In the series of meetings organized by the Group of Logic, Language and Information (GLLI), on 17 April 2012, Professor Elżbieta Dąbrowska of Institute of Polish Philology of Opole University delivered her lecture under the title Words, Words, Words... And where is the reality?. The meeting, which began at 12.30, was held at the Hall of the Senate in the building of Collegium Maius of Opole University.
Beginning it, Professor Janusz Czelakowski welcomed the lecturer of the day and the participants. He also informed the gathered that the latest months had been spent making preparations to host an event of international significance, that is the 24th European Summer School of Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI 2012), co-organized by the GLLI of Opole University and Opole Society of Friends to Sciences. The annual Summer School was planned to take place between the 6th and the 17th August. Professor Czelakowski emphasized the particular role of the Society, whose President Professor Dąbrowska is, in organizing the event.
Then, Professor Czelakowski recalled that language plays a series of functions, the most important of which are the cognitive one, consisting in – roughly speaking – acquisition and description of knowledge, the social function (language as a tool to create and regulate social relations), or the affective one, consisting in transferring emotions. There are a few theories in circulation which deal with the functioning of language. Each of them often distinguishes its own notional apparatus and defines a given cognitive perspective.
Next, Professor Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska presented the scientific silhouette of the lecturer and welcomed Professor Dąbrowska to deliver the lecture.
The lecture dealt with language as a tool of literary expression and construction of the artistic text. It stressed, especially, the fact that language – besides its descriptive function, whose task is to capture and represent reality – frequently plays also other functions on the ground of literary expression and artistic text, which consist, among others, in modeling and processing the reality and often – creating virtual reality. It is obvious that appropriate linguistic tools are applied to meet the ends, such as usage of the absurd, paraphrase, newspeak and misunderstanding, as poetic means. It needs underlining that the lecturer drew particular attention to the role of language as a tool serving to shape and form the very reality itself.
The lecture was followed by a lively and absorbing discussion, in which many references to the problem area presented in the lecture were made, the participants of the meeting raising a number of interesting questions, among others, those of the creationist character of language and its role.