Author's term: what is it? / Defining the concept "author's term" | Language and Culture. 2018. № 12. DOI: 10.17223/24109266/12/3

Author's term: what is it? / Defining the concept "author's term"

In the article the researchers state that in contemporary Russian terminology there is no concept "author's term" and no author's term definition. Traditionally it has been accepted that the author's term is a term with a reliably known authorship, or a term named after the discoverer of a scientific phenomenon. The researchers consider this approach to be erroneous and suggest that the author's term exists only within the author's original scientific hypothesis. As this hypothesis is described by the system of interrelated concepts and terms, so there is no isolated author's term. The researchers offer their own definition of the author's term. The author's term is a special sign created within the framework of a unique scientific theory, an element of the system of concepts interconnected with other terms and concepts of original hypothesis, referred by the speakers of the language for specific purposes to a specific author's idea, representing scientific picture of the world which is not generally accepted.

Author's term: what is it? / Defining the concept "author's term".pdf Introduction In 1961, in the issue of "Questions of terminology" the fundamental paper "What is the term and terminology" by A. Reformatsky was published [1]. According to the etymology of the word "term" meaning "border, limit", the author separated the properties and features of the words of science from properties and features of the language words. He stated that it was possible to consider the words of science within the terminological field. The main cognitive feature of terms is their principal connection with the system of concepts of a definite science. According to A. Reformatsky, terms are closely connected with the needs of theoretical thought. Their number in any science or scientific field is countable, they serve to reflect verbally the system of concepts of a definite science. It is not the context of usage that is important for the term, but the terminological field within which the term is unambiguous. "One and the same" term in different terminological fields is a homonym in fact (the essence homonym), since the connections of the concept fixed by the term are different in different sciences. These different "nets of coordinates" allow us to talk about idiomatic and paradigmatic features of the terminological field of each science or scientific field. If the "terminological key" is known, the term can live an independent life and be understood outside the context [Ibid.]. Reformatsky's ideas formed the basis of contemporary understanding of the term's essence which is characterized by the following main features: 1) the term refers to a special concept; 2) the term definition is equivalent to its conceptual meaning; the term and definition are interchangeable; 3) the term is systemic - there is not one concept standing for the term but a whole set of interrelated concepts; 4) the definition reflects systemic connections of the term and its place in the terminological system [2]. The history of author's term definition and presentation in terminology What is author's term and terminology? A. Dyachenko in the abstract to his "Dictionary of author's terms, concepts and names" justifies his choice of 3700 terms in the following way: "The dictionary contains only terms whose authorship is reliably or almost reliably known" [3: 2]. This means that the lexicographer considers author's term to be a special language unit, isolated from the text and having an established attribution. For example, "The term "heart abdominalization" was suggested in 1957 by G. Reinberg, who meant by this term a special treatment method for chronic coronary insufficiency..." [Ibid.: 5]. This approach raises several questions. First, A. Dyachenko places the so-called "memorial terms" in the dictionary. For example, "Listeria is the term suggested by Peary in 1927 in the honor of an English surgeon, the creator of antiseptic trend in surgery, Joseph Lister (1827-1912)" [Ibid.: 164]. Which side of the dictionary entry the notion "author's one" should be referred to? To the left, that is, the lexeme, naming the discoverer of the phenomenon? Or, to the right, that is, the definition, telling the name of the person who proposed the denotation? Such uncertainty can generate comic situations like in case with the term "donkeypower"1. Secondly, the dictionary entry lithium, for example, states that "the author of the element is the Swedish chemist and mineralogist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who offered to Arfwedson, another Swedish chemist, the discoverer of the new element, to call it lithion" [Ibid.: 164]. Who should be given the laurels for introducing the element lithium into chemistry? Its discoverer or the author of the term? Following this approach, a dilemma arises: whom do we consider to be the author of the term? What do we refer the notion "author's one" to? To the term or to the phenomenon? Can we consider the scientist, who proposed only a form for naming a scientific fact to be the author of the term? After all, the concept that correlates with this form was developed by another researcher. Thirdly, many of the former special lexemes are now determinalized and perceived as commonly used, such as lordosis (Hippocrates), lori (Buf-fon), logarithm (Napier), neurosis (Cullen), oligophrenia (Kraepelin), food chain (Krupnik), psychoanalysis (Freud), radius (Ramus), difference (Widm an), etc. How much is the originality aspect of a term important for qualifying it as author' term? Is it possible to consider the name that does not correlate in public consciousness with a special person to be the author's term? The question of the relationship between a term and a person has a continuation. If there is no clear correlation, then how A. Dyachenko can qualify (and he does) the terms having several authors or, even further, the terms suggested by groups and organizations? For example, "lichen" - the authors of the term are folk healers in whose environment it was originated" [3: 165]. "Om" - the term was proposed in 1861 at the International congress of electricians in Paris [Ibid.: 212]. "The Pickwick Syndrome" - the name proposed in 1956 by the group of English doctors" [Ibid.: 230]. How will the knowledge of the fact that the term "dog's tooth" was used by "ancient Assyrian and Babylonian doctors (VIII-VI century BC)" contribute to the development of the language of science? [Ibid.: 283]. Fourth, if the concept has been renamed and a new sign has been fixed in public communication, will this term be author's term? For example, D. Papen suggested the term "softener". Currently this item is known as a pressure cooker [Ibid.: 260]. Unfortunately, Dyachenko's dictionary contains neither introduction no preface, where the author explains his understanding of the author's term. Currently, there is no unambiguous definition of the author's term in Russian terminology and terminography. It seems to us that author's term can be defined by analogy with the concept "author's film". The directors of all films are known to us, but only a small part of these films is classified as author's films. Author's film meets several criteria: 1) This is a film which is made completely by the director himself. 2) The main thing in this film is not the actors' work, the camera man's work, the costumes, etc., but the author's intention, the idea of the creator of the film. 3) The director sets for himself not commercial, populist goals, but the goal to convey his ideas and convictions to the audience. 4) The director does not flirt with the audience, he does not try to please it. He is sure that there will not be many supporters of his ideas, but these supporters will provide the film with imperishable success, and the author with eternity stay. 5) Usually this film is an intellectual film, with a lot of symbolism in it. This film is not for mass audience, not for any viewer. This film belongs to the elite culture. An attempt to define author's term from the standpoint of a translator was made by V. Tabanakova in her monograph "Author's term: I know, interpret, translate" [4]. The researcher stratifies special denotations, which she considers possible to designate as the author's terms and remarks "...this is the term of one particular person - the author" [4: 141]. These may be special units, such as Broc's area, Wernicke's area, named in the honor of the discoverers. "We also consider a term to be the author's term if it is proposed by a particular scientist... Author's terms are also versions of one and the same concept offered by different researchers or different schools, the so-called "terms-doublets"" [Ibid.]. The principal idea of V. Tabanakova is the following: "The author's term is a special concept (expressed by any structure of predicative nature), having behind itself the author's understanding and the author's interpretation" [Ibid.: 168]. Therefore, the most accurate translation of the author's term demands conducting of linguistic and logical-conceptual analysis, establishing the scope and content of the concept; conducting of contextual and discursive analysis, searching for the pragmatics of the author's term [Ibid.]. Thinking deductively. Preliminary formulation of the definition If a term only exists being a member of the system, can author's term exist at all, or, we should speak about author's terminology? The ideas about groups of linguistic elements united by a common feature, by some component of the meaning were formalized in a more or less scientific form in the linguistic studies of the XIX century, e.g. in the studies of M. Pokrovsky2. In 1931, Jost Trier in his book "The German vocabulary of the conceptual field of intellectual properties. The history of linguistic field from ancient times till the beginning of the 13th century" published the results of his doctoral dissertation of 1928 ("Derdeutsche Wortschatzim Sinnbezirkdes Verstandes. Die Geschichte eines sprachliches Feldes. Von den anfangen bis zum Beginn des 13 Jahrhunderts"). It was exactly the study in which the statements of the semantic field theory worked out by linguists at the end of the third decade of the ХХ century were presented. J. Trier proposed a se-mantically capacious, figurative term "semantic field", which later entrenched in lexicology. The idea of a semantic field was further developed by many scientists, including Russian linguists. The dictionary entry "field" is presented in the "Linguistic encyclopedic dictionary" [5: 380-381]. In our opinion, the term "semantic field" cannot be considered to be the author's term. The merit of J. Trier is in finding a successful designation for the ideas that already existed in science. His