My interest in the problem of noun formation in modern Upper Sorbian has been inspired by Professor Stanisław Stachowski's article, entitled “Słowotwórstwo rzeczowników w języku górnołużyckim XVII wieku” [The formation of nouns in Upper Sorbian in the 17th century] (1968). It is a unique and model publication as far as Sorbian linguistics is concerned. In fact, the least described part of this linguistics is word-formation, especially from the historical perspective. This point was stressed in the introduction to the article by the Author himself (p. 180). Unfortunately, it should be admitted that nothing has changed since that time. We still lack analyses pertaining to the word-formation of Sorbian linguistic monuments that would help us understand their historical formative processes (cf. Pohončowa 2013: 115).
At this point, it is worth stating that the aforementioned article is not the only publication dedicated to Sorbian in the scholarly output of Prof. Stachowski. Inspired by the then head of the Slavic studies in Kraków, Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński, who had tried to incline young scholars to widen their knowledge of Slavic languages and become interested in the Polabian language and the Sorbian languages, Stanisław Stachowski started investigating the Upper Sorbian language (Bura 2006: 139). Besides the article in question, he published Słownik do gornołużyckiego Katechizmu Warychiusza (1597) [A dictionary of the Upper Sorbian Catechism of Warichius (1597)] (1966), a linguistic monograph of Abraham Frencel's work (1967) entitled Język gornołużycki w “De originibus linguae Sorabicae” Abrahama Frencla (1693–1696) [Upper Sorbian in Abraham Frencel's “De originibus linguae Sorabicae”], and in 1978, a dictionary Słownik gornołużycki Abrahama Frencla (1693–1696) [Abraham Frencel's dictionary of Upper Sorbian (1693–1696)].
In his article, Prof. Stachowski analyzed the formation of nouns in Upper Sorbian in the 17th century based on Frencel's De originibus linguae Sorabicae, which was a kind of Upper Sorbian-Latin-German dictionary. He presented the rich lexical material of the dictionary according to particular semantic categories. My aim, in turn, is to show the most important tendencies and phenomena pertaining to noun formation in Upper Sorbian on the basis of the lexical material included in Němsko-hornjoserbski słownik noweje leksiki by H. Jenč, A. Pohončowa and J. Šołćina (2006).