Sin and virtue in Polish old lexical units Cover Image

Grzech i cnota w dawnych polskich jednostkach leksykalnych
Sin and virtue in Polish old lexical units

Author(s): Zuzanna Krótki
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Summary/Abstract: The material subject to analysis covers lexical units belonging to the category of sin and viartue, to be observed in texts up to the 18th century. Most of them is no longer used or their meaning has undergone lexicalization. The analyses conducted constitute an attempt to answer the question how these lexical units are built and what stereotypes they refer to. A starting point for the study is the etymology of lexemes sin and virtue, which indicates that the very words did not function as oppositions from the start. With time, the contrast between the elements of the fields under analysis has become more and more visible. Its sources trace back to Hebrew words naming a sin. They refer to the images of missing the target, a winding road, violating the covenant of the Lord, dirt, riot, loss or disease. Polish lexical units of the field sin are close to the images in question that is why particular subchapters of the article are devoted to the category of violating the covenant of the Lord (e.g. a misdeed, abandonment, negligence, immorality) and the category of sin reality (e.g. guilt, disease, blemish, madness). This part of the article also discusses units having the opposite meaning, close to virtue, such as being unblemished, being flawless, soul health, non-guilt, righteousness, walking along a straight road. Besides, in Polish lexis some synonyms of sin are negative derivates from the names of virtue (e.g. non-virtue, dishonour, bad nature). Thus, one can notice an antonymic nature of the categories of sin and virtue, which is perfectly present in old words.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 69-90
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish