Decasyllabic couplets by Slavko Janković and Luka Lukić are an authentic portrait of life, culture and customs in Slavonija, Baranja and Srijem up to the middle of the 20th century. This valuable legacy, which includes around 8,000 couplets, offers a relevant insight into the lexicon of that time and shows the representation of foreign language elements and its effect on the indigenous lexical layer. This dissertation will explore the lexical significance of couplets from the collected corpus with regards to polysemy, homonymy and synonymy, and examine the influence of loan-words from German and Turkish languages on the contents and structure of the couplet. Special attention will be given to the issue of interlingual contacts, linguistic borrowing, adaptation of loan-words on a phonological, morphological, semantic and lexical level. The collected corpus is comprised of Janković’s printed couples and the unexplored and linguistically undescribed handwritten legacy of Luka Lukić, which form the unique treasure of the almost forgotten folk discourse of Brodsko Posavlje. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation is an exhaustive overview, description and analysis of the influence of Turkish and German loan-words on the formation of decasyllabic couplets in Slavonija, Baranja and Srijem, with special consideration of the semantic potential of lexemes, and regards to homonymy, synonymy and polysemy in the collected corpus. Likewise, the aim of the dissertation was to use comparative analysis to contrast the writings of the two authors and to describe particular orthographical, grammatical, i.e. phonological, morphological, word-formational, syntactical and lexical features. The first hypothesis argues that the comparison of the two corpora up to the middle of the 20th century shows that polysemy is more widespread than homonymy, and homonymy that synonymy. The second hypothesis argues that Turkish loan-words are more widespread than German loan-words in decasyllabic couplets, from culinary lexicon to clothes and house inventory, botany and gardening and many other agricultural sectors and crafts, and insults, nicknames and characteristics, human relations and emotions. The hypotheses of this dissertation will be tested on the collected corpus comprised of 8,000 couplets from the works of Slavko Janković, one of the most famous Croatian ethnomusicologists of his time, and of the manuscripts of Luka Lukić, the most significant ethnographer, melographer and folklore researcher in Slavonija from the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century (Blaževac-Pajkov 2016). This two corpora are differently formed. While Janković's writings are printed in three song-books (Janković 1967, 1970, 1974) and are easily accesible, Lukić's couplets are a part of a manuscript legacy which is kept in The Museum of Brodsko Posavlje at the Etnographic Department in Slavonski Brod. Janković's and Lukić's decasyllabic couplets have not yet been the subject of linguistic study and assessment, therefore detailed analysis, verification and evaluation is needed. The dissertation explores lexical and semantic relationships of lexemes with a particular overview of synonymy, homonymy and polysemy, analyses and determines the cultural and historic framework of languages in contact, the relationships between domestic and loan-words, their absorption and adaptation on a phonological, morphological, semantic and lexical level, and ascertains the level of influence of loan-words on the language of decasyllabic couplets and the semantic areas where they are documented. Through the studied manuscript legacy of Luka Lukić and printed writings of Slavko Janković, the dissertation also implements an analysis of orthography and grammar of traditional discourses and describes particular orthographical, grammar, i.e. phonological, morphological, word-formational, syntactical and lexical features. The couplets are formed spontaneously “alongside life occasions: rituals and customs, work, leisure, jest and momentary elations, weddings, births and deaths...” (Botica 1995), that is, in every circumstance and situation that were a part of everyday traditional life of a Šokac. Since the nature of the couplet is characterized both by being documented and being informative, which therefore provides the ability to reconstruct objective facts, place and date of the action, certain information about history, historic events (Barišić 2016a), politics and political situation, the economy, current economic situation and existing societal issues, it is expected that we find a presence of loan-words in the various lexicon which primarily refers to culinary domain, clothes, decorations, jewelry and textiles, house inventory, garden, botany, agriculture, crafts, military, but also names, human relations and emotions. The initial phase of the research will explore in detail the recent foreign and domestic