The influence of the French language on the names of the Bulgarian and Turkish media

The article is devoted to the study of the influence of the French language on the names of the Bulgarian and Turkish media. The empruntological analysis of the French influence on the formation of Bulgarian and Turkish terms for naming newspapers and magazines shows a complex process of designing the French experience in the print media on the Bulgarian and Turkish language systems. The aim of the study is to trace the process of penetration of French terms for print media (gazettejournalrevue) and their derivatives (gazetierjournalistejournalismejournalistique) in Turkish and Bulgarian. The scope of the research is limited to a thematic field composed of the French for the main print media (gazettejournalrevue) with the respective empruntological projections in Turkish and Bulgarian (receiving languages). It is of interest to trace the semantic changes of these Frenchisms in the respective linguistic and cultural neighboring spaces.


The French language has a special status in the Balkans, as in the XIX century it established itself as a major neutral educational and cultural vector, independent in terms of ethnicity, religion, social status. Its intensive distribution was facilitated by the special role that France acquired in the processes of modernization of the Ottoman Empire after the Congress of Vienna (1815), which led to the Tanzimat of 1839, and especially after the Crimean War (1853–1856). With the opening of the Galatasaray Imperial Lyceum in 1868, conditions were created for equal access to the modern educational space on a meritocratic basis, as well as for intensive study and use of French by all ethnic groups (Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and others). This is also the time of mass penetration of French lexicon in the Bulgarian and Turkish languages, which creates the feeling of French-language marked Balkan linguistic and cultural space. In fact, the first written French loanword in Bulgarian dates from 1230 (фрънзи) and is carved in the chronicle of Ivan-Asen II on the occasion of the Battle of Klokotnitsa. In Turkish the first written Frenchisms appear in the memoirs of 1721 of Yirmisekiz Mehmed Ҫеlebi (Ottoman Legate to Paris). Despite the significant time difference that marked the first contacts of the Bulgarian and Turkish languages with the French lexical system, the nineteenth century turned out to be the most Francophone in the history of these two cultures. In addition, the quantitative parameters of the French influence on the Bulgarian and Turkish languages show unexpected comparability. The lexical system of the two languages includes about 7,000 French words, of which about 3,000 French words are actively used in everyday communication [1]. The thematic distribution is also similar; the French influence on the print mass media has a lasting impact, albeit with different directions of expression in the two Balkan languages.

The reconstruction of the French-Bulgarian-Turkish cognitive empruntological chains is important for revealing the ways of functioning of the French linguistic and cultural influence on the Bulgarian and Turkish language systems and for optimizing their parallel mastering in the conditions of globalizing media communication. In this context, one of the priority issues of modern theoretical and applied empruntology is to fix the similarities and differences in the stages through which the foreign language vocabulary passes on the way of permanent establishment in the system of two neighboring host languages. This study aims to trace the process of penetration of French terms for print media (gazettejournalrevue) and their derivatives (gazetierjournalistejournalismejournalistique) in Turkish and Bulgarian. The excerpted vocabulary is subjected to a comparative analysis to establish the French influence in the systems of modern Turkish and Bulgarian languages. The scope of the research is limited to a thematic field composed of the French for the main print media (gazettejournalrevue) with the respective empruntological projections in Turkish and Bulgarian (receiving languages). It is of interest to trace the semantic changes of these Frenchisms in the respective linguistic and cultural neighboring spaces.

Material and methods

The research method is an empruntological analysis combined with a semantic reconstruction of the historical meaning of words. The material of the study is the corpus of empruntisms of French origin in the Bulgarian and Turkish languages, as well as their original French meaning. The empruntological research of French influence on the construction of Bulgarian and Turkish terminology for naming periodicals reveals a complicated process of shaping the French print media experience on the Bulgarian and Turkish language systems.

Results and discussion

The empruntological analysis of the lexical trilingual corpus excerpted for the purposes of the research showed the presence of a special tendency characterizing the process of penetration of the French language for print media (gazettejournalrevue) in the Turkish and Bulgarian language systems: two ways to update the French-speaking influence on the two Balkan successor languages (Turkish and Bulgarian) and the manifestation of intra-linguistic purist opposition with varying intensity over the last two centuries. The cognitive process in which the French influence on the Bulgarian and Turkish language systems takes place is identical in its character and direction, but different in its empruntological result. This shows the openness of the Balkan area to the French achievements in the field of print media from the nineteenth century, while testifying to the different affinity for the lexical expression of European cultural influence through the selective omission of certain French-language empruntisms. The cognitive procedurality of French influence is a fact realized through the use of different source lexical material. To name a newspaper in French, the word gazette (1631) was initially used, then it was replaced with the word journal (1777), and to name a magazine, the word journal (1652) was initially used, then it was replaced with the word form revue (1792).

