Chapter 6. Foreign words and phrases

Table of Contents

6.1. Articles
6.2. English noun clusters
6.3. Nouns
6.4. Verbs
6.4.1. English verbs
6.5. Slavic languages and Czech dialects

Foreign words enter Czech texts in three different ways:

Citation use. Whole phrases in foreign languages can be inserted into Czech texts as citations. Besides real citations of something someone said or wrote, also names of songs and other works belong to this category. If a foreign verb is present, it is most probably a citation use. Single words can be cited as well but the rule is that a word in a cited phrase never takes Czech suffixes.

Word use. Single words or short phrases (usually noun phrases), supplying a term. This ought to be a rather tiny category. If a foreign word does not take Czech suffixes, it might be a citation. And if it does, the possible domestication of the word should be considered carefully.

Domesticated words of foreign origin. Foreign words constantly enter Czech language, take Czech endings, settle with Czech declension paradigms and become normal Czech words. Words that entered Czech long ago are not felt as foreign any more (e.g. kakao (cocoa)). Nevertheless, even newer words should not be treated as foreign if they fit into this category. For instance, the current morphological analyzer marks management (Czech vedení, sometimes also Czechized spelling manažment) as a foreign word (management_,t_^(vedení,_manažment;_angl.)). According to the word's usage, the _,t flag should be omitted.

Despite the uncertainty whether some words shall be marked _,t, the following rule affects also domesticated expressions of foreign origin, some names that do not have a Czech equivalent etc. (e.g. Mont Blanc).

General rule

  1. In citations, the original morphology of the source language shall be described to the extent possible with respect to our tags, and to the annotator's knowledge about the foreign word.

  2. In word usages and domesticated expressions, Czech morphology takes precedence. For instance, abovementioned Mont Blanc is noun + adjective according to French morphology but Blanc has to be tagged as noun because the Czech locative of the phrase reads na Mont Blanku (i.e., Blanc is declined according to a noun paradigm). Unless there is such a conflict between the original and the Czech morphology, the original part of speech shall be preserved.

Table 6.1. Examples of foreign phrases




V kostele zpívala Musica Bohemica.

musica_,t_^(lat._hudba) / NNFS1-----A---- // bohemica_,t_^(lat._česká) / NNFS1-----A----

Bohemica is adjective in Latin but noun in Czech. It is declined according to the Czech noun pattern žena. For the same reason, the base form is not converted to masculine gender.

To je trochu ad hoc.

ad_,t / RR--X---------- // hoc_,t / NNXXX-----A----

hoc is adverb in Latin but it is annotated as a noun in Czech.