Статията запознава с лексикалните и морфологични аспекти на адаптация и внедряването на
съвременни англлийски думи в системата на словашкия език. Представя се и кратък обзор на английските
прилагателни, съществителни и глаголи в съпоставка със словашките парадигми.
KEYWORDS: lexical, morphological, transdeclination, paradigm, substantives, adjectives
The enrichment of the vocabulary by the adaptation of foreign words is the most productive
process that requires detailed research which could help to prevent the loss of original expressions
but to retain the rich variety of a particular language system. Obviously, it is not easy to collect and
compile all information about the new words of foreign origin because every language develops
continuously and consists of an enormous amount of words of different origin.
Recently, there was noticed the increasing usage of anglicisms which replace the domestic
expressions. The reason for the preference of English words is different; some people want to be
modern or international, the others are convinced that anglicisms are shorter and easier to write or
pronounce. Therefore, the words of English origin penetrate into the system of Slovak language and
are more or less used within all Slovak functional styles.
It seems that mostly young people but also the journalists, announcers, broadcasters and
sport commentators tend to use anglicisms in their daily communication or broadcasting and
frequently, they do not realize how aggressive is the pervasion of new words of English origin at the
system of Slovak language. The media are able either to change people’s opinion or to influence the
language culture of different countries.
The development of the vocabulary is influenced by the word-formative processes but also
by accepting of new words from other languages which can be used in their original forms or they
can be adapted or changed according to the original grammar rules. These words can be later
replaced by new original expressions but in most cases the domestic word remains or is
morphologically, orthographically, phonologically or semantically adapted.
That means that a word can be changed to suit a new situation. From the linguistic point of
view the adaptation means the linguistic change of a lexeme that helps it to become a stabile part of
Slovak grammar system. An English word can be completely involved into our language by using
its similarities or differences to compare it with original Slovak words and profit from its adaptation
of the changes of its grammar forms by morphological, orthographic and phonetic or semantic
functions. Considering the term new word of the English origin there has to be said that it is not a
word that did not exist before or was recently created but it is seen as a word that was brought from
English language so it is a new word only for Slovak language system. The reason why the existing
words are accepted from other vocabularies is simple - a particular language needs to fill in a gap in
the vocabulary because there are always being invented new things and activities we should give
names to. But when there are no Slovak equivalents for such topics or activities we have to accept
new terms from different languages. In fact, some English words penetrating into Slovak language
have their origin in different languages.
Lexical adaptation
In J. Mistrík´s Encyklopédia jazykovedy (1993, p. 294) the term neologism is explained as a
new established word or hyphenization used to entitle a new phenomenon. If there appears a new
thing or action in the reality there has to be found a new term to identify it in the original language.
However, neologisms are not only new expressions but also existing words used with the new
meanings. They can develop through polysemy when a word which is already known and used in
definite sphere appears with a different or new meaning, e.g. the English word “cool” means
“studený” but it is also used as “super”, “dobrý” or “moderný”. Most neologisms can be found in
the educational functional style in Slovak language and majority of these words are taken over from
foreign languages. It is believed that more than one hundred new words (not only of English origin)
penetrate into Slovak vocabulary every year.
The term internationalism is used in all related or unrelated languages expressing things
having international character in different fields, such as philosophy, art, culture, science, politics,
technology, sports etc. Peprník (2006, p. 88) stated that the infiltration of internationalisms into a
language is a reflection of the economic development and the industrialization of the world and that
the word referring to a new invention or idea enters several languages simultaneously – though not
all languages are equally hospitable to foreign loanwords,
According to the adaptation to domestic orthographic system, Jozef Mistrík (1993, p. 196)
specified internationalisms as exonyms and exotisms. The first term, exonym includes international
words which were transformed according to the rules of domestic grammar. The second term,
exotism determines an expression which can not be translated into Slovak language. It includes
foreign, social and military names or expressions from foreign folklore or regional specifics which
kept the original grammar form, e.g. “Microsoft Windows, upload, blog” etc. For clearer
explanation there has to be mentioned that the international words in English terminology are also
called loanwords or foreignisms. They are probably equal to Slovak terms exonym and exotism
because the difference between the loanwords and foreignisms is also found in the analysis of their
integration or adaptation to the receiving language. In some resource articles loanword refers to the
terms borrowing or borrow which have the same meaning. A loanword is an expression integrated
from other languages and adapted to the original language rules, e.g. English loanwords in Slovak
word-stock are “hardvér, vygoogliť, dizajn” etc. On the other hand, a foreignism is nonintegrated, so
it is written as in the original language.
