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DOI 10.12887/32-2019-1-125-15

Henryk DUDA – The Expression ‘Polish death camps’ and its Equivalents in other Languages: A Linguistic Commentary

Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN za szt.

The article discusses the issue of using the expression ‘Polish death camps’ and its equivalents in other languages. The author states that language structures and the act of communication are immanently ambiguous and to understand an expression it needs to be specified. The expression ‘Polish death camp(s)’ might be understood in at least two ways: (1) camps that are set in Poland, on the territory of Poland (based on location), and (2) camps set up and administrated by the Polish government, operated by Poles. The choice of one of those meanings depends on the statement and context as well as on the awareness of the recipient. It is conditioned by her personal experiences—social, political, cultural and so much more, at the same time being also conditioned by stereotypes. Even should we assume that all the parties involved show good will in public discourse, the usage of the expression(s) in question might lead to misunderstandings and establishing false historic beliefs about the actual perpetrators.

Translated by Małgorzata Promińska

Keywords: Holocaust discourse, linguistic ambiguity, ethics in communication, ‘Polish death camp(s)’

Contact: Department of Polish Language, Institute of Polish Studies, Faculty of Humanities, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
E-mail: henryk.duda@kul.lublin.pl

Pliki do pobrania:

» 125_Duda.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887