Why ‘we’?

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The paper addresses changes in relational functions of &#8216;we&#8217; in contemporary Polish and in the underlying models of culturally dominant &#8216;we&#8217;-group concepts. After some orientation to the ethnogrammar and ethnopragmatics of &#8216;we&#8217; (Polish <i>my</i>), it focuses on a pragmatic analysis of a &#8216;we&#8217; example taken from a semi-institutional context. Ultimately, it locates the discussion in a wider context of social and discursive change observable in contemporary Polish society. It demonstrates that the historical bifurcation of style into a T-based model of solidarity and a V-based model of deference is being eroded, and that cultural and communicative values are redefined along new priorities and demands. Emergent &#8216;we&#8217;-group concepts press for new patterns of address and mode of participant interaction.


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