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Military Loan Words in the English Language: A Diachronic Aspect. P. 106–115

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Section: Philology


811.111: 81’373.45


Tamara I. Mungalova
Far-Eastern Institute of Management, Branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration;
ul. Murav’eva-Amurskogo 33, Khabarovsk, 680000, Russian Federation; e-mail:
Irina P. Fedotova
Far-Eastern Institute of Management, Branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration;
ul. Murav’eva-Amurskogo 33, Khabarovsk, 680000, Russian Federation; e-mail:


Historically, extralinguistic factors made it possible for foreign military words to penetrate into the English language more than 400 years ago. This article focused on French and Italian military words borrowed by English in the 14th – 17th centuries and their transformations in the new language. The authors identified and analysed different scenarios of this process and its influence on the modern English vocabulary. The research revealed four scenarios for military words adopted during the Middle English and Early Modern English periods: being confined to the military sphere; becoming obsolete or obsolescent; being determinologized; entering another terminological system. The longest and most complicated, in our view, is the process of determinologization, which means that the terms either are used in figurative meaning (metaphors and metonyms) or form phraseological units. The other three scenarios have produced only a limited number of lexical units but, still, occupy an important place in the development of vocabulary. It should be noted that a word’s confinement to the military sphere while preserving its original meaning is a rare phenomenon. The range of new terminological systems for the borrowed military terms described in this article is rather wide and includes zoological, economic, technical, legal, medical, as well as music and sports terminology. In addition, among the analysed terms we found those that have become archaic or historical either entirely or in one of their meanings.


military vocabulary, military terms, despecialization, determinologization, diachrony
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