term creation activity was a logical outcome of the development of general linguistic theory. It should be noted, that in linguistics there are many terms whose authorship is established by primary sources, assigned to scholars in encyclopedic linguistic dictionaries, but these meta signs are not perceived by philologists as author's terms. According to the "Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary" [5] we have the following ones: - ablaut (J. Grimm, p. 9), - agglutination (Fr. Bopp, p. 17), - adstrat (M. Bartoli, p. 19), - actant (L. Tenier, p. 22), - amorphous languages (A.V. Schlegel, p. 512), - valence (S.D. Katsnelson, p. 79), - hyponymia (J. Lyons, p. 104), - grapheme (B. de Courtenay, p. 117), - diglossia (C.A. Ferguson, p. 136), - incorporating languages, isolating languages (V. von Humboldt, p. 512), - convergence (E.D. Polivanov, p. 234), - winged words (V. Bukhman, p. 246), - young grammatism (F. Tsarnke, p. 302), - morph (Ch.F. Hokket, p. 311), - morpheme (B. de Courtenay, p. 312), - morphological analogy (B. de Courtenay, p. 555), - morphonem (H. Ulashin, p. 315), - neutralization (N.S. Trubetskoy, p. 328), - nostratic languages (H. Pedersen, p. 339), - signified, signifying (F. de Saussure, p. 343), - onomasiology (A. Zauner, p. 346), - opposition (N.S. Trubetskoy, p. 348), - simplification (V.A. Bogoroditsky, p. 349), - redistribution (V.A. Bogoroditsky, p. 370), - pragmatics (Ch.W. Morris, p. 389), - presupposition (G. Frege, p. 396), - speech act (J. Austin, p. 412), - signature (Ch.W. Morris, p. 444), - synchrony, diachrony (F. de Saussure, p. 451), - substrate (J. Bredsdorf, p. 497), - transposition (S. Bally, p. 519), - inflectional languages, affixal languages (F. Schlegel, p. 511), - phonology (B. de Courtenay, p. 556), - forms of inflection, forms of word formation (F.F. Fortunatov, p. 116), - fusion (E. Sepir, p. 563), - Esperanto (L.L. Zamenhof, p. 594), - linguistic union (N.S. Trubetskoy, p. 64) and others. The theory of generative (transformational) grammar as a psycholin-guistic theory proposed by N. Chomsky in the late 1950s can be presented quite differently [6]. The hypothesis supported the principles directly opposed to the behavioral approach to the language that dominated at that time. N. Chomsky's ideas about structural rules for constructing sentences and inborn linguistic abilities were regarded to be innovative ones. N. Chomsky proposed a laconic, internally consistent theory, whose terminological apparatus penetrated into the linguistic community and is still used by modern linguists. The proposed system of terms allowed to formalize the syntax as a science, comparable "regarding its being detailed with the apparatus for describing morphology" [7: 98-99]. In the books "Aspects of the Theory of Syntax" [8] and "Language and Thinking" [9] Chomsky introduced the term linguistic competence, by which he meant the knowledge of the "speaker - listener" about the language. Currently, the term is applied in many sciences: Translation theory, Pedagogy, Psychology, Philology, etc. The term went far beyond the concepts of transformational grammar, in different sciences it was filled with different conceptual content. In the beginning of the XXI century the concept of linguistic competence became a term of law, the basis for the development of foreign languages teaching standards and native languages teaching standards in European countries. At present, the use of the term linguistic competence is "not tied" with the scientific activity of N. Chomsky and is not associated with his theory of syntax. So, the intermediate conclusion is that a term with a known authorship is not the author's term. Ideas about the author's contribution should move to the level of a hypothesis, a theory. A scientist is to be considered primarily as the founder of the original scientific concept. This concept, in Reformatsky's terms, is defined by "the net of coordinates", which clearly distinguishes the creative concept from the generally accepted one. The author's theory establishes cause-effect, hierarchical, linear and other relations described by the system of concepts and terms. These terms are in relations of deducibility, comparability / opposition, inclusions, etc. with each other. A single author's term can only be considered as a component of the author's terminology. An isolated author's term does not exist. A term introduced by the scientist as a component of meta language of his scientific theory, can leave the original field of concepts and come into general usage. In this case, it loses the affinity with hypothesis that generated it and stops being perceived by native speakers of the language for specific purposes as the author's term. Separating similar phenomena. Definitive variants of the term How to qualify different approaches to the term's definition made by different scientists? A similar situation in linguistics, for example, was actively discussed concerning the term "discourse", when the multiplicity of its definitions was stated. The understanding and rethinking of a scientific concept by scientists can actualize indeed personal approaches to the interpretation of a scientific fact. The issues of methodology, goals and objectives of research, different scientific and linguistic competence, space-time coordinates, etc. can appear to be prevailing at the level of individual intentions of a scientist. It can be assumed that "...a term, like no other linguistic unit, is a subject of semantic variation due to various research goals" [10: 237]. Traditionally, the fact that a term has different definitions is considered to be a manifestation of terminological ambiguity. It is more correctly to speak about semantic rather than definitive variants: "to link definitions of a special concept made by different authors is possible on the basis of their significative unity and commonality of the terminated concept" [Ibid.]