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ESSLLI 2012, Opole, Poland
The 11th meeting of the GLLI
prof. Wieczorek

On 22 February 2011, the Group of Logic, Language and Information at Opole University hosted Professor Krzysztof Wieczorek of Silesian University of Katowice. The co-host of the meeting was the Institute of Political Sciences and Philosophy of Opole University. The meeting was held in Room 20 of Collegium Civitas of Opole University at 12.30, where Prof. K. Wieczorek delivered his lecture under the title Language of political discourse in post-totalitarian Poland.

After a short welcoming speech and an introduction into the subject matter to be dealt with in the lecture, which was done by Professor Janusz Czelakowski, Professor Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska took the floor and presented the scientific silhouette of Professor Krzysztof Wieczorek, the lecturer of the day.

At the beginning, Prof. K.Wieczorek recalled Republic by Plato and the criticism of imitating arts, especially poetry, which is included in this dialogue. The essence of the criticism, which has been made clear from the perspective of the 20th-century studies in the Ancient culture, was contained in the fact that the language of poetic discourse in Plato’s times was a factor that hampered and barred the path to influences of dialectics, supported on a completely different use of language, that is through making reference to inter-subjective rules (an exchange of sentences between equal partners). Prof. K. Wieczorek recalled, in this context, studies conducted by Parry, Havelock and Ong. The last of them distinguished three ‘neotic modules’: primary orality (before Plato), literacy (before the technological revolution in the scope of the media), and secondary orality (at present). Next, the lecturer sketched the most significant features of the modules.

In the second part of the lecture, after outlining the role and significance of writing, from the historical perspective, in the Polish culture, and providing a description of features of the language of politics (reducing the descriptive and information function to the indispensable minimum, increasing the persuasive function), Prof. K. Wieczorek went on to present the most important theme: an examination of how the most vital features of word technology that dominates in the time of secondary orality is reflected in public utterances made by politicians of the Third Republic of Poland. He also commented on the influence they have on the public reception. This part of the lecture, which was illustrated with numerous instances of such utterances, drew a spontaneous reaction from the listeners.

After the lecture, during the seminar part of the meeting, Prof. K. Wieczorek answered questions asked by the members of the GLLI with reference to the lecture.