J. Mistrík (1988, p. 55) explains also the term calque which refers to the terms loanword or
borrowing. Calque is used for the foreign words translated letter for letter into Slovak, e.g. English
word “computer network” was translated as “počítačová sieť”, “open system” as “otvorený systém”
or “teenager” as “násťročný”. Calques from different languages were adopted by various other
languages, e.g. R.I.P from Latin “requiescat in pace” penetrated into English as “rest in peace” but
unaffected Latin R.I.P is written also on Slovak tombstones.
The international words can be distinguished also according to the place of their origin,
where they develop or first appear. The term anglicism or briticism/britishism is used for words
borrowed from English/British vocabulary. They can be used in the original form or adapted to the
receiving language. J. Mistrík (1993, p. 65) analyzes also the term pseudoanglicism which is a
curious kind of anglicism formed with typical English word-formative units connected to domestic
word roots. Other words with English origin are americanisms which originate in the USA and
penetrate into other languages in original or transformed version.
There is no clear explanation of the term europeism, but defines a term
europeanism as “a word or phrase used only in Europe or having a special meaning there”.
Europeisms are probably developed, used and connected mostly with the European background or
institutions or have European origin, for example the acronym OECD - Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development originated in France in 1961 in connection with the establishment of
European Union. We can say that the acronym OECD [əʊ i: si: di:] is used as an europeism but it
also belongs to larger group called internationalism and penetrated into almost all languages with
the English pronunciation of this acronym.
The new words of the English origin appear mostly among Slovak substantives and verbs
because they name items or processes in specific fields. It is interesting that the new anglicisms
penetrate into our word-stock in their original grammatical form, substantives as substantives,
adjectives as adjectives etc. but as they are used and domesticated in the receiving language they
can be transformed into different word classes, e.g. the noun “gambler” was later changed and used
as the verb “gamblovať/gemblovať/gembliť”.
According to Ološtiak et al. (2007, p. 30) transmorphologization within substantives can be
distinguished into transgenderization, transnumerization, transdeclination. There can be claimed that
the gender of most new words of English origin changes its gender according to the domestic
grammar rules. There are many anglicisms of neuter gender in their original form that transform
into masculine or feminine gender in Slovak. For instance, the word “playstation” is neuter in
English but in Slovak it can have different genders. Some people consider this word as feminine.
This is caused by the semantic adaptation of the word with its meaning or translation as “hracia
stanica” which is feminine in Slovak but the anglicism “playstation” is also used in masculine
gender due to its word ending with a consonant that indicates the masculine gender according to
Slovak grammatical rules.
Ološtiak (2007, p. 30) claims that transmorphologization includes also zero
transnumerization that is symmetric model where singular in English matches singular in Slovak.
The transdeclination of received substantives deals with the adaptation of the grammatical cases
within Slovak grammar and their declination according to Slovak linguistic paradigms considering
masculine, feminine and neuter gender. The adaptation of English nouns in Slovak word-stock acts
through affixation.
There are also verbal substantives. English words with suffix –ing indicate the substantive,
transitivity or the participle of a verb (reading – čítanie, čítajúc, čítajúci) showing the continuous
grammar tense or they are considered to be adjectives. In Slovak language words adapted with this
suffix are always used as substantives, e.g. “facelifting, džoging” etc.
Considering prefixes there are not many substantives of English origin created by the
addition of prefixes, besides the prefix top- (topmanažér), ex- (exfitnesska), anti-(antimalware),
multi- (multiplayer).
