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Informalization and Hybridization of Speech Practices

Polylingual Meaning-Making across Domains, Genres, and Media


Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe

Speech practices as discursive practices for meaning-making across domains, genres, and social groups is an under-researched, highly complex field of sociolinguistics. This field has gained momentum after innovative studies of adolescents and young adults with mixed ethnic and language backgrounds revealed that they «cross» language and dialectal or vernacular borders to construct their own hybrid discursive identities. The focus in this volume is on the diversity of emerging hybridizing speech practices through contact with English, predominantly in Europe. Contributions to this collected volume originate from the DFG funded conference on language contact in times of globalization (LCTG4) and from members of the editor’s funded research group «Discursive Multilingualism».

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Language policy in Poland:


A case of the influence of English on Polish

Abstract: The purpose of the present paper is to highlight the change in attitude towards the increasing impact of English on Polish. The influence of English became more prominent in Poland after the change in the political system in 1989, and has for the most part been in the area of lexical borrowings. However, the influence of English is not only restricted to the inflow of English loanwords but also extends to their relatively high frequency of usage, as most of them refer to a modern and capitalist life style. In addition, there is evidence of other types of influence that are non-lexical. However, the impact of English on Polish has not been as extensive as is claimed by some Polish linguists who since the early 1990s have lamented over the decline of the Polish language caused by the “flood” of British and American English borrowings. Indeed, the status of English as a lingua franca was considered itself to be a threat to Polish, with even the possibility of the extinction of the tongue. This concern about language purity led to the creation of the Polish Language Council in 1996, whose aim has been to advise on and describe (rather than prescribe) linguistic behaviours among Polish language users. This legislative body was behind the Polish Language Act passed in 1999. Its purpose, however, has been to protect Polish rather than to purify it and to minimize the foreign influences...

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