The Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols is composed of explication and documentation, with an introduction and a bibliography. The documentation part includes selected quotations (also summaries) from folk texts, from the easiest and oldest types of folklore and ritual songs to fiction, descriptions of rituals, religious beliefs and peasant poetry. Different conceptual variations are put into groups and combined synthetically as stereotypical motifs.

The Dictionary received a warm welcome and it caused a lively discussion in the circles of linguists and experts on folk culture. The Folklore Committee by the Institute of Literary Studies of the Polish Academy of Science dedicated an entire meeting to the subject. The transcripts of that meeting were published in “Folk Literature” (No 6, 1998 and No 1, 2000). A Moscow reviewer noticed that “with the publication of the Lublin volume and the first volume of the Moscow dictionary Sławjanskije driewnosti (Moskwa 1995) with N.I.Tołstoj as the editor ethnolinguistic lexicography has become an independent field in Slavic studies, representing an integral approach towards language and culture” (Swietłana M. Tołstoj, „Żiwaja Starina” 1997, No 4, p. 52).


7. The „EthnoLinguistics” Magazine – A Discussion Forum for Linguists from Poland and from Abroad

The preparation of a new type of dictionary required discussions on a number of important methodological and theoretical aspects of creating an appropriate form of entry for such a dictionary, creating a data base of documents and analyzing current research. To achieve these objectives the magazine “EthnoLinguistics” was created. In its first issue published in 1988 the main topic was the subject of ethnolinguistics as a study of the linguistic vision of the world understood as something “naive” and imbedded in the language (both in vocabulary and grammar) and at the same time “presupposed” to be the basis for sentence and text cohesion.

The first series of EthnoLinguistics (vol. I – VII, 1988 to 1996) focused on theoretical problems of linguistic semantics and its links with thinking and culture. Referring to American (Sapir, Whorf) and Russian ethnolinguists (Iwanow, Toporow, the Tolstojs) Bartmiński focused at the same time on the Polish traditions combining the study of language with the study of culture, such as the research done in Kashubia. Lublin ethnolinguistics was especially closely connected with the research conducted by Anna Wierzbicka: the 4th issue of the EthnoLinguistics was devoted to her work. Later her articles were published in this periodical and a special volume with English translations of her work was also issued (“The Language, Mind and Culture” („Język, umysł, kultura”) Warszawa 1999). Anna Wierzbicka has been cooperating even more closely with the periodical since its 9th issue as member of the scientific board. The similarities between Lublin research on stereotypes and the American approach to cognitive grammar and its main concept of prototype were shown by Henryk Kardela in his article entitled “The So-Called Cognitive Grammar and the Problem of Stereotypes” (Tak zwana gramatyka kognitywna i problem stereotypu) (1988). Anna Krawczyk in her article Language - The Source of Knowledge about Man (Język źródłem wiedzy o człowieku) pointed out very clearly to the anthropological nature of ethnolinguistic research. EthnoLinguistics included articles by researchers representing both structuralist and semiotic traditions such as Jurij Apresjan (The Naive Vision of the World and Lexicography (Naiwny obraz świata a leksykografia)), Anna Pajdzińska (Anthropocenrism of Colloquial Phraseology (Antropocentryzm frazeologii potocznej)), Ryszard Tokarski (The Linguistic Vision of the World and Some Cognitive Assumptions (Językowy obraz świata a niektóre założenia kognitywizmu)), as well as researchers leaning definitely towards cognitive linguistics, such as Tomasz Krzeszowski (The Axiological Parameter in Preconceptual Image Schemata (Parametr aksjologiczny w przedpojęciowych schematach wyobrażeniowych)) or Jolanta Maćkiewicz (The Metaphor and the Linguistic Vision of the World –the Example of Naval Metaphors (Metafora a językowy obraz świata - na przykładzie metaforyki morskiej))

