/  Department of Etymology and Geolinguistics

Department of Etymology and Geolinguistics

Second floor in the backyard office and fourth floor in the main building.

Head of the Department

prof. dr hab. Jadwiga Waniakowa



Main research areas

The Geolinguistics Section was established within the IJP PAN on January 1, 2005. It continues the work of the former Slavic Linguistic Atlas Section and completes all the tasks related to the Slavic Linguistic Atlas (SLA) and the Linguistic Atlas of Europe (ALE), assigned to be done by Polish committees.


Slavic Linguistic Atlas (SLA)

1. History and characteristics

The project of elaboration of the Slavic Linguistic Atlas was presented at the 1st International Meeting of Slavists in Prague in 1929, but only in 1961 the International SLA Commission headed by R.I. Avanesov was established. In 1965 the SLA questionnaire (3454 questions including different thematic areas, a grammatical and a semantic part) and the phonetical transcription were issued. The fieldwork started in the same year. The collection of materials was finished in 1975, and 3 years later the introductory volume of SLA was published in Moscow (ed. R.I. Avanesov and V.V. Ivanov); [2nd edition: Moscow 1994].

The Slavic Linguistic Atlas includes all Slavic languages; it provides data for diachronic research (Slavs ethnogenesis, early dialectal divisions of the Slavic linguistic territory, the appearance of Slavic linguistic groups and languages), as well as for the synchronic one, related to linguistic typology (phonological, morphological and semantic analysis).

At present, Prof. Tatiana Vendina from Russia is the president of the International SLA Commission along with the International Committee of Slavists. Prof. Jadwiga Waniakowa is the president of the Polish National SLA Committee.

2. Publications

The following volumes of SLA have been published so far:

a) in the phonetic-grammatical series:

  • Results of *ě, Belgrade 1988, ed. B. Vidoeski, P. Ivić, secr. S. Remetić;
  • Results of *ę, Moscow 1990, ed. V.V. Ivanov, T.I. Vendina, L.E. Kalnyn;
  • Results of *o, Wrocław 1990, ed. J. Basara, secr. A. Basara, H. Zduńska;
  • Results of *?r, *?r, *?l, *?l, Warsaw 1994, ed. J. Basara, secr. A. Basara;
  • Results of *?, *?. Secondary vocalism, Skopje 2003, ed. Z. Topolińska, D. Petrović;
  • Results of *?, *?, Zagreb 2006, ed. D. Brozović, M. Menac-Mihalić;
  • Results of *o, Moscow 2008, ed. T.I. Vendina, L.E. Kalnyn;
  • Results of *e, Moscow 2011, ed. T.I. Vendina, L.E. Kalnyn.

b) in the lexical-word-forming series:

  • World of animals, Moscow 1988, ed. R.I. Avanesov, V.V. Ivanov;
  • Animal breeding, Warsaw 2000, ed. B. Falińska, J. Siatkowski, secr. A. Kowalska;
  • World of plants, Minsk 2000, ed. A.I. Padłužny, A.A. Kryvicky, L.P. Kuncevič;
  • Professions and social life, Warsaw 2003, ed. J. Basara, J. Siatkowski, secr. A. Basara;
  • Housekeeping and food preparation, Moscow 2007, ed. T.I. Vendina, Ż.Ż. Varbot, L.E. Kalnyn, G.P. Klepikova;
  • Man, Krakow 2009, ed. J. Siatkowski, J. Waniakowa, secr. Helena Grochola-Szczepanek;
  • Agriculture, Bratislava 2012, ed. A. Ferenčíková et al.

At present the following volumes of SLA are being completed:

a) in the phonetic-grammatical series:

  • Results of the groups *tort, *tolt, *tert, *telt, Czech edition;
  • Results of *a, Belarusian edition.

b) in the lexical-word-forming series:

  • Transport and communication, Ukrainian edition;
  • Clothing and footwear, Lusatian edition;
  • Kinship, Bulgarian edition.

3. Additional information

Linguistic Atlas of Europe (Atlas Linguarum Europae – ALE)

1. History and characteristics

The Atlas Linguarum Europae was founded in 1970 under the auspices of UNESCO. It is the first linguistic atlas of the whole of Europe, from Iceland to the Ural Mountains. It covers 6 linguistic families, including 22 linguistic groups and a huge number of particular languages used in 51 countries. The mapped data was collected in 2631 localities. English, French and German are the official ALE languages. Every fascicle of the atlas consists of two parts: a volume of interpretational maps and a volume of commentaries. An important innovation of the ALE, relative to other atlases, is that besides traditional onomasiological maps it also contains motivational maps showing extralinguistic motivations of presented lexemes, and not only ranges of particular roots. I.e. the names with common semantic motivation, irrespective of their etymology, are represented in a similar way on motivational maps and thus one can see areas that do not cover traditional linguistic divisions.

At present, Prof. Nicolae Saramandu from Romania is the ALE president. Prof. Jadwiga Waniakowa is the president of the Polish National ALE Committee.

2. Publications

  • Introduction (1975);
  • Premier Questionnaire (1976);
  • Second Questionnaire (1979);
  • Vol. I: Premier fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (1983);
  • Vol. I: Deuxieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (1986);
  • Vol. I: Troisieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (1988);
  • Vol. I: Quatrieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (1990);
  • Vol. I: Cinquieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (1997);
  • ALE. Perspectives nouvelles en géolinguistique (1997);
  • Vol. I: Sixieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (2002);
  • Vol. I: Septieme fascicule, Cartes et Commentaires (2007);

The Polish contribution to the ALE includes completion of the following maps:

  • bouleau ‘birch-tree’ (fasc. 2, 1986), bleuet ‘cornflower’ (fasc. 5, 1997) – Linguistics Department of the IJP PAN headed by M. Szymczak;
  • orge ‘barley’ (fasc. 5, 1997) – Zenon Leszczyński;
  • tomate ‘tomato’, peigne ‘comb’ (fasc. 7, 2007) – Janusz Siatkowski;
  • papier ‘paper’, crayon ‘pencil’ (in press) – Jadwiga Waniakowa.

3. Additional information

translated by Przemysław Dębowiak


Instytut Języka Polskiego Polskiej Akademii Nauk

al. Mickiewicza 31
31-120 Kraków

+48 (12) 632-56-92

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