Volume 7, Issue 1, June 2015
UDC 81.276.6:796.342
Mira Milić1, Željko Jonić1 and Ivana Đurić Mojsilović
1 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
2 College of Business Assistance, Istočno Sarajevo - Sokolac
The aim of this study is to carry out terminological standardization of tennis terms in
Serbian as a contribution to publishing the 2nd expanded edition of the existing English-
Serbian dictionary of sports terms entitled Englesko-srpski rečnik sportskih termina.
Research is a corpus-based contrastive analysis of tennis terms in English and Serbian, which
were taken over from Tenniswikipedia glossary containing 254 entries, commentaries in
Serbian during live broadcast of Masters and 2014-2015 GrandSlam matches, and online
Serbian journalistic texts on tennis. The contrastive approach is justified by the fact that
tennis terms in Serbian are created by adaptation of English terms through transshaping and
translation. Given that tennis is a recently popularized sport in Serbia and that no serious
attempt has been made so far to compile a glossary of standard tennis terms in Serbian, the
findings indicate abundance of non-adapted lexical borrowings from English, due to which
terminological standardization deserves particular attention.
Keywords: English, Serbian, standardization, tennis, terminology.
The purpose of this research is to contribute to the efforts relating to the process of
standardization of the sports terminology in Serbian, by proposing standardized terms in the
tennis register to be included in the second expanded edition of the existing English-Serbian
dictionary of sports terms entitled Englesko-srpski rečnik sportskih termina [English-Serbian
dictionary of sports terms] published in
2006. The theoretical aspects of the expanded
dictionary have already been elaborated in Milić (2015b). The examined corpus of 254 tennis
terms is compiled from Tenniswikipedia glossary in English commentaries in Serbian during
live broadcast of Masters and GrandSlam 2014-2015 matches, and online Serbian journalistic
texts on tennis. Consequently, tennis terms in Serbian have been created by adaptation of
English terms through transshaping1
(e.g. return
> RITERN) and translation (ball kid
SKUPLJAČ LOPTICA). Research is based on MA thesis by Željko Jonić defended in June 2015,
under the title Teniski termini u engleskom jeziku i njihovo prevoÿenje na srpski [Tennis
terms in English and their translation to Serbian].
Analysis of the corpus
The main aim of this analysis is to find out the extent of the formal correspondence of
semantic relationships and morphosyntax of tennis terms in English and Serbian. English and
Serbian examples are shown in italics and small capitals respectively, with a symbol “>”
between examples, which indicates the direction of adaptation, from English into Serbian.
Semantic analysis of tennis terms
Before getting insight into semantic relations of tennis terms it deems necessary to
give a definition of a term, which is the key concept of this research. Consequently, a term is
a lexical unit which acquires terminological meaning when it is activated by the pragmatic
characteristics of the discourse (cf. Cabré 2003, 189). Even though a term is a lexical unit, the
semantic relations it develops within a terminological system are different from those in the
general lexicon. The following analysis deals with a contrastive analysis of synonymy,
antonymy, and hyponymy of terms in the terminological system of tennis.
Synonymy accounts for a number of variant terms in both languages. However, this
semantic relationship seems to be generally non-correspondent in the two languages. The
ones in English are the consequence of: clipping (e.g. flat=flat shot > both, RAVAN UDARAC),
changed perspective
(e.g. overgrip=overwrap
> both, OMOTAČ RUKOHVATA), spelling
variation (e.g. racquet=racket > both, REKET), and stylistic variation (e.g. tweener=between
the legs shot > both, ŠUT IZMEĐU NOGU). However, synonyms in Serbian are generally the
consequence of dual adaptation of English terms, i.e. adaptation through transshaping and
translation (e.g. lucky loser > LAKI LUZER = SREĆNI GUBITNIK.
Terminological antonymy is based on spontaneous associations of oppositeness and
contrast, as well as on the knowledge of the existence of concepts and phenomena being in a
contrast relationship, such as matter and non-matter,
2004). However,
antonymy seems to be less frequent than synonymy, but more correspondent in English and
Serbian than synonymy, e.g. doubles singles > PAROVI POJEDINAČNO, inside-in inside-
Eventually, the standard system of concepts in the tennis register is reflected
linguistically in a hyponymic organization of terms in English and Serbian alike.
Accordingly, tennis hyponymy is exemplified by four hypernyms common to ball games in
general: 1. court > TEREN (shape, size, markings, etc.), 2. equipment > OPREMA (balls, net, net
posts, etc.),
3. officials and official’s signals > SUDIJE I SUDIJSKI ZNACI (chair umpire >
GLAVNI SUDIJA, line umpire > LINIJSKI SUDIJA, and ball person > SKUPLJAČ LOPTICA), and 4.
play > IGRA. The fourth hypernym accounts for the highest number of hyponyms each of
which takes the function of hypernyms with their own hyponyms, such as: types of shot
(backand > BEKHEND, drive volley > DRAJV-VOLEJ, forehand > FORHEND, half volley > POLU-
VOLEJ), types of faults (foot fault > PRESTUP, touch > DODIR MREŽE) and types of service
(kick-seve > KIK-SERVIS, service winner > SERVIS-VINER).
