Linguistic politeness in villagers’ interpretation (a study based on spoken texts from the Lublin region)
Halina PelcowaUniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
The article discusses the language picture of rural politeness as seen through the prism
of sociolinguistic and cultural-dialectological research. At present, the model of politeness
which has functioned in the rural context and which is based on traditional values, such as kindness, modesty, honesty, readiness to help, gratitude and respect for human dignity,
appears to be a matter of the past rather than the present. The model is reflected in the
use of expressions such as: bądźcie z Bogiem ‘Go with God, God bless’, Boże dopomóc, Boże
dopomóż do roboty, Boże dopomóż, Boże pomóc, Bóg wam pomóż ‘Lord help me’, niech
będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus, niech będzie pochwalony ‘Praise be to God, Praise
the Lord’, szczęść Boże ‘God bless’, z Bogiem, zostańcie z Bogiem, ‘May God be with you’
(lit. ‘Stay with God’), do widzenia ‘good bye’, dzień dobry ‘good morning’, in the majestic
plural wy ‘you’ form with a polite -cie suffix employed when addressing older villagers,
in the pronouns on ‘he’, ona ‘she’ used with reference to strangers, and in the imperative
forms expressing permission and invitation. When young people are addressed, villagers
use their names or the polite ty ‘you’-sg. form; however, when strangers are addressed,
then the words pan ‘sir’, pani ‘madam’ are used. Yet more recently forms “alien” to the
traditional rural culture are heard more often as well. This change has an autonomous
character; it is a result of the customs-, civilization- and globalization-related processes
as well as the generational change.
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