literature which primarily studies linguistical contacts and complexities of lexical-semantic relationships. Subsequently, from the collected database, which is comprised of printed writings of Slavko Janković and the manuscript legacy of Luka Lukić, a corpus of decasyllabic couplets will be formed. The corpus, comprised of “these small couplets, which melt all the original local, all the lines of force that form local identification” (Botica 2013), will become the backbone of the database study from a linguistic point of view. The dissertation also brings a detailed description and analysis of up to this time unexplored manuscript legacy of couplets of Luka Lukić. The central part of the research will be dedicated to the corpus analysis. Comparative method will be primarily used to describe decasyllabic couplets, and the above-mentioned hypotheses will be verified by an inductive-deductive method. First, the theoretical starting points will be determined and decasyllabic couplets defined, and lexical-semantic relationships with a special overview of synonymy, homonymy and polysemy within the collected corpus will be analyzed. Preliminary research indicates that there are not many synonymous and homonymous lexemes in the body of decasyllabic couplets, while the polysemous lexemes are abundantly represented, and there is large number of those that are not registered in Croatian lexicographic handbooks. An important part of the work will include the linguistics of language contacts as per theoretical points of reference of Croatian contactological literature. Next, the history of Croatian-Ottoman and Croatian-German linguistic contacts will be explored, linguistic borrowing analyzed, its causes, the adaptation of loan-words and their influence on the lexicon of decasyllabic couplets. Finally, main insights and the verification of hypotheses will be synthesized, and considering the unexplored segments of the corpus within the stated areas of lexicology, documentation of lexemes that can be used for supplementation of dictionary description of the Croatian language can be anticipated. Decasyllabic couplets as a kind of lyrical form are most common in Slavonija, Baranja and Srijem and are “an indicator of abundance of Croatian folk treasure” (Botica 1996) and promotors of centuries-long tradition and culture. Because they “have a specific melodic, morphologic, syntactic and semantic recognizability” (Botica 2013) they require a unique approach of particular sciences. While, from an ethnomusicological standpoint, decasyllabic couplets have been described in detail, and there is a certain diversity of approach, subjects of research and scientific engagement with couplets, from a literary theory standpoint, decasyllabic couplets are mostly limited to bećarac (Slavonian humorous-ribald folk song). Several monographies unify them as printed writings, the Josip Užarević monography (2012) classifies them within the literary minimalist genre, Pšihistal (2008) analyses the coding of love in the collection Šokačke pismice Slavka Jankovića, Dragić (2008) briefly defines bećarac while in his magazine article Užarević (2009) discusses the poetics of bećarac and its characteristics. Within this bibliography bećarac is determined as a rhymed decasyllabic couplet, folk vocalinstrumental minimal chant of Slavonija-Baranja-Srijem (Užarević 2009: 111). Bošković-Stulli (1978: 305) suggests that it originated in the second half of the 19th century, and Leskovac (1968: 107) points out that bećarac is situated regionally (from Srijem, Banat and Bačka and Baranja to Slavonija and Šokadija to Kordun and Lika) placing it in an even broader location than it is done in this dissertation. While Botica (2013) considers short decasyllabic chants and rhymes, including bećarac, to be a special and very prolific kind of lyrical chants, according to Dragić (2008: 127) many of the bećaracs belong to folk literature and do not have an aesthetic function. That it is more than merely a folk form of having fun is demonstrated by the fact that Republic of Croatia Ministry of Culture has included it in the List of Protected Cultural Treasures in 2007, and in 2011 it was included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Subsequently, it is unclear why decasyllabic couplets have not been the subject-matter of linguistic interest or more detailed research. There are few references about the lexical layer of decasyllabic couplets in the recent linguistical and philological literature. It is therefore necessary to conduct the required research within lexicology. The corpus of decasyllabic couplets in this dissertation consolidates printed writings from collections Šokačke pismice Slavka Jankovića (1967, 1970, 1974) and the unpublished manuscript of Luka Lukić - a total of 8,000 decasyllabic couplets of bećarac, drumarac, svatovac, pokladarac and other minimalistic forms of spoken folk expression. Preliminary research