Some of the volumes of this periodical were of the monographic character. As it has been mentioned the entire 4th volume of EthnoLinguistics vas devoted to the presentation and evaluation of Anna Wierzbicka’s research. Anna Wierzbicka published in that issue an article entitled The Universal Human Concepts and their Culture-Specific Configuration (Uniwersalne pojęcia ludzkie i ich konfiguracje w różnych kulturach). Her idea was elaborated by Andrzej Bogusławski (Linguistic Relativism. Anna Wierzbicka’s Solution to the Problem of Language Diversity (Lingwistyczny relatywizm względny. Anny Wierzbickiej rozwiązanie problemu różnorodności języków). The fifth volume of EthnoLinguistics presented the Moscow school of ethnolinguistics. It was opened by an article by Jerzey Bartmiński entitled Nikita Iljicz Tolstoj and the Concept of Historical Ethnolinguistics (Nikita Iljicz Tolstoj i program etnolingwistyki historycznej) and the translated texts of Nikita Iljicz Tolstoj on the relation between language and culture (Language and Culture. Selected Aspects of Slavic Ethnolinguistics. (Język a kultura. Niektóre zagadnienia słowiańskiej etnolingwistyki)) as well as an article by Swietlana Michajlowna Tolstoj (The Spoken Text in Language and Culture (Tekst ustny w jezyku i kulturze)). In the Review section the research of Moscow ethnolinguists, the results of which were published in the series Slavjanski i balkanski fol’klor (1978, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1989) were evaluated. The 8th volume included a number of papers delivered during the annual conference of the Polish Association of Linguistics in Lublin in 1995, which was devoted to cognitive linguistics. The 9th/10th volume included works on the linguistic vision of death, volume 12th contained papers from the International Conference celebrating the 75th birthday of N.I. Tolstoj, which took place in Moscow in 1998. The latest volume (no. 13) of EthnoLinguisitics published in 2001 was entirely dedicated to the magic and causal function of language. The authors discover common elements in the language of traditional magic and contemporary poetry, religion and today’s politics.

In the materials section of Ethnolinguistics the results of field research are systematically presented. The research is conducted for next volumes of The Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols – mainly in the Lublin region but also outside it. These studies include: accounts on the universe, plants and animals; data for the folk dream book, stories on the subject of death and funerals as well as texts on travelling, Saturday and wedding songs.

A special section included first versions of articles presenting the entries to the Dictionary. These were words: to cry, nightmare, ghoul, land, field bounds, marble, ash and new moon. The article by J. Bartmiński and S. Niebrzegowsk in the 6th issue (1994) on the stereotypes of the sun, where for the first time the new system of documentation was used, marked the end of the first stage of the search for new models of dictionary entries. At this moment the periodical fulfilled its original goal of preparing the conceptual part of the Dictionary and its original formula was exhausted. However, since EthnoLinguistics began to function independently, being a part of contemporary anthropological and cognitive linguistics, it was decided to continue its publishing, extending its profile and changing it into an international magazine. Volumes 8-13 (1996-2001) already make up the new series entitled The Problems of Language and Culture. Keeping in mind folk tradition, dialect and folklore the editors underline that language in all its varieties and in relation to culture, man and society, is the subject of ethnolinguistics. Therefore it was decided to publish in a more systematic way comparative analyses, which would show a wider, sometimes even Panslavic scope of some of the phenomena. The periodical included numerous articles on colloquial language, including especially contemporary political discourse (Andrzej Kominek wrote about the linguistic vision of the Church from the point of view of main social groups in Poland between 1980-81; Agnieszka Mikołajczuk wrote on the cognitive vision of anger in contemporary Polish language). Some articles published in the new series address non-Polish linguistic and cultural tradition. Comparative research was also undertaken in articles containing analyses of comparative subjects: Polish lud (folk) and French peuple (Maciej Abramowicz, Jerzy Bartmiński); the word woman in Polish and French (Cathrine Pelletier); fatherland in Polish and Russian world visions (Weronika Telija, Irina Sandomirska, Jerzy Bartmiński); Polish dola (fate) and Russian sud’ba (Jerzy Bartmiński); the utterances like “Oh, Jesus” from the comparative perspective (Anna Wierzbicka); collective symbolism in Poland and Germany (Michael Fleischer); Baltic-Slavic funeral lamentations (Lidia Nevskaja); Polish and French metaphors of death (Anna Krzyżanowska); comparing Polish, English and Hungarian in terms of systems of values (Jolanta Szpyra) and so on.

