Frontal Attack or Retrograde: C Croatian Military Terminology Confronting Anglo-American Terminological Influx

Dalibor Vrgoč


With the accession of Croatia to NATO, Croatian military terminology was confronted with a vast and complex terminological pool in English, for which Croatian equivalents had to be developed. This paper aims to address and investigate both latent and conspicuous mirroring of English term-formation patterns at all linguistic levels, as well as calqueing as a mechanism for creating Croatian equivalents. The research was undertaken on a corpus-verified excerpt of terms that were subjected to terminological analysis. Prima facie observations confirmed the efforts of subject matter experts to develop contemporary Croatian military terminology using Croatian language material. However, multiple criteria revealed the sample was debatable, both from the perspective of the standard Croatian language and of terminological principles. The research demonstrated that Croatian (terminological) term formation – as the most desirable method of term formation – is significantly underrepresented and dominated by latent linguistic borrowing (calques) and multiword term units. Because multiword terms constitute the most prevalent subgroup of terms today, they were given additional consideration, especially as Anglo-American structures and patterns are most closely emulated at this level of term formation. Anglo-American formation patterns frequently take priority, typically under the pretext of their alleged precision and transparency, despite the Croatian language substantial inherent term-formation potential. To systematize military terminology and introduce stability into the conceptual system, the author deemed it beneficial to go beyond the merely descriptive level of research and render solutions for terminological gaps or the terminology requiring revision and normative preference by undertaking concrete normative interventions and providing practical paradigmatic models. Finally, the rendered solutions were designed to both catalyze future interventions in Croatian military terminology and revise the current one.



terminology; Croatian military terminology; Anglo-Americanization; calques; linguistic borrowing

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.