A Grammar of the Polish Language

by Grzegorz Jagodziński

Part one

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WARNING: on all pages of this website, examples in square brackets [ ] denote pronunciation, not spelling.

I would like to thank Michał Śliwiński for his thoughtful reading of my grammar and for his numerous, valuable remarks.
The page changed thanks to correction made by Laura Pennycuick. Thank you Laura!

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Contents:

  1. Foreword
  2. Position of the Polish language among Slavic and Indo-European languages
  3. The phonetics of the Polish language: vowels, consonants
  4. The morphology – inflected parts of speechdeclinable and conjugatable
  5. The morphology – uninflected parts of speech
  6. The word-formation
  7. Selected issues of the syntax
  8. Etymology of the Polish language
  9. Problems of the correctitude (in Polish only)
  10. Links
  11. Printed bibliography
  12. Vocabulary

Foreword

The Polish language is, with good reason, said to be the most difficult language in the world. To write an outline grammar for it is a hard task, especially when the author is not a professional linguist. Of course, I have done it basing it on the accessible literature and on my own knowledge of the language (I am a native speaker of Polish).

Many orthodox, educational views on some grammatical facts are now considered, in a number of recent works, to be out of date or simply wrong. That is why some of the ideas presented here may be thought controversial. Do not hesitate to send me mail if you have other conceptions or if you want to initiate discussion with me. I try to use correct English on my website, but English is not my mother tongue and I might have made mistakes. Please inform me about these as well.

All the material presented here is contrasted with the English language, so you do not need to speak Polish to peruse my site. This page is also posted in a Polish version, the content of which might not be identical for various reasons. New changes will appear first only in the Polish version.

This site contains Polish texts. You are advised to test on this page if your computer is adjusted properly to show all the material presented here.

Position of the Polish language among other languages of the world

The Polish language belongs to the relatively narrow Slavic (Slav, Slavonic) group of languages. In comparison with the others it has preserved many archaic features. Kashubian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, Czech and Slovak are the most closely related to Polish; Russian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonian are a little more distant. You can find additional information here.

More on Kashubian. Besides, if you understand Polish, you can learn more about the Slavs and Slavic languages here.


Continuation

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2008-07-18