confirms some similarities and differences of those sources. Lukić’s manuscript is older in origin, and considering that Janković analyzed Lukić’s Popijevke iz okolice Slavonskog Broda (1919), it is not surprising that his song-book repeats many of those couplets. Lukić registered couplets of Brodsko Posavlje, including Oprisavci, Varoš, Kaniža, Klakar, Ruščica and Donja Bebrina, and Janković described and collected couplets from certain places in Slavonija, Baranja and Srijem. In addition to the collected couplets, both record music notes for particular couplets. Janković termed all the couplets as pismice, that is, decasyllable couplets, while Lukić categorized them as priskočnice or chants. Literary historians accept the suggested terminology, identifying pismice with “decasyllabic couplets” (Bošković-Stulli 1978: 305). This paper accepts the term decasyllabic couplets while not limiting it exclusively to bećarac or other individual kinds, because the couplets differentiate only in the occasion for which they are written or the lyrical subject that is producing them. All forms of decasyllabic couplets are characterized by the same structure, minimalism, intermediality, rhyme, humorous context and out-singing, and therefore it cannot be justified to single out just one form. As the paper is focused primarily on lexical characteristics, relationships between words and loan-words within the decasyllabic couplets structure will primarily be analyzed. Decasyllabic couplets abound in the latter, as shown in preliminary research. German and Turkish loan-words comprise approximately 70% of the corpus and their analyses will constitute a majority of the paper. When defining loan-words, this paper will incline towards the term Turkish loan-words, rather than Oriental loan-words, and the statement by Hanka Glibanović-Vajzović (1986: 141) that “Turkish loan-words are all words of Oriental and other origin received through Turkish language agency, regardless of their deeper etymology”. After initial research, it has been established that the area of Slavonija, Baranja and Srijem has been subjected to German and Turkish influence during its long and prolific history, which has left trace in Croatian language as well. The reasons for this can be found in long-term presence of Ottomans in the Slavonian area since the 14th century when Croatian language came into contact with the Ottoman influence, and later when the Ottomans were forced out in the 18th century in the establishment of the Military Border (Vojna krajina) which served as a military-police district for the defense from the Ottomans (Moačanin and Valentić 1981). It was then that one language was substituted for another, German (Žepić 1996). As a result of age-long historical events and political changes, German loan-words have, because of certain cultural, political and other reasons, become a language necessity among the members of immigrant German people and the native population. Their usage improved mutual understanding, but also the need to vocally express new elements of extra-linguistic reality which were introduced by interlocking the two cultures (Kordić 2006). Considering these facts, German and Turkish loan-words will be analyzed on a phonological, morphological, semantic and lexical level, using primarily the principles of contact linguistics (Filipović 1979, Filipović 1986, Dabo-Denegri 1998, Sočanac 2004, Stojić 2008). In order to make the analysis more complete, phonological and morphological systems of contact languages will be compared and it will be determined how a loan-word, when being integrated in the receiving language system, shaped its meanings, and how those meanings relate to the meanings in the model of the donor language, the changes that occurred in the adaptation process and why those changes occurred. The best way to detect the effect of language contacts of two languages and to determine which part of the lexicon was significantly influenced by loan-words is by analyzing the lexical level of language structure (Barišić 2016b). The dissertation will research in detail the lexical-semantic relationships of lexemes with special regards to synonymy, homonymy and polysemy. As opposed to synonymy (Melvinger 1984, Petrović 2005) and polysemy (Raffaelli 2015, Tafra 2017) for which there is extensive recent literature, the phenomenon of homonymy (Samardžija 1989, Dobričević 2000, Tafra 2016) has not yet received adequate attention within the Croatian language, and therefore polysemy has not even been unambiguously defined (Hudeček, Mihaljević 2009), which leaves enough space to more thoroughly and systematically analyze homonymy in this dissertation. The paper is expected to note new meanings conditioned by existing decasyllabic couplets which could complete the lexical database and thereby contribute to the semantic description of lexemes in the lexicographic descriptions of the Croatian language.