Morphosyntactic analysis of tennis terms in English and Serbian
As confirmed by previous research in sports terminology, terms are predominantly
nouns (Cabré 1999: 70) and, to a lesser extent, verbs (Milić 2015a, 3), both of which are to a
great extent two-word items, which are referred to as polylexical units in this paper (cf. Milić
2015a: 5). Single-word terms are either simple terms (play > IGRA) or complex terms formed
by affixation (player > IGRAČ), compounding (backhand > BEKEND), conversion (play >
IGRATI) or clipping (ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) > ATP [EI-TI-PI]). Even
though the above examples show predominantly correspondent units in terms of word
formation processes, tennis terms are not necessarily correspondent in English and Serbian,
e.g. winner > DIREKTAN POEN, drive volley > POLU-VOLEJ, crossover > PRESTUP.
Standardization of tennis terms in Serbian
According to Vries
79), standardization is defined as
“the activity of
establishing and recording a limited set of solutions to actual or potential matching problems
directed at benefits for the party or parties involved, balancing their needs and expecting and
intending that these solutions will be repeatedly and continuously used during a certain
period by substantial number of the parties for whom they are intended.” Consequently, there
are two basic requirements of the process of standardization. These are matching various
features of an entity (object, event, idea, process, etc.) and normativeness of a set standard.
Accordingly, the process of standardization can only be accomplished by mutual efforts of
linguistic and technical specialists (selecting a language variant, setting and elaborating a
code, and compiling a dictionary), on the one hand, and the whole community (acceptance of
the set standard and its updating according to the new requirements), on the other. With this
in mind, Milić (2006) has proposed a model including six principles arranged according to
the order of priority, which is practically applied in the process of standardization of ball
game terms in Serbian. The model is briefly described below.
The model of standardization of sports terms in Serbian
Research and practical steps in this paper are based on the model applied in the
existing dictionary (Milić 2006), which includes a hierarchically ordered set of six principles.
They are bi-univocity, transparency, systematicity, productivity, concision, and frequency. In
the text that follows, each principle is defined and exemplified by the tennis terms from the
analyzed corpus. The consequence of the process of standardization is reordering or
modification of the existing translation equivalents, provided that the proposed term is always
listed first. In the following examples, this term is designated as (1) in front.
Bi-univocity, which is the top priority principle in terminology, implies the
requirement that the term should represent only one concept in a register (Dubuc 1997, 156;
Felber, 1984, 183). Accordingly, this principle is applicable to synonymous tennis terms
accounting for 21 units (of total 254 entries) in English and just a few in Serbian. In English,
synonymy is due to clipping (e.g. pass passing shot PASING-ŠOT PASING-ŠOT), changed
perspective (e.g. overgrip overwrap > OMOTAČ RUKOHVATA = OMOTAČ RUKOHVATA) or
stylistic variation (e.g. racquet
> REKET = REKET), whilst it is predominantly the
result of dual adaptation of the source English term in Serbian. The process of standardization
of synonymous tennis terms in Serbian is exemplified below.
drop shot > before DROP SHOT, DROPŠOT, SKRAĆENI UDARAC; after (1) DROP-ŠOT, (2)
Transparency implies the requirement that the concept a term designates should be
inferred without a definition (cf. ISO 704 2000, 25). Even though translation equivalent of an
English term is preferred to an anglicism, the fact is that most borrowed tennis terms are
more transparent in Serbian than their translation equivalents. For this reason, the priority is
predminantly given to anglicisms, as shown by the following examples.
deuce > before DJUS, IZJEDNAČENJE; after (1) IZJEDNAČENJE, (2) DJUS
hawk-eye > before HOKAJ = SOKOLOVO OKO; after (1) HOKAJ, (2) SOKOLOVO OKO.
Pertaining to the ISO principle of linguistic correctness (ISO 704 2000, 27), a term is
systematic if it is in accordance with the linguistic system of Serbian, which concerns the
levels of orthography, phonology, and morphosyntax. The analysis of the corpus shows that
the predominant deviations occur in: writing compounds, semi-compounds, and anglicisms,
as well as concerning phonological adaptation of anglicisms.
advantage court > before PREDNOST-STRANA; after (1) (1) STRANA PREDNOSTI, (2)
ATP > before ATP [ei-ti-pi]; after ATP [a-te-pe]
lob volley > before LOBVOLEJ, LOB VOLEJ; after LOB-VOLEJ
service winner > before SERVIS VINER; after SERVIS-VINER
The presented model is based on Prćić's (1999) definition of productivity, according
to which it is defined here as the characteristic of the language system which enables
communicators to encode and decode the maximum number of higher order terminological
units. Having in mind the fact that tennis terms are predominantly nouns, the analysis of the
corpus indicates that the productive bound morphemes for noun formation are fully utilized,
even though they are not necessarily correspondent in the two languages. Examples include:
affixes and free morphemes in compounds, e.g. mini-break > MINI-BREJK (neoclassical
composition), qualifier > KVALIFIKANT (affixation), split step > MEĐU-KORAK (compunding),
stretching > PROKLIZAVANJE (affixation). In light of the fact that polylexical terms are mostly
two-word units, it may be concluded that their productivity is generally satisfactory.
