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A Socio-Historical Study in Address: Polish and English

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Agnieszka Kielkiewicz-Janowiak and Wolfgang Viereck

Another contribution to the discussion about the social meaning of address forms, this book is primarily concerned with address system change. An account of aspects of the history of Polish and English address - based on literary text analysis - serves to illustrate the hypothesis that there is a tendency for new distance-coding address forms to arise whenever older forms lose their distinctive force. The author also describes how grammatical category shifts, such as pluralization or pronominalization, have in turn marked degrees of social distance encoded in Polish and English address forms as they developed through time.