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Abstract

This article is devoted to the official forms in the inflection of chosen toponyms in Poland and the variety of dialectal singular and plural place names. The variety of place names often diverges from the rules of language use, and causes language users problems. The toponyms have peculiar, locally used inflected forms; the outside-linguistic (non-linguistic) factors that are social and local factors, play an important role in the inflection of place names. The local population often uses other forms than those recommended by official sources. I focus my attention on the genitive forms of toponyms because it is mainly here that one can see clear variations in the official and local inflection of place names. The material shows that the singular masculine toponyms have genitive endings: -a (in the official variety), -u (in the local variety), for example Biłgoraj, gen. Biłgoraja, but in the local dialect: biłgoraju. The singular feminine place names have genitive endings: -ej (in the official variety), -y||-i (in the local variety): Brzezowa, gen. Brzezowej, but Brzezowy in the local dialect. The plural toponyms have genitive endings: -ø, -ów, -i (-y), but in the local circulation the ending -ów is dominant and demonstrates a wider expansion in use. For example Brzózki, gen. Brzózek, in the local variety Brzuskuf; Budy, official gen. Bud, but Buduf; Burnie, gen. Burni, in the local dialect: Burniuf. The gathered material reflects a hesitation in the inflection of toponyms, as the linguistic customs and presented dialectal records of forms of genit ives of place names show a significantly diverse approach towards the Polish language.
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