Between person marking, ideology and politeness
in contemporary Polish
The paper addresses changes in relational functions of ‘we’ in contemporary Polish and in the underlying models of culturally dominant ‘we’-group concepts. After some orientation to the ethnogrammar and ethnopragmatics of ‘we’ (Polish my), it focuses on a pragmatic analysis of a ‘we’ 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 ‘we’-group concepts press for new patterns of address and mode of participant interaction.