Research article
Issue: № 6 (34), 2022


The purpose of the article is to analyze the features of the functioning of the abbreviation in the military sphere. The objectives of the study are to determine the role and specifics of the use of abbreviations in official documents of the military sphere; conducting a survey among cadets of a military university and identifying the features of the use of abbreviations in the professional jargon of cadets. The authors claim that there is an active penetration of abbreviations from the language of official papers into the oral speech of cadets. When using an abbreviation in the jargon of cadets, elements of a language game are highlighted, methods and techniques of its creation are studied. The practical significance of the research in the possibility of applying its results in the process of teaching linguistic disciplines at a university is lied.

1. Introduction

Nowadays, all people are faced with the phenomenon of abbreviation, both in professional and everyday activities. Abbreviation as a method of word formation makes it possible to reduce the flow of words and make lexical units more compact, which is very relevant to modern society and allows you to fully implement the linguistic law of "economy of pronunciation efforts".

Abbreviation as a method of word formation dates back centuries. In the Russian language, it was actively used during World War I and especially after the revolutionary events of 1917. Currently, abbreviation is a productive, massive, evolving way of forming new words, allowing the creation of shorter and more capacious nominations than the original structures [6].

The problem of abbreviation attracts the attention of many scientists who study the nature of this phenomenon, the causes of its occurrence and widespread use, the functions of abbreviation in the language, types of abbreviations, etc. Much attention is also paid to the use of abbreviation in the English military vocabulary [1], [2], [3], [5], however, this phenomenon in the Russian military vocabulary has been much less studied, despite the wide application and extremely active use of this method of word formation in the military sphere [8], [10]. In particular, A.S. Danilin and R.R. Mavleev in their paper "Comparative Analysis of Abbreviations in English and Russian Military Terminology" focus on the classification of word abbreviations in English and on the translation variants of English military abbreviations into Russian [3].

The novelty of our study lies in the analysis of the abbreviation in the speech of cadets of a military academy; at the same time, we consider the use of abbreviations in different language forms (in professional vocabulary, in the language of official documents and in jargon).

2. Methods and principles

The material for our study was official documents in the military sphere (orders, instructions, manuals, etc.), training and methodological materials, as well as data we obtained by conducting a survey among cadets of a military institute.

To solve the tasks set, we use both general scientific (analysis, classification, interpretation, comparison, etc.) and linguistic research methods (statistical, contextual analysis, functional-semantic method, etc.) to establish the frequency of abbreviation usage in the speech of military personnel, define the meaning of words in a certain context, identify their stylistic colouring, and draw conclusions about the functions of abbreviation in the military sphere.

3. Abbreviation in the language of official military documents

Cadets of the military academy in their professional activities and daily life constantly face with the phenomenon of abbreviation. Firstly, the abbreviation is actively used to denote and shorten concepts and words related to the military terminological apparatus. A lot of new concepts are constantly appearing in the modern army, and it entails the formation of new terms. Military terms are, as a rule, expanded phrases and complex words (fire correction and reconnaissance aviation regiment, unified body of normal dimensions, multi-barrel rocket launcher, light armored multi-purpose tractor, hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher, special purpose reconnaissance point, etc.). Therefore, when using them, the abbreviation is very actively used. The result of this process in the military sphere is a huge number of officially accepted abbreviations. They are names of various types of weapons, such as PKT (pulemet Kalashnikova tankovyy) Kalashnikov tank machine gun, SVD (snayperskaya vintovka Dragunova) – Dragunov sniper rifle, etc., of military equipment (BTR (boyevoy transporter) – combat transporter, BMP (boyevaya mashina pekhoty) – infantry fighting vehicle, BRDM (bronirovannaya razvedyvatel'no-dozornaya mashina) – armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle), of branches of the armed forces (VMF (voyenno-morskoy flot) – Navy, VVS (voyenno-vozdushnyye sily) – Air Force, RVSN (raketnyye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya) – Strategic Missile Forces), etc. Cadets constantly deal with various abbreviations in the course of educational activities in the study of professional disciplines, during military exercises and training. (e.g: SBP (sluzhebno-boyevoye prednaznacheniye) is a service and combat mission, VGO (vazhnyy gosudarstvennyy ob"yekt) is an important state facility, OOPiOOB (okhrana obshchestvennogo poryadka i obespecheniye obshchestvennoy bezopasnosti) is the protection of public order and ensuring public safety). Abbreviated terms are included in the active vocabulary of cadets and often begin to be perceived by them as cadet jargon, as evidenced by our questionnaire survey.