The words of English origin which are partially or completely adapted or those which
remain unchanged are declined by different Slovak paradigms. The new anglicisms with masculine
gender are adapted by following the animate Slovak paradigms chlap, hrdina and inanimate
paradigms dub, stroj. Many English words penetrating into Slovak language are animate masculine
which have ending with a consonant or masculine proper names, so they are declined with the
Slovak paradigm chlap or proper names as “Andrew, Steven, Josh, Elliot, Charles, John” etc. The
anglicisms declined by the paradigm hrdina are not so frequent because there are not many English
masculine words ending with -a. However, there are some anglicisms adapted with the Slovak
suffixes ending with –a. For instance, suffix -ista in words as “windsurfista, snowboardista, surfista”
etc., are declined with this paradigm.
The paradigm dub is the most used from masculine paradigms because there are number of
inanimate masculine anglicisms ending with a hard or both-typed (hard and soft) consonant, e.g.
“background, cheeseburger, joint, workshop, off-road, popcorn” etc. Of course, the forms of
phonologically adapted neologisms are the same as in the original lexemes. There can be claimed
that the least productive masculine paradigm is stroj because there are not many anglicisms ending
with a soft consonant, even in their phonological forms.
Many of the adapted masculine anglicisms are transformed into feminine anglicisms in
Slovak because English language does not differentiate between feminine and masculine
substantives as properly as we do. Slovak language modulates some masculine substantives into
feminine by the suffix –ka, e.g. “manažérka, providerka, dílerka, kovbojka, shopoholička,
imidžmejkerka, babysitterka” etc. Words ending with –a in singular before which is located hard or
both-typed (hard and soft) consonant are following Slovak paradigm žena as the word
Other feminine substantives declined according to the paradigms ulica, dlaň or kosť are
very rare and they appear mostly following by a word of Slovak origin, e.g. “go go tanečnica”.
There are few feminine nouns which remain indeclinable and are used in their infinitive forms, e.g.
“barbie, callgirl, highway, lobby, playmate, technopárty”.
Considering the neuter substantives we have to mention that there penetrate almost none of
neuter anglicisms into Slovak language. This is caused by the absence of word endings with vowels
-o, -e, -ie, -a in English neuter substantives, so they can not be declined according to Slovak
paradigms mesto, srdce, vysvedčenie and dievča. However, some neuter substantives were adapted
with the Slovak suffix -stvo/-ctvo, so they follow the paradigm mesto, e.g. “playboystvo, lordstvo”
etc., or adapted substantives with suffix – nie follow the paradigm vysvedčenie, e.g. “skenovanie,
kempovanie, dabovanie, surfovanie” etc.
Slovak vocabulary is enriched also by the partial adaptation of English antroponyms
according to their similarity to specific Slovak paradigms. English masculine antroponyms ending
with a consonant when pronounced are declined like the paradigm chlap, e.g. “Paul, John” etc. or
when ending with a vowel –a those words are declined like paradigm hrdina, e.g. “Anka, Alva” etc.
There are also English masculine antroponyms pronounced with the endings –i, í, e, é in Slovak
which are declined.
English feminine antroponyms ending in N singular with a hard consonant and the vowel –a
are declined like paradigm žena, e.g. “Angela, Gina, Darla” etc., feminine antroponyms ending with
a soft consonant and the vowel –a are declined like paradigm ulica, e.g. “Trisha, Belisha” etc. but
also feminine proper names ending with -ia, -ja, -ya, e.g. “Cynthia, Mia, Maurya” etc. Feminine
antroponyms which do not end with a vowel - a are indeclinable in the system of Slovak language
because they are not similar to any of the domestic paradigms. That means that they remain their N
singular form in all grammar cases can not be declined by the paradigm žena because it will loose
its original form and degrade the name into “Alica”.
Considering English surnames we have to mention the suffix –ovci which can be added to
the root, e.g. “Smithovci” but those surnames ending with a vowel –e can be used with or without
the vowel, e.g. “Blakeovci” or “Blakovci” etc.
