Journal Ukrainian Language №1 (65) 2018
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Ukrainian Studies,
National University of Water and Environmental Engineering
11 Soborna St., Rivne, Ukraine 33028
Abstract: The article is discussing the problem of variation in the field of terminology. The purpose of the article is to describe modern theoretical and practical approaches to the phenomena of variation in terminology, to analyze the functions and causes of the terminological variation, to develop a classification of modern term variants.
The Ukrainian terminology of the water management served as the basis for the analysis, the choice of which is due to two main reasons: first, it is one of the oldest terminologies, the units of which are recorded in the most ancient literary works of the Ukrainian language; and second, it is one of the largest Ukrainian terminological systems that covers a whole range of natural, technical, and social sciences and is actively developing today.
The theory of terminological variation was proposed in the 60’s and the early 70’s of the 20th century. By the end of the 80’s, terminology was dominated by the prescriptive approach, according to which the use of variants in the terminology shows its imperfection, complicates the language of science, and therefore needs to be streamlined and standardized.
In the 90’s and the beginning of the 21th century, in addition to the prescriptive approach, a descriptive analysis acquires a significant distribution, the essence of which is to understand the variation as a completely natural property of the terminological systems, which enables their constant development. A descriptive approach in terminology was initiated and developed by adherents of the new terminological theories: socioterminology, communicative theory of terminology, functional, sociocognitive terminology, and frame-based terminology.
The article highlights the main reasons for the emergence of the terminological variation: 1) the need of nominating new objects and phenomena; an attempt to come up with a successful name creates multiple terms with the same meaning; 2) the process of renaming certain outdated or imperfect concepts leads to using them together with new ones for some time; 3) borrowing foreign terms; 4) the parallel naming of objects that already have a name in the Ukrainian language: verbose terms are replaced by shorter variants, abbreviations, symbols, etc.
In today’s Ukrainian water management discourse, we found about 550 variable paradigms, 72,8% of which are binomial, while the rest (27,2%) are multinomial, and include three or more terms.
The article offers the classification of modern term variants according to the following nomination criteria: 1) the specificity of the sign nature of the term; 2) the source of the specific naming (native terms, borrowed terms); 3) the number of languages involved in the nomination process; 4) derivation method; 5) nominative tools used to construct term variants.
Keywords: term, terminology, terminological variation, term variants, term variant classification.
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