In addition, practice shows that the abbreviation is very actively used in the language of official documents within military organizations. This trend can be described as follows: everything that can be abbreviated is abbreviated: the names of faculties (FASU (fakul'tet avtomatizirovannykh sistem upravleniya) – Faculty of Automated Control Systems, FAV (fakul'tet artilleriyskogo vooruzheniya) – Faculty of Artillery Weapons, FTO (fakul'tet tekhnicheskogo obespecheniya) – Faculty of Technical Support, FT (fakul'tet tyla) - Faculty of Logistics, etc.), types of educational and methodological classes and materials (IMZ (informatsionno-metodicheskoye zanyatiye) – informational and methodological lesson, plan VNR VV (plan voyenno-nauchnoy raboty vo vnutrennikh voyskakh) – plan for military scientific work in the internal troops, plan ND (plan nauchnoy deyatel'nosti) – plan for scientific activity, etc.), names of departments (OP (ognevoy podgotovki) – fire training, GiSN (gumanitarnykh i sotsial'nykh nauk) – humanitarian and social sciences, PiVO (prodovol'stvennogo i veshchevogo obespecheniya) – food and clothing support, TiSBP (taktiki i sluzhebno-boyevogo primeneniya) – tactics and service and combat use, ABT (avtomobil'noy i bronetankovoy tekhniki) – automotive and armored vehicles, etc.), job titles (NVI (nachal'nik voyennogo instituta) – head of the military institute, ZNVI (zamestitel' nachal'nika voyennogo instituta) – deputy head of the military institute, ZNVI for RLC (zamestitel' nachal'nika voyennogo instituta po rabote s lichnym sostavom) – deputy head of the military institute for work with personnel, NTCH (nachal'nik tekhnicheskoy chasti) – head of the technical unit, etc.

It is noteworthy that abbreviations of this kind actively penetrate from the language of business papers into oral speech. They are systematically used not only in the official and business sphere, but also in colloquial one.

Abbreviations are also used in military educational institutions (in particular, in the Perm Military Institute) to record the names of all academic disciplines in the class timetable: MT – mathematics, EVVT (ekspluatatsiya vooruzheniya i voyennoy tekhniki) – operation of weapons and military equipment, ISO (istoriya Otechestva) – history of the Fatherland, RLiKR (russkiy yazyk i kul'tura rechi) – Russian language and speech culture, IF – Information Technology, FL – Philosophy, EE (elektrotekhnika i elektronika) – Electrical Engineering and Electronics, etc. Cadets get so used to these abbreviations that they also begin to use them verbally. So, for example, when conducting classes on functional stylistics, you can hear how a cadet, presenting a platoon to a teacher, says that such and such a platoon is ready for FS class.

4. Abbreviation in military cadet jargon

The active use of abbreviations in the formation of military terms, in the language of business papers, and the massive penetration of abbreviations into spoken language also has an impact on the formation of the jargon vocabulary of cadets.

In order to obtain factual information, we conducted a survey among the cadets of the Perm Military Institute of the Russian National Guard Troops. The survey involved 97 people aged 18 to 22 years.

The cadets were asked to write down the words and expressions that, in their opinion, belong to the cadets' jargon and which they use in speech. As a result of the survey, we collected 270 jargonisms, among which we singled out units created by means of abbreviation.  Based on the traditional classification presented in the research literature, we have identified the following types of abbreviations in the jargon vocabulary of cadets:

1. Initial abbreviations (IBD (imitatsiya burnoy deyatel'nosti) – imitation of turbulent activity, CHPOK (chrezvychaynaya pomoshch' ogolodavshim kursantam) - emergency assistance to starving cadets (i.e. buffet), CHBN (chelovek bystryye nogi) – quick legs man (i.e. messenger), etc.).

2. Syllabic ones (komod (komandir otdeleniya) – squad commander, starley (starshiy leytenant) – senior lieutenant, sampo (samostoyatel'naya podgotovka) – independent training, sportmass (sportivno-massovaya rabota) – mass sports work, etc.).

The language game brightly manifests itself in the formation and use of abbreviations in the jargon vocabulary of cadets. This game is created using the following techniques (in paragraphs 1 and 2 we rely on the classification of methods and techniques of language play, presented, in particular, in the work of A.V. Stakheeva [6, P. 11]):

1. Creating a pseudo-abbreviation (letter-by-letter splitting of an already existing word by abbreviation type and endowing it with new content): cadet – a colossal universal labour force, totally unwilling to work (kursant - kolossal'naya universal'naya rabochaya sila, absolyutno ne zhelayushchaya trudit'sya); service the best lesson in life will be the army (sluzhba – samym luchshim urokom zhizni budet armiya); skiver – the modern army man, resting culturally (sachok – sovremennyy armeyskiy chelovek, otdykhayushchiy kul'turno), etc.

2. Game interpretation of well–known abbreviations: MVD – mom, send me money (mama, vyshli deneg), MVD VV (MVD's Internal Troops) – mom, send me money, send me all money (mama, vyshli deneg, vyshli vse), etc.

3. Using an existing abbreviation in a different meaning: SMS-ka (short message service) – messenger, "fast legs man", etc.

4. A playful reading of the existing abbreviation: ITSO (i to i sio) DepartmentDepartment of both this and that, etc.

5. Conclusion

Thus, abbreviation as a linguistic phenomenon is very widespread in the military sphere. The use of abbreviations makes it possible to reduce complex military terminology and avoid its repetition in documents. Moreover, abbreviation is perceived by military personnel as a model and norm of official business communication, so that even those lexical units that can be used in their full form are reduced.

The abbreviation is also very actively used in the speech of military cadets. It actively penetrates from the language of the official business and scientific sphere into colloquial speech and jargon.

In the conditions of systematic and regulated use of complex military terminology, the frequency of use of abbreviations is due to the need for maximum concentration of information in a certain segment of speech, saving time, writing material, pronouncing efforts, as well as the desire to give information the status of secrecy. The entertainment function of the use of abbreviation, which is vividly expressed in the jargon vocabulary of cadets, is equally important.

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