2015 | 12 | 23-52
Article title

Gdzie jest cel w zdaniach z celowo i kilka innych pytań o wyrażenia pokrewne

Title variants
Where is the 'cel' [purpose] in Sentences with celowo [purposefully] and Several More Questions on the Related Expressions
Languages of publication
In the article I discuss selected aspects concerning the semantics of expressions related to the notion of purpose in Polish: celowo [purposefully], celowy [purposeful], niecelowy, bezcelowy [purposeless], niecelowo, bezcelowo, bez celu [purposelessly] (in rough approximation of meaning). My starting point is the question mentioned in the title, i.e. where to “locate” the purpose one has in mind in sentences with celowo [purposefully]: whether it is external to what is indicated by the sentence predicate (ktoś powiedział coś celowo ‘somebody said something purposefully’ → somebody said something [p] in order to achieve something else [q], something other than the mere fact of saying p), or whether we mean the internal purpose, related strictly to the predicate (somebody destroyed something on purpose → somebody wanted to destroy it, destroying it was his purpose here). The ambiguity of sentences with the adverb celowo, as well as the adjective celowy, can be resolved by identifying the type of the verb in the position of sentence predicate. However, this is not a completely reliable test, and one can always come across sentences ambiguous in that matter (cf. celowe działanie → ‘action on purpose’, action having purpose in itself, or ‘purposeful action’, action directed towards some purpose). All the expressions mentioned above are being further analyzed in terms of “purpose localization”. This kind of distinction is followed by another one, connected with sentence perspective – either objective or subjective. What matters here is whether the speaker has in mind the agent’s purpose (external or internal → subjective perspective), or whether the speaker ignores the subject’s goals and estimates his action from the point of view of some objective aims fixed by the speaker himself, as in sentences: Rząd podejmuje bezcelowe działania [The government undertakes purposeless actions] or Przywrócenie pracownika do pracy byłoby niecelowe [Bringing the employee back to work would be purposeless]. Finally, we have three different “purpose locations” in sentences with the expressions in question, thus, three different “types of purpose”: subjective internal purpose, subjective external purpose and the objective one (the latter being always external to what is indicated by the sentence). Some of the analyzed expressions point to the type of purpose unambiguously (bezcelowo, bezcelowy, bez celu), others are ambiguous, expressing one of the two (celowo, niecelowo) or even three senses (celowy).
Physical description
  • Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Instytut Języka Polskiego
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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