|Abstract: ||acts. The research is based on relevant data from the field of environmental protection in four
language versions of the EU acquis: Bulgarian, Greek, Polish and English.
The aims of the research are the following:
• to characterize a linguistic area of high social prestige (triggered by extralinguistic factors
and its scientific context valued by the contemporary world), indicative of the advancement
• to study in a comparative plan the terminology coined for the basic notions (concepts) of the
selected thematic field (i.e. environmental protection);
• to present in a systematic way diverse data concerning a particular current topic in order to
raise awareness about the process of terminology development and international exchange of
terminology in the relevant field;
• to draw general theoretical conclusions on trends of development in contemporary European
languages for specific purposes (hereinafter LSP) based on cited linguistic terminology
One of the secondary goals of this monograph is to raise awareness of scientific achievements
originating in “smaller” nations, which may remain unnoticed in the European, let alone
To achieve the research goals set, the author deemed it necessary to address thematic fields
such as: the theory of terminology, lexicography, law, European integration, environmental protection
etc., thus rendering the present study interdisciplinary. However, the primary focus of
the study is on the linguistic analysis, since its theoretical and methodological apparatuses are
grounded in the well-established theses of lexicography, theory of terminology, comparative and
applied linguistics, as well as translation studies.
The objectives of the monograph (dependent on the defined goals), which determined the
methodological choices made, are as follows: to study the extralinguistic context and EU legal
sources; to choose a representative thematic field; to assemble a representative database of relevant
specialized notions (concepts) and analyse their term-formation in a comparative plan; to
select an appropriate research method linked to the design of an algorithm for language comparison,
excerption and a comparative analysis of terminological material.
Our research on the European Acquis terminology has been determined by the wide linguistic
and extralinguistic context, referring to:
• the essence and characteristics of LSP; the specific features of the language of law (as an
LSP and the existing dichotomic perception of it as the language of law and the language of
• the EU language of law as a subtype of legal language and thus LSP;
• the essence and characteristics of terminology as the core of a LSP, especially the legal terminology;
• the internationalization and Europeanization of terminology as developmental trends
of LSPs. The enumerated linguistic issues are directly connected to extralinguistic factors, such as:
• harmonization of the EU law; EU multilingualism;
• European integration and adoption of the EU law by the accession countries;
• translation (overt and covert) of the European Union Acquis;
• the role of subjective factors (institutional as well as human, e.g. translators, experts, ministries,
NGOs etc.) in the process of creating the European Union terminology.
The first chapter of the monograph introduces a theoretical model of the research composed
of basic theses which can be generalized as follows:
• The European Union law is formulated in a LSP.
• Terminology is the core of each LSP, including the EU legal language.
• A term is a language unit which is defined in a specialized text and is an element of a LSP. A
term signifies a specialized notion, has a restricted (professional) scope of use; it is systemic,
conventional, context-independent , and expressively- neutral.
• A term is recognized as belonging to the EU legal language if it is defined (has a legal definition)
in an EU legal act.
• In all language versions of the European Union law, identical and equivalent terms are used,
defined in the EU legal acts by means of identical legal definitions.
• The definitiveness of a term is used as a strict criterion to distinguish between terms and
• An identical legal definition worded in the different linguistic versions of the harmonized EU
law justifies comparability of the terms between languages.
• Undertaking an analysis of two Slavonic languages – Bulgarian and Polish, and two non-
Slavonic ones, belonging to different language groups (and therefore, bound by diverse normative
traditions): Greek and English, makes it possible to study processes of terminological
internationalization. Internationalization is thus interpreted as the formation of a common
pool of proportionate in form and semantics language units, presented in at least three languages,
at least two of which belonging to different language groups.
• The EU environmental law is a topical and extremely dynamic field of interdisciplinary and
supranational nature, which makes it possible to claim that its terminology is representative of
the state and development of the EU terminology as a whole.
• The contents of the term ‘environment’ encompasses such elements as: human being, flora and
fauna, soil, water, air, climate, and other.
• LSPs are indicative as to the civilisational stage of development of a social community, hence,
studying the EU LSP can contribute to the study of certain aspects of the European civilization.
The second chapter of the monograph is devoted to the analysis proper of the terminological
data, which is preceded by the presentation of the methodological choices made. The following
basic concepts have been thoroughly analysed: environment , human , animals ,
plants , water , air , land /soil , impact (on the environment). Тhe chapter also discusses
the work procedures for excerpting terminological material.