Foreign adjectives can be adapted in their original form, e.g. “crazy, happy, funny, holly”
etc. but they can be also formed from the new substantives taken over from English.
They are used with some Slovak suffixes attached to a root word:
· substantive/adjective + -ový (laser - laserový, happy end - happy-endový, adjindoor -
indoorový, streetart - streetartový, pop - popový, softvér – softvérový etc.)
· substantive + -ský/-sky (díler - dílerský, hacker - hackerský, editor - editorský, manažér -
manažérsky, houmlesák - houmlesácky, Halloween - halloweensky etc.)
· substantive + -ovský (web - webovský, word - wordovský, Windows – windowsovský,
superstar - superstárovský etc.)
· substantive + -istický (lobby – lobbistický, snoubord - snoubordistický etc.)
There has to be mentioned that the adjectival anglicisms can be divided into their gender,
e.g. “hairstyle” was transformed by the addition of masculine suffix –ový as “hairstylový”, feminine
suffix –ová as “hairstylová” and neuter suffix –ové “hairstylové”. These suffixes can be used also
with verbal substantives ending with –ing as “feeling, roaming, babysitting, networking” as
“feelingový, roamingový, babysittingový, networkingový” etc.
There are also few Slovak prefixes used to transform adjectival anglicisms:
· pre- + adjective (prebookovaný)
· na- + adjective (nastyleovaný)
· do- + adjective (doskenovaný)
· od- + adjective (odfaxovaný)
· za- + adjective (zacheckovaný/začekovaný)
· vy- + adjective (vybrowsovaný)
These qualitative adjectives are declined according to the paradigms: masculine pekný,
feminine pekná, neuter pekné, e.g. “nastyleovaný, nastyleovaná, nastyleované” etc. The Slovak
paradigms cudzí and páví are not used with anglicisms because no words of English origin have the
ending –í. There should be also remembered the usage of Slovak rhythmical rule of shortening in all
cases that requires the shortening of one of two long syllables, e.g. there can be said “digitálny” not
“digitálný” etc. The adapted adjectives appear in specific forms, e.g. we tend to say “out-doorový“
but not “out-doorsky” and the noun “Halloween” can be formed into adjectives by different
suffixes, e.g. –sky in “halloweensky” or –ový in “halloweenový”. The usage of specific suffixes in
different words is conditioned by the similarity or proximity of an anglicism to a domestic word
and, naturally, by the meaning of the new adapted adjective and its suffix or prefix in Slovak.
Personal possessive adjectives are used according to paradigms otcov, -a, -e or matkin, -a, -
e and there are few adapted anglicisms which cooperate with following paradigms. For instance, the
paradigm otcov is used with masculine possessive substantives “manažérov, lídrov, konštruktérov,
spíkrov, tínedžerov” etc. and the paradigm matkin is used with adapted feminine possessive
substantives ending with –ka, like “manažérkin, líderkin, spíkerkin, tínedžerkin” etc. When
speaking of English feminine surnames, obviously, in Slovak they are adapted with the suffix –ová
but we noticed an interesting fact. The feminine surnames with the vowel –e at the end like “Stone,
Blake, Wilde” are allowed to remain or leave out the letter –e after the addition of –ová so we can
write both forms, i.e. “Stoneová” as well as “Stonová”.
Some English words are used in Slovak as adjectives but they remained in their original
form, e.g. “video-in-print reklama, hands-free súprava, antispyware ochrana, bluetooth slúchadlá,
sugarfree žuvačka” etc.
Surprisingly, some substantives that consist of two or more isolated words form different
nouns and different adjective items, e.g. the substantive “Davis Cup” was translated and is used in
Slovak as “Davisov pohár” but the adjective is formed from the original hyphenization “Davis
Cup”, so we use the adjective “Daviscupový”. This is probably caused by the disability of Slovak
language to form an adjective from two different word types, in this case it is an expression made by
an adjective and noun, so it could bring the loss of the original meaning. We can not say “Davisov
pohárový” because it looses its meaning and Slovak language does not use two different adjectives
made of proper name and a noun. However, if we use the expression “Davis pohárový” it can sound
unnaturally to Slovak audience and could cause misunderstandings of the real meaning and form of
this adjective because everybody is used to the original expression “Davis Cup”.
