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Interests in Old and Middle English in Poland go back to the beginning of the 20th century. However, Medieval English did not occupy an important place in English studies in Poland before There were only two scholars who pursued serious studies in the field, i. Roman Dyboski in Cracow and Dr. Zygfryd M. Arend d. In he also published a study on English medieval language and literature which was used as a handbook at Polish universities until the 's.
Arend's interests centred on Middle English phonology, particularly in Cursor Mundi. He was completing a major work on the subject his habilitation dissertation when World War II broke out. Part of it, devoted to the phenomenon of linking, appeared in Transactions of the Philological Society in Arend unfortunately lost his life in and did not finish the work.
The premature death of both these scholars left Polish departments of English immediately after the war with no real specialist in the field of Medieval English. This situation lasted almost until A breakthrough came with the return of Alfred Reszkiewicz from his postgraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, Ind. The rise of interest in the subject was also enhanced by the reform of higher education which introduced to the curriculum of English studies inter alia a two-semester four hours a week course on Old English and a two-semester course also four hours a week on the history of English with one semester devoted to Middle English also four hours a week.
Both courses were obligatory for all students of English. This continued until and encouraged a number of students to take up M. The situation changed somewhat for the worse in when the courses on Old English and the history of English were reduced to one two-semester course on the history of English taught two hours a week.
The course was still obligatory for all undergraduates. Since , when universities gained a fair amount of autonomy, in some English departments, e.
Some departments e. The Poznan School of English additionally offers more advanced courses on various aspects of Old and Middle English for 3rd and 4th year students.
In the fifties major contributions to the field came from Professor Margaret Schlauch and Professor Alfred Reszkiewicz both in the form of handbooks for students as well as original papers and larger works. Professor M Schlauch published a paper on Chaucer's colloquial English b and an outline history of English a covering the period from late Middle English until 's. The former was later reprinted in several collections of papers and the latter, thoroughly revised and updated, was published under the title The English language in modern times in 2nd ed.
It was favourably reviewed among others by R. Zandvoort, R. Wilson, T. Finkenstaedt and E. Schlauch in her analysis of the development of the English language devoted ample space to external social, political and cultural factors determining the course of language evolution and particularly the history of the rise of a standard variety.
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Outline History English Volume by Jacek Fisiak
Interests in Old and Middle English in Poland go back to the beginning of the 20th century. However, Medieval English did not occupy an important place in English studies in Poland before There were only two scholars who pursued serious studies in the field, i. Roman Dyboski in Cracow and Dr. Zygfryd M.
Jacek Fisiak In Memoriam
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An Outline History of English. Volume One. External History