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The Newborn Polish Nowomowa after 1944 and Its Relation to the Soviet Original


Weiss, Daniel (2019). The Newborn Polish Nowomowa after 1944 and Its Relation to the Soviet Original. In: Gulińska-Jurgiel, Paulina; Kleinmann, Yvonne; Warneck, Dorothea. Ends of War, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Past and New Polish Regions after 1944. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. Głttingen, 157-185.

Abstract

This study portrays a domain of the Polish post-war period that provides a sharp contrast to the overall theme of this volume. As will be shown, the official idiom of the new socialist authorities exhibited no trait whatsoever of a transitional period. On the contrary, it entered the political scene in 1944 as an already pre-existing, consolidated linguistic system. This is not to deny the impact of historical changes: the years after Stalin’s death and the de-Stalinisation starting in 1956 on brought about quite significant modifications of the previous vocabulary and phraseology. This finding is completely in line with the theses outlined below in section 2: the official vocabulary was indeed subject to changes according to historical periods, but the latter were the result of major cesurae in Soviet party politics, such as the transition from the personality cult to the collective leadership in 1953 and the subsequent demythologisation of Stalin in 1956. A second aspect to be explored here fits better into the general framework of this volume: to demonstrate to what extent the new Polish officialese was a faithful replica of the Russian (Soviet) original, and to examine what structural and sociolinguistic divergencies between the two languages may have interfered with this imitation process.

Abstract

This study portrays a domain of the Polish post-war period that provides a sharp contrast to the overall theme of this volume. As will be shown, the official idiom of the new socialist authorities exhibited no trait whatsoever of a transitional period. On the contrary, it entered the political scene in 1944 as an already pre-existing, consolidated linguistic system. This is not to deny the impact of historical changes: the years after Stalin’s death and the de-Stalinisation starting in 1956 on brought about quite significant modifications of the previous vocabulary and phraseology. This finding is completely in line with the theses outlined below in section 2: the official vocabulary was indeed subject to changes according to historical periods, but the latter were the result of major cesurae in Soviet party politics, such as the transition from the personality cult to the collective leadership in 1953 and the subsequent demythologisation of Stalin in 1956. A second aspect to be explored here fits better into the general framework of this volume: to demonstrate to what extent the new Polish officialese was a faithful replica of the Russian (Soviet) original, and to examine what structural and sociolinguistic divergencies between the two languages may have interfered with this imitation process.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Newspeak; Polish Language; Totalitarian language; Polish-Russian relations; Stalinism
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:21 Aug 2019 11:58
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 07:22
Publisher:Wallstein Verlag. Głttingen
ISBN:978-3-8353-3307-9
OA Status:Closed

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