Consequently, the process of standardization in terms of productivity included the following
break back > before ODUZETI SERVIS; after (1) POVRATITI BREJK, (2) ODUZETI
hot dog > before UDARAC KROZ NOGE UNAZAD; after
serve and volley > before SERVIS VOLEJ IGRA; after (1) SERVIS-VOLEJ, (2) IGRA
squash shot > before SKVOŠ UDARAC; after SKVOŠ-UDARAC
Concision is essentially the principle of language economy, and it implies that a term
should not be too long (cf. ISO 704 2000, 24). Generally, the corpus indicates that tennis
terms are predominantly single-word units, which means that this principle will not require
much effort, except in cases when translation equivalents are multi-word units, as
exemplified below.
overhead > before UDARAC KOJI IGRAČ IGRA PREKO GLAVE; after (1) UDARAC
Referencing Bowman (1977, 155), a term with the highest frequency of use should be
preferred over its competitors. Even though this principle is computer-determined nowadays,
it can only be based on the rate of occurrence of a particular term in the corpus, since
electronic corpus does not exist in Serbian. The principle is generally applied in case when
there are more variants of an English term in Serbian. In ordering variant terms in Serbian,
preference is given to translation equivalents, if applicable. However, if an anglicism seems
to be more transparent and more frequent, it is given the status of a standard term in Serbian.
The application of this principle usually results in reordering of the existing variant terms in
Serbian, as shown by the following examples.
Hawk-Eye > before „HOKAJ“, SISTEM HOKAJ, SOKOLOVO OKO; after (1) HOKAJ, (2)
Concluding remarks related to standardization of tennis terms
With reference to the above process of standardization of tennis terms in Serbian, the
following conclusions can be drawn. First of all, it is necessary to point out that most terms
were subjected to processing related to more than one principle. Which of these is given
priority depends on the hierarchy of the six-principle model applied here, which is
determined according to the communicative aspect within terminological system. The fact
that a standard term cannot fulfill the requirements of all principles is clearly exemplified by
Hail Mary, whose former translation equivalent in Serbian was SITUACIJA KAD IGRAČ LOBUJE
PROTIVNIKA NA MREŽI JAKO VISOKIM UDARCEM. Since this translation equivalent does not
fulfill the principles of systematicity and concision, it is ranked as variant of the standard
term which is an adapted anglicism HEJL MERI. Secondly, the number of principles and their
priority are not final, which means that this might be changed in accordance with the
requirements of a new register and the needs of society (Radovanović, 1979, 86). Lastly, it is
obvious from this section that terminology belongs to sport and linguistics alike. Thus a
successful process of standardization depnds not only on the efforts of sports specialists but
also on the efforts of linguistis, as well as on proper actions taken by the whole linguistic
community in terms of acceptance, implementation, expansion and cultivation of the
proposed standard (cf. Radovanović 1984, 86).
To sum up, the aim of this research is to contribute to compilation of an expanded
edition of the existing English-Serbian dictionary of sports terms (Milić, 2006). In doing so,
this research is based on the linguistic approach to terminology focused on contact aspects of
English and Serbian, due to the fact that tennis terms are created by adaptation through
trnsshaping and translation of English terms into Serbian. The semantic analysis of tennis
terms indicates that there is a high number of anglicisms some of which are not justified in
Serbian. The analysis also indicates that most terms have dual forms in Serbian,
predominantly a non-adapted anglicism and its translation equivalent, which indicates the
need for standardization. In terms of morphsyntax, the findings indicate that the translated
terms are created by adding terminological meaning to a general lexeme, whereas the derived
terms are predominantly created by affixation with a high extent of formal correspondence
between English and Serbian.
The fact that terms are generally created by improper adaptation of English terms
through transshaping and translation, gives high priority to the process of standardization in
Serbian. Consequently, tennis terminology in Serbian is standardized according to the model
proposed by Milić (2006), which has already been applied in the existing English-Serbian
dictionary of sports terms (Milić 2006). The model consists of six hierarchically ordered
principles. They are: bi-univocity, transparency, systematicity, productivity, concision, and
frequency. The most important practical aspect of this research is a glossary of tennis terms in
English and Serbian, whole lexicographic description is the same as the one applied in the
existing dictionary (Milić 2006), which enables its incorporation in the planned expanded
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