Slovak language is lightly receiving also English verbs but mostly English nouns are
transformed into verbs by different Slovak suffixes so there are no problems with their declination.
The most productive Slovak suffixes used to form verbs are:
· substantive/verb + -iť (google - googliť)
· substantive/verb + -ať (klik - klikať)
· substantive/verb + - núť (to hack - hacknúť)
· substantive/verb + -ovať (to browse - browsovať)
It is necessary to mention that except suffixes there can be added also prefixes to partially
or completely change the already existing verb’s meaning:
· pre- + verb (prebookovať)
· na- + verb (nastyleovať)
· ne- + verb (neklikať)
· do- + verb (dospíkovať)
· od- + verb (odmailovať)
· za- + verb (zachatovať/začetovať)
· vy- + verb (vygoogliť)
· z- + verb (zmanažovať)
Furthermore, we can add that Slovak language does not make a new verb from every
English substantive, e.g. the word “web” can be used as an adjective “webový” but we do not make
a verb “webovať”. It is because the new word or word classes have to carry particular meaning. If
there is not a new or slightly different meaning that has to be carried by a new word, there is no
need to create a new word class from an existing anglicism.
The adapted verbs are declined according to their tense which can be past, present or future,
and according to their mood in the sentence they are part of. In Slovak there are distinguished the
same moods as in English, i.e. indicative mood in declarative sentence, imperative mood in
exclamatory sentence, and subjunctive mood in conditional sentence.
Imperative mood in Slovak has only three forms: “Bookuj! Bookujte! Bookujme!”.
Especially in colloquial style there is also used one rule specific for imperative mood of foreign
words which says that if the second form of the present root ends with a group of consonants that
are atypical for Slovak, the root is extended by suffix –i (Pauliny, 1997, p. 123), e.g. “booknu –
bookni!, checknú – checkni!, supportnú – supportni!” etc. Other rules connected with this mood and
used with domestic verb forms are not used with anglicisms.
Subjunctive mood in present tense is made from past tense of the verb and Slovak particle
“by”. This principle is used also with the past tense of subjunctive mood but instead of the particle
“by” there are used the present subjunctive forms of the verb “byť”.
The passive voice of anglicisms is formed easily because of their adaptation with Slovak
suffixes. The infinitive of verb “checkovať” has the basic form “byť checkovaný”. There can be
created a passive in all Slovak tenses, e.g. the past passive voice “bol som checkovaný”, present
passive voice “som checkovaný” and the future passive voice “budem checkovaný”. In the
imperative mood there can be seen a from “buď checkovaný!” and in present subjunctive mood “bol
by som checkovaný” or the past subjunctive mood is “bol by som býval checkovaný”. These
grammatical forms are not used frequently in colloquial speech because Slovak language do not use
this forms so often in practice.
Kvetko 2001: Kvetko, P. Essentials of Modern English Lexicology. Bratislava 2001.
Mistrík 1988: Mistrík, J. Moderná slovenčina. Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo, 1988, 3. vydanie.
Mistrík a kol. 1993: Mistrík, J. a kol. Encyklopédia jazykovedy. Bratislava: OBZOR, 1993.
Ološtiak, Gianitsová-Ološtiaková 2007: Ološtiak, M., L. Gianitsová-Ološtiaková. Deklinácia prevzatých substantív
v slovenčine. Prešov: Filozofická fakulta Prešovskej univerzity. 2007, 1. vydanie.
Pauliny 1997: Pauliny, E. Krátka gramatika slovenská. Bratislava: Národné literárne centrum – Dom slovenskej
literatúry, 1997.
Peprník 2006: Peprník, J. English Lexicology. Olomouc: Rektorát UP, 2006, 3. vydanie.


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