On the History of Polish Language in Königsberg
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The article deals with Koenigsberg (pol. Królewiec), the multicultural city, founded in the 13th century and surviving until 1945. tThe languages spoken in the city from 16th to 18th century were German, Polish, Lithuanian and Latin. The city played major role in Polish culture (especially in the development of language and editorial culture) from the 16th up to 19th century - as well as in European culture in general. Only in the 16th century in Krolewiec - which then belonged to Prussian Duchy - 104 Polish books were published, including Protestant translations of religious books such as: Jan Seklucjan's 'Katechism' in 1547 (2nd edition 1549), Stanislaw Murzynowski's 'Nowy Testament' in 1551 - both containing supplements on Polish orthography and language correctness. The first large vocabulary of Polish language, Jan Maczynski's 'Lexicon Latino-polonicum' (1564), was published there. In the 18th century over 220 Polish printed texts were edited (including official documents and almanacs). In the 18th century Królewiec played an important part in formation and dissemination of Polish prose of journalism style. Here, in the evangelical-reformed milieu (in Drukarnia Polska - The Polish Printing House) an information newspaper 'Poczta Królewiecka' (The Królewiec Post) (1718-1720) had been edited. It was the second periodical in the history of Poland. This weekly magazine of good editorial and typographic quality published political and economical reports from the world (mostly Europe) and from 'Rzeczpospolita' (Polish Republic). The Post and especially the language it used, is the main subject of this article. The systemic phenomena are described (phonetics, morphology, vocabulary and phraseology) as well as style (Latin elements in Polish text) and social (informative and persuasive) function of 'The Post' language. Conclusions from text analysis are illustrated with appropriate quotations. The authoress proves, that 'Poczta Królewiecka' representing the brand new literary genre used a high-quality language. The analysis of the newspaper may be useful as an argument against too critical opinions about Polish language of the beginning of the 18th century. The analysis of the newspaper proves that in the 18th century Polish language in Królewiec had an important function in linguistic communication.
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