On borrowings and linguistic references at the meeting of the Department of Linguistics

Tuesday’s scientific meetings at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences have a long tradition. They are not only a chance to integrate the linguistic environment, but also an opportunity to present one’s own research, to discuss the issues currently being developed among specialists.

On 15 January 2019, at the meeting of the Department of Linguistics, Prof. Dorota K. Rembiszewska and Prof. Janusz Siatkowski talked about borrowings and linguistic references in the Polish-East Slavic borderland. On the example of several words (including chabor “bribe”, drahle, drygle “jellied meat” hreczka “buckwheat”, racuchy “pancakes made of yeast dough or grated potatoes”, włóczebne “Easter carolling”, wołokita “man without job, tramp”) they showed the complexity of the problem of language contacts in the mentioned borderland. The hosts also drew the participants’ attention to the methodological difficulties in deciding whether we face a borrowing or a reference between the Eastern and Western Slavic regions. This implies the need to analyse the usage of a given word in a specific linguistic environment.

During the speech, the lecturers had also an opportunity to present their newly published book Pogranicze polsko-wschodniosłowiańskie. Studia wyrazowe [The Polish-East Slavic borderland. Word studies], Warszawa 2018. It is the fruit of several years of the authors’ work on the lexis of the territories where the Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian languages coexist. The interest in this subject matter and this area results from the work on Ogólnosłowiański atlas językowy [The Slavic linguistic atlas] and the examination of intra-Slavic language contacts.

Dorota K. Rembiszewska
Photos from Dorota K. Rembiszewska’s private collections