The next two volumes (14 and 15) will be dedicated to the national stereotypes currently functioning in our region of Europe.

8. The study of language in the context of values

In 1985 following the plans to publish The Encyclopedia of Polish Culture of the 20th Century (Encyklopedia Kultury Polskiej XX Wieku) people responsible for the key programme “Polish National Culture” suggested that semantics of names of values in Polish should be described by means of lexicography. Values are the centre of every culture and the foundations of the linguistic vision of the world. Prepared by J. Bartmiński The Project and General Assumptions of an Axiological Dictionary (1989) contained a list of important values from the national and social point of view. These were selected to be prepared by methods similar to the “cognitive definition” method. It was assumed that this work “should lead to the recreation of those ideas which infiltrated Polish public, cultural and political life of the past centuries, in other words, it should lead to the linguistic reconstruction of the world of Polish values (Bartmiński 1989, 294).

It was decided that the work should include:

a. names of abstract notions, such as good, bad, beauty, ugliness, truth, falseness;

b. names of human attitudes (love, hope, despair);

c. names of social stages and situations (freedom, slavery , tolerance);

d. names of individual and group behavior (revolution, fight, work);

e. names of human communities (nation, family);

f. names of political, social and cultural institutions (state, church, language);

g. names of persons and objects that transmit values and are commonly perceived as values (mother, father, child, home, bread, money);

h. names of objects that are considered symbols of values (cross, eagle).

So far a volume on names of values (Names of values. Lexical and semantic studies, (Nazwy wartości. Studia leksykalno-semantyczne) 1993) has been published. Apart from the main entry (value by Jadwiga Puzynina) the work includes descriptions of humbleness and pride (Renata Grzegorczykowa), truth (Krzysztof Korżyk), mercy (Danuta Bieńkowska), patience (Danuta Kowalska), responsibility (Jan Dokurno), wisdom (Ewa Borowiecka), creativity (Dorota Śliwa), work (Małgorzata Mazurkiewicz-Brzozowska), freedom (Maciej Abramowicz), patriotism (Ireneusz Karolak), citizen (Danuta Bartol-Jarosińska), state (Anna Koper), people (Jerzy Bartmiński, Małgorzata Mazurkiewicz-Brzozowska), to believe (Zofia Zaron), a Pole (Joanna Szadura).

A special volume of these studies was dedicated to the concept of fatherland in different European languages (The Notion of Fatherland in European Languages (Pojęcie ojczyzny w językach europejskich), 1993). These were: English, Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Czech, French, Spanish, German, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Slovak and Italian.

The work on the axiological dictionary continues. Participants of the International School of Humanities organized by the Center of Studies on Ancient Tradition at Warsaw University have shown interest in the study. In November 2001 this group opened an Internet forum called EURO-JOS. The results of their studies will be published also in EthnoLinguistics.

9. Further studies on the colloquial Polish language

The cultural context of language is included in volume II of the Encyclopedia of Polish Culture of the 20th CenturyContemporary Polish Language (Encyklopedia Kultury Polskiej XX wieku - Współczesny język polski, 1993 (II ed. 2001). This work was prepared by authors from various centres but it followed the concept discussed in the “Language and Culture” circles. It is of anthropological, cultural and cognitive character, corresponding with the assumptions of ethnolinguistics.

10. Summary

1/ Lublin circles consider ethnolinguistics to be a branch of contemporary linguistics, which focuses on the language and its relations with culture and history of particular communities (local, regional or national) and particularly their behavior, systems of values and collective mentality. Focusing the attention on the “culture in the language” it attempts at reconstructing the world manifested by the language.

