The forms of the public discourse in the old legal texts  Cover Image

Przejawy dyskursu publicznego w dawnych tekstach prasowych
The forms of the public discourse in the old legal texts

Author(s): Mirosława Siuciak
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Towarzystwo Miłośników Języka Polskiego
Keywords: discourse; legal texts; history of the Polish language

Summary/Abstract: The paper concerns the beginnings of the public discourse, which is reconstructed from the oldest legal texts from the 14th and the 15th centuries collected in Kodeks Dzikowski. The purpose of such discourse was to establish the basic principles for the everyday functioning of the state and to regulate the relations between the authorities and society. The comparison between these old texts and the so-called 'parliamentary constitutions' of the 16th century demonstrates that the medieval model of establishing legal standards continued well into the 16th century even though the political system was radically transformed and the king, previously the supreme authority of the country, became merely one of the components of the parliament constituted by the nobility. The analyses of the legal acts included in Kodeks Dzikowski indicate the forms of public discourse in which the ruler implementing the law referred to the dialogue with his subjects and quoted social needs as the justification for new legislation. In the 16th century, when the role of king had largely been taken over by the parliament, representatives of social classes other than the nobility gained access to the public debate. Linguistically this phenomenon is reflected in the legal documents which contain the numerous accounts of heated discussions as well as evidence of varying standpoints.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 50-57
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Polish