In the French language in the XVII and XVIII centuries the synonymous binomial journal — revue was formed, which in the XIX century was transferred to the Bulgarian, but not to the Turkish conceptosphere. During the same period, a new synonymous binomial gazette — journal was established in French, which this time was transferred in the 19th century in a special way into the Bulgarian and Turkish conceptospheres.

The first name for a newspaper that penetrated the Bulgarian language was influenced by the French word gazette. In the “Dictionary of the Bulgarian language”, it is assumed that Bulgarian word газета comes from gazzetta [gadzeta] in Russian газета, which, however, cannot explain the fact that the phonetic appearance of the Bulgarian word form is газета (e.g. fr. gazette, pronounced as газет), and not гадзета with the corresponding Italian phonetic appearance. The word form was known at that time in both the Russian language (газета) and the Turkish language (gazete), where it passed with the clear mediation of French gazette. These data unequivocally show the role of the French-language conceptosphere in the linguo-cultural transfer of the name of a newspaper in the Bulgarian language system from the beginning of the XIX century. The honor to be the first to introduce the word-form газета in the speech practice of the Bulgarian falls on Relation: Aller Fürnemmen: “Това ваше страдание по вся Европа известно бист и у всех газетах помянуто и написано мучение ваше”. The next use we discovered was in the magazine Lyuboslovie, where Konstantin Fotinov reported “една повседневница (газета) френска” [2; 7].

Ivan Bogorov explains that the French жерант (gérant) is “a publisher (of the газета)” and that the French word presse is translated as “книгопетаниевестницигазети” [3].

Unlike the Bulgarian language situation, the Ottoman linguistic and cultural space has been subject to two-way Francophone influence since the end of the 18th century: On the one hand, it is France with its expansionist cultural policy, and on the other hand, it is the Ottoman French press, whose first edition “Bulletin des Nouvelles” (literally ‘Бюлетин с новини’) was published in Constantinople in 1795. The following year “La Gazette de Constantinople” (1796) appeared. A special flourishing of the Francophone press took place in Smyrna, where appeared “Le Smyrnéen” (literally 'Smirnenets') (1824), “Spectateur Oriental” (literally 'Istochen nabluydatel') (1824), “Courrier de Smyrne” (literally ‘Smirnenski kurier’) (1828) and the “Moniteur Ottoman” (literally ‘Ottomanski vestnik’) (1832). The latter has a special status, as it is essentially a translated edition of “Takvim-i Vekayi” (literally ‘Kalendar na sbitiyata’) (1831).

In the Bulgarian linguoconceptosphere, in parallel with the word-form газета, in the 1840s the competitive name журнал appeared (from the French word journal ‘дневник’) with the same meaning of 'вестник': “Кога ся свърши сичкото, аз ща известя за това приятелите му чрез журналите” [4;22]; “Прочитаме в журнал Брюсселский” [5]; Частните кореспонденции на множество европейски журнали ни уверяват, че половината от това число принадлежи на царските войски [6]; “Парижки журнал” [7]. In the Turkish language, there is no empruntological transfer of French journal with the meaning 'newspaper', while in the Bulgarian language system a lexical chain of its derivatives has been implanted: журналистика (1858), журнализъм (1909), журналист (1846), журналистиченжурналистически, and others. In the Turkish vocabulary, the word jurnal appeared in the first half of the 19th century, but it has been introduced with the meanings ‘донос’ and ‘дневник’, which do not include any meaning of ‘periodical’ (периодично печатно (електронно) издание)*.

Meanwhile, the entry into the Bulgarian language of the word журнал “списание” was launched by Ivan Bogorov in 1862 as a competitor to the term списание in his periodical of economic publications “Журнал за наука, занаят и търговия” (1862). This use remains relevant to this day: “На масата — огле- дало и един журнал за моди…” [8]; “Модни журнали” [9]; “Тя беше малко побледняла и затова хубо- стта и изглеждаше по-особена и не приличаше на ония модели, които показваха журналите” [10]; “Скроена съм по два различни журнала — както сама казваше — физиономия на мадона и физика на кабаретна звезда” [11].