2/ Ethnolinguistic being a branch of linguistics remains in very close relations with the study of folklore, ethnography, the study of literature and culture. It can be placed in broader categories of ethnoscience, cultural and cognitive anthropology and cognitive linguistics.

3/ While researching the relations between language and culture ethnolinguistics is not limited to small ethnic languages only (microlanguages), exotic Indian or African languages, languages of minorities or folk dialects[2]. The scope of its interest covers all kinds of national language including colloquial language with all of its richness, styles and types of speech. Both languages that have a global status such as English and local languages such as the language spoken in the Kaszuby region can be described by means of ethnolinguistic methods.

4/ The key aspect of ethnolinguistics is the concept of the linguistic (or linguistic and cultural) vision of the world, which is a result of specific conceptualization of reality by those who speak; stereotypes as components of the linguistic vision of the world; generally understood values as factors which influence conceptualization and profiling processes of concepts and popular stereotypes in social communication.

5/ The material base of ethnolinguistics includes linguistic data (data on grammar and vocabulary, written texts, etc.) and non-linguistic data: documentation of myths, rituals and systems of values.

6/ Lublin ethnolinguistics covers the program similar to that of the synchronic American school of ethnolinguistics (E. Sapir, B. Whorf) and the historically oriented Russian ethnolinguistics (the school of W. W. Iwanow and W. N. Toporow, and the school of N. I. Tolstoj). However, Lublin school does not identify completely with either of these schools, directing its interest more towards the panchronic aspects. While analyzing contemporary language it takes into consideration facts of the past as the present heritage.

7/ To sum up, the main goals of the research undertaken by the Lublin school of ethnolinguistics with a growing number of its associates can be an attempt to answer, directly or indirectly, the question how collective consciousness present in language and manifesting itself in linguistic texts and cultural behaviour conceptualizes the reality. In other words, how does it divide it into elements, how does it name it and from what perspective and with what detailed manner does it divide it, what are the relations between objects and events and what is the role of man in the world, how is human behaviour modeled on the basis of his roles in the society. To put it simply, how does a human being, homo loquens, perceive himself and the world around in a specified culture?



1 The set of facets used in The Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols, vol. I The Universe (1996, 1999):

  • name including their different meanings and references; derivatives, synonyms, cohyponyms;
  • hypernonym: superiour entry with regard to the one being analyzed such as: rosemary – herb, horse – animal, to love – to feel;
  • hypononym: entry (entries) secondary to the one being analyzed such as: horse – stallion and mare;
  • collection: with what other objects the entry appears in one place and one time performing a common function;
  • oppositions, i.e. „antonyms” on the supralexical level (notions given);
  • origin: (a) what is the origin of the entry, (b) what originates from the entry;
  • appearance;
  • attributes, which are not associated with the appearance of the entry;
  • parts that the entry is made up of;
  • quantity: in which the entry exists;
  • activities, processes, states that the entry undertakes (that the entry is a part of and that the entry is in);
  • causative activities;.
  • experience: what the entry experiences;
  • cause: what the entry causes;
  • effect: the entry as a result, outcome, effect of something;
  • object: the entry as an object of actions;
  • addressee, interlocutor: the entry as the addressee of a conversation and/or the interlocutor;
  • usage, application, tool;.
  • location, locator: (a) the location of the entry, (b) the entry as the location of something;
  • time: (a) temporal background of the entry, (b) the entry as the time background of something;
  • predictions;.
  • equivalence cultural, internal and inter-textual of an entry i.e. horse and car in children fortune telling, rosemary and rue as flowers making up the bride’s wreath and so on;
  • symbolism: (a) the symbols of the entry (b) the entry as a symbol of something.

2 Such an approach to ethnolinguistic studies is proposed by Jadwiga Zieniukowa in her article The Problems of Ethnolinguistics (Z problemów etnolingwistyki), 1998. The author underlines, however, that it is only one trend in contemporary ethnolinguistics, either fully overlapping with the scope of socio-linguistics or interdisciplinary in nature.


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