The methods for comparative analysis used, based on standard comparative algorithm are
presented as follows: determining the comparability of objects based on assumed tertium comparationis
(the criterion of comparability); confirming similarities and differences of the studied
objects; outlining and defining common features, tracing trends of further development of the
Detailed comparative procedures allowing to recognize similarities and differences between
the terms used to signify the specialised notions in the four languages, include the following
parameters: source of a term, outer form of a term, and inner form of a term. Each of the parameters
has been thoroughly discussed.
The outcomes of particular concepts analyses were presented in a form of autonomic and
uniformly-structured parts in order to facilitate their individual interpretation. The descriptive
way of presenting the results was preferred to a strictly formalized one in order to make the text
easier to read; besides, data of different kind and order cannot be presented in a formalized way. It is also believed that a formalized approach would have left out some crucial aspects of the
terminological naming process, for instance the component of evaluation in some of the terminological
As many as 800 terminological units in the four studied languages were included in the
analysis (presented in the order corresponding to their “seniority” as official languages of the
European Union: English, Greek, Polish, and Bulgarian). All analysed units are quoted along
with their Celex numbers that indicate the relevant legislative act of the EU from which they are
The most important conclusions of the monograph are the following:
• (The source of a term parameter): the overwhelming majority of terms in each of the
languages have their origin in the native tongue. English terms are most often semantic
neologisms, whereas in the other languages being terminologically secondary, they are translated
borrowings (calques), among which the most numerous are the phraseological calques.
Analogous terminological units that occur in all four languages must be deemed Europeisms
or internationalisms (in a wider sense) on the grounds of semantic and/or formal convergence
in the four languages, of which three are not genetically connected. Basic concepts from the
field of environmental protection, which are elementary (universal) notions co-creating crucial
fragments of their respective linguistic world-images, are signified by old native words.
On a regular basis there is no formal (material) convergence in the studied languages –
except for Bulgarian and Polish. The European legislator fixes old words (e.g. river, air, animal
etc.) as terms and assigns new terminological meanings to them which then become common
(standardized) for each and every language version of the harmonized European Union
law. What demands close attention is a relatively small share of material internationalisms,
which can be explained by the aptitude of nominators to preserve the national character of
terms in the context of European multilingualism. This tendency is most evident in Greek
• (The outer form of a term parameter) A dominant structural type among the studied terms in
all four languages are the two-component terms consisting of a head-noun and a subordinate
component/member which is an adjective in Greek, Polish and Bulgarian, and a noun used
attributively in English (N+N structures) The noticeable categorical monotony of the terminology
is another feature thereof – substantive units are commonly recognized as the most proper
form of a term.
• The conclusion that can be drawn as regards the term inner form is that essential semantic
features present in a meaning (definition) of a term usually serve as a foundation of the terminological
naming process. The analysis shows that predominantly there is a dependence
of form components on contents components of a given term. In cases of loan translations/
calques such a dependency is established both in the primary English term and in its calques
in the other languages. The comparative analysis of this parameter shows the relation of the
meaningful elements of the terms (words and morphemes) between the four languages, as
well as their relation to a given semantic feature of concept. This is yet another proof for
the convergence of terminologies. One of the effects of convergence is the unquestionable
enhancement of comprehension of stakeholders of LSPs, lacking fluency in the target foreign
• Some conclusions were also reached as to similarities and differences according to language
type: synthetic vs. analytic; Balkan vs. non-Balkan; using Latin script vs. using other writing
A crucial general conclusion is related to the scale of convergence processes taking place in
contemporary specialized languages of integrated Europe. What is established is the inter-language
iso-semanticity, very similar to iso-semanticity occurring among the Balkan languages,
that is an independent material rendering in each language provided there are identical semantic
features, which may be referred to Stanisław Gajda’s conclusion concerning the genesis of European
language league (GAJDA, 2008). In conclusion, the research addresses the area of intensified convergence processes leading
to inter-language iso-semanticity, which stems not so much from language interference as from
the impact of English (as a language of high social and communicative prestige in the contemporary
world) on the remaining languages included in the study.
The original author’s contributions can be summed up as follows:
• synthesis and systematization of knowledge stemming from different fields yet relating to the
• contrastive analysis of four languages in a rare (unique) configuration;
• practical and applied aspect of the results obtained from the analysis of a large representative
corpus of terms from the EU legal field of environmental protection
• (the corpus’s) linguistic and historical value; should it happen that the EU’s LSP becomes
yet another rejected “newspeak”, the author has nevertheless been able to study the potential
of the linguistic teams and language systems to create specialized languages (language
subsystems) with the aim to attain particular goals and meet civilization needs at a particular