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Regional Variation in the Polish Discourses of Collective Memory

Małgorzata Fabiszak and Karolina Krawczak


Geeraerts, Grondelaers, and Bakema (1994) propose how to study lexical variation from a Cognitive Linguistic perspective. These ideas are further developed in Geeraerts (2005). We follow Geeraerts, Kristiansen, and Peirsman (2010) and Geeraerts and Speelman (2010) in an attempt to test empirically the intuitions of ethnographers, sociologists and political scientists about the regional nature of Polish collective memory. This is achieved through a quantitative analysis of SSV (speaker and situation related variation). More specifically, our study examines regional variation in the Polish discourses of collective memory. The concept is operationalized through the use of two semantically related Polish lexemes pamięć ‘memory’ and upamiętniać ‘commemorate’, as used in the regional supplements of a Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza since 2007. We employ a combination of manual qualitative data analysis and multivariate mod-eling to test specific hypotheses about how language-external dimensions deter-mine and structure this variation.

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