French word revue ‘списание’ penetrates into Bulgarian and Turkish language systems such as ревю (Bulgarian) and revü (Turkish), respectively, but are used in a limited number of cases. The word ревю is documented for the first time in Bulgarian with the meaning of the title of a certain periodical journalistic edition — 'списание' in 1869 in Ivan Bogorov's French-Bulgarian Dictionary: “rеvue: ревю (журнал)” [3]. It is also found in the “Bulgarian-French Dictionary” by the same author as a synonym for вестник: “Ревю (журнал): la revue” [12]. The last fixed uses of this significance are from the 1930s: “Като допълнение на това ревю [списанието “Ориенталска Европа”] е и списанието “Преглед на славянската литература”, издавано в Рим” [13; 248–249], as well as “Ревю, преглед” from the orthographic dictionary [14]. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the term списание was transmitted in Turkish mainly with the word mecmua, which is of Arabic origin. In the first half of the twentieth century, the competing French word revü for naming the concept “списание” (newspaper Aksham — 1924[1] [2]) appeared, but its entry coincided with the republican reform and renewal of the vocabulary of the Turkish language, which began in the 30s of the twentieth century and Frenchism revü loses its significance in everyday communication, narrowing its use to the name of ‘представление, ревю’. Under the pressure of neo-Turkish purism, it was intensified after the founding of the Turkish Language Society (1932), even the Arabic word mecmua was pushed out of mass use, where it was gradually replaced by the Turkic word dergi 'списание'. Despite the relatively widespread use of jurnal in the Turkish language system, it cannot impose its meaning as a 'специализирано в дадено област списание', as is the case in other Indo-European languages. In contrast to the closedness of the Turkish language system to the French for naming periodicals, the Bulgarian language omits in its composition in addition to the ревю and French журнал, with two basic meanings ‘вестник’ and ‘списание’ as competing terms of the original name ‘списание’.

Bulgarian purist policy opposes French gazette and fr. journal with identical meaning 'newspaper' ‘вестник’ a series of lexical variants such as известник (Богоров 1846), вестник (Екзарх 1848), дневница (Раковски 1857), новинар (1877), of which the most resistant to changes over time is the word вестник. Turkish-speaking purists also tried to oppose their well-thought-out native names to French-speaking words, but, in this case, they failed and were forced to capitulate to the widespread use of French gazete 'вестник; редакция на вестник', gazeteci ‘журналист / вестникар / газетар’, gazetecilik ‘журналистика / вестни- карство’, gazetelik1 ‘поставка за вестници’, gazetelik2 ‘вестникарски (which is suitable to be written as news in a newspaper)’.

The French influence of revue and journal with the meaning 'периодично илюстровано издание' is contrasted in the Bulgarian language space by the word списание (from Bulgarian списвам, respectively from Bulgarian пиша) (Фотинов 1844), мировозрение (Добровски 1850), ред книжки (Славейков 1871), преглед (literal tracing from French revue) [15], of which the most persistent was the neologism списание, launched by Konstantin Fotinov as a subtitle of his “Любословие”.

The empruntological analysis of the French influence on the formation of Bulgarian and Turkish terms for naming newspapers and magazines shows a complex process of designing the French experience in the print media on the Bulgarian and Turkish language systems. In both languages, the French newspaper Mercure (Меркурий) does not appear as a term for a periodical. On the other hand, the word gazette enters both languages and becomes the basis for forging actively used derivative vocabulary: in the Bulgarian language — газета, газетар, газетарин, газетарски, газетарство, газетен; in Turkish — gazeteci ‘журналист / вестникар / газетар’, gazetecilik ‘журналистика / вестникарство (газетарство)’. In both languages there are purist processes, which in Bulgarian are relatively stronger and empruntisms with French root gazet — in the XX century gave way to the Bulgarian words вестниквестникарвестникаринвест- никарскивестникарство, while the Turkish word of Arabic origin ceride has been replaced by an emprint with the French root gazet-. In this way, the word gazete “вестник” generates a word-formation process with the following elements: gazeteci ‘журналист / вестникар’, gazetecilik ‘журналистика / вестникарство’, gazetelik1 ‘поставка за вестници’, gazetelik2 ‘вестникарски (which is suitable to be written as news in a newspaper) ', gazetehane ‘редакция на вестник’.


In conclusion, it is necessary to state that the French language has a unilateral influence on the formation of the Bulgarian and Turkish terminological apparatus for naming the print media and their derivatives, as in modern Bulgariian language the influence of the etymon journal is stronger than the influence of the etymon gazette, while in Turkish it is just the opposite. There word-formation processes have built the modern terminological vocabulary around the French etymon gazette.

There is a clear tendency for interlinguistic cognitological asymmetry along the lines of the empruntological French-Turkish and French-Bulgarian chains, generated respectively by the French etymologies gazette and journal: the first empruntological chain has the following type French gazette –> Turkish. gazete ‘вестник’, gazeteci ‘журналист / вестникар’, gazetecilik ‘журналистика / вестникарство’, gazetelik1 ‘поставка за вестници’, gazetelik2 ‘вестникарски’ (which is suitable to be written as news in a newspaper); gazetehane ‘редакция на вестник’, and the second emprontological chain acquires a different lexical composition — French journal –> Bulgarian. журналжурналистжурнализмжурналистикажурналистиченжурналистически. This linguocognitological empruntological asymmetry is due to the complex Francophone influence on the Balkan region from the end of the XVIII century to the present day and is evidence of the specific effective reaktions of the Bulgarian and Turkish linguistic and cultural conceptospheres to the French vector for spreading media elitism and culture.



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Year: 2022
City: Karaganda
Category: Philology