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» Journal Issues » 2017 » Terminolohichnyi Visnyk (Terminological Bulletin) Issue 4 » Motivation for Naming Eponimic Terms: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

Motivation for Naming Eponimic Terms: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

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National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
Institute of Ukrainian Language of NAS


Institute of the Ukrainian Language of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Scientific journal Ukrainian Language is registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as print media (Certificate: Series КВ № 12180 – 1064 ПР of January 12, 2007).

Included in the list of printed scientific specialized editions of Ukraine (Order of MES of Ukraine no528 from 12.05.2015)

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Motivation for Naming Eponimic Terms: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

Lesia Malevych, Maia Dziuba

Information about the authors: 

Lesia Malevych – Candidate of Philological Sciences, Assistant Professor of Ukrainian Studies Department of , National University of Water and Environmental Engineering (Rivne, Ukraine)
Maia Dziuba – Candidate of Philological Sciences, Assistant Professor, Head of Ukrainian Studies Department of , National University of Water and Environmental Engineering (Rivne, Ukraine) 

e-mail: m.dzyuba@i.ua

Title: Motivation for Naming Eponimic Terms: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

Rubric: Theory and History of Terminology

Abstract: The article deals with the theoretical and practical aspects of the motivation for naming eponymic terms, e.g., terms named for a person, such as zakony Niutona, parkinsonizm (Newton’s laws, parkinsonism).
Terminology recognizes many approaches to the motivation for term naming due to the different types of relations between the motivation of term and its inner form (semantic aspect), between the motivation of term and its systemic importance (the organization of systemic relations in terminological vocabulary), between the motivation of term and the communication process (functional aspect).
Motivation for naming is defined as an integral characteristic of any term due to the fact that terminological system is secondary to the general language. Terminological motivation is interpreted as a structural semantic feature which helps to understand the interconnectedness of the other lexical units and their relation to a specific terminological field.
Types of motivation are often identified as a means of categorizing eponymic language units in separate thematic groups. Considering the defining principle of terminological nomination – the regularity of word-formative models – we suggest to view the established tradition of using proper names in specific terms for nominating certain categories of notions as a special motivation type – eponym motivation: pravylo Lentsa [zakon Lentsa] (Lenz’s rule [Lenz’s law]) (physics) – law named after the physicist Heinrich Lenz who formulated it in 1834.
Motivation for naming eponymic terms is defined, first of all, by the direct relation to the denoted object, its definition and place in terminological system which can be both explicit or hidden. Eponymic terms can be characterized by all 10 three motivation types: word-formative and morphological, syntactic, semantic. Hidden motivation can be discovered with the help of etymological analysis or studying extra-linguistic factors, e.g., syndrom Van-