Turkish Military and Administrative Vocabulary for Balkan Realities

Albina Girfanova and Nikolai L. Sukhachev

Turkish Military and Administrative Vocabulary  for Balkan Realities

(55th Meeting, 2012)

The article reports the present-day achievement in the corpus of data collected for “Turkisms in South-Eastern European Languages (A General Description of Historical Lexicological and Etymological data)” project, conducted under the auspices of Russian Humanities Foundation, RGNF grant, project № 12-04-00335, type a.  The authors acknowledge the support offered by the Foundation.

Military and civic titles of Turkish origin, including Iranian, Arabic and European (mostly Greek and Italian) vocabulary mediated by Osmanli in South-Slavonic, Balkan-and-Roman languages, as well as in Albanian and Greek had been widely spread in the Balkans. For words indicating forms of seniority and subordination typical for Ottoman empire (its Byzantine heritage, in fact) three loaning tendencies can be suggested:
1)    Nominating the changeable Ottoman state organization realities. Words of this type are not exactly borrowings; strictly speaking, they are “quotations” or “historicisms” reflecting an alien language-cultural tradition.
2)    Nominating the realities, introduced either by the Osmanli administration or a local administration in imitation of the Osmanli model in a particular territory. Here one speaks of borrowed realities, together with their words.
3)    Extending the range of meanings for a Turkish word together with its entire or partial change of meaning in the respective Balkan language. Nominations of this type can be considered lexical borrowings proper, as their re-framing (change of meaning) will reflect a new, and not the old Turkish   linguo-cultural tradition.