. Conceptual commonality does not allow us to qualify individual interpretations of one and the same special lexeme as author's terms. The juxtaposition of the author's term and semantic (definitive) variant raises another problem - the problem of originality of the term. Variants of the term definition exist within one and the same concept, they have common integral seme but they are not similar differentially. As for the author's term, the situation is different - the author's term correlates with another concept. Let us compare the definitions of the word "abyss" in the general literary language and in the theory of passionarity by Gumilev: General meaning Gumilev's term Abyss - the depth seeming immeasurable, bottomless [11: 36] Abyss - emptiness or vacuum that is not part of the material world [12] In the literary language, the specific word "abyss" is included as a hy-ponym into the generic concept "distance" and as Gumilev's term it is included into the generic concept "space". Differential semes have a much greater semantic difference. In spoken language a species seme indicates the absence of the limit, bottom; in the term, the concept "abyss" correlates with intangible, unreal world. Similarly, in the literary language and in terminology bipo-larity is bipolar, and both poles are equivalent. Gumilev's bipolarity is an opportunity of the development of systems in two directions - complication and (or) simplification with a limit in vacuum. Gumilev's bipolarity is not a static phenomenon, but a phenomenon in process, and the poles are unequal. We may conclude, that generally accepted scientific terms and author's terms being expressed at the level of form by one and the same word, at the level of content relate to different concepts and belong to different scientific pictures of the world. The central special concept It can be stated that the original author's hypothesis is built around one or a few (not many) basic concepts. In our study the author's concept is considered to be a special concept that carries the main idea, meaning in the text. At the same time, the author's terms should represent a certain set of words, but not single statements, or occasionalisms. In this case they can be organized lexicographically. The central concept of Gumilev's passionary theory is a concept of specifically represented ethnogenesis. In the framework of historical studies, Gumilev's theory of ethnogenesis demonstrates a spectrum of diverse problems: patterns of changes in ethnogenesis which are inherent to any ethnos, uniformity of all processes of ethnogenesis [13]. In the study [14] the essence of the author's theory of ethnogenesis is revealed in the following way: "...History is a network of natural processes of ethnogenesis, its subject - ethnos - a biosocial phenomenon, a community of people, based on mutual attraction, complementarity, common mentality rather than on genetics...". The history of ethnos is determined by the rhythm of ethnogenesis, landscape features, cultural traditions and contacts with neighbors. In his theory of ethnogenesis L. Gumilev showed that a person does not exist without ethnos group, without his people. The concept of eth-nogenesis (according to A. Reformatsky) is a terminological key that may let you discover the author's intention as a historian. Conclusion Our search for correlations in interpretation of the theory of term creation process, where a term is a word intended to reflect special concepts, leads us to a key point: human thinking is based on two processes - heuristic and analytical ones. The first one provides a selection of information relevant to the current situation, the second one forms a judgment on its basis. The remaining information is rejected, not allowed to the stage of analysis. Cognitive approach to the study of linguistic phenomena suggests that a person through his diverse experience studies the world around him and structures his individual picture of the world as a base for various activities, including research [15-18]. Thus, in the framework of our study, we have formulated a definition of the author's term: it is a special sign created within the framework of a unique scientific theory, an element of the system of concepts interconnected with other terms and concepts of original hypothesis, referred by the speakers of the language for specific purposes to a specific author's idea, representing scientific picture of the world which is not generally accepted.

Ключевые слова

terminology, terminological field, author's term, author's intention, scientific theory


Slozhenikina Yu. V.Samara branch of Moscow City
RastyagaevA V.Samara branch of Moscow City
Kuhno I.Yu.Samara branch of Moscow City
Zaytseva A.S.Civil Defense Academy of EMERCOM of
Всего: 4


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 Author's term: what is it? / Defining the concept

Author's term: what is it? / Defining the concept "author's term" | Language and Culture. 2018. № 12. DOI: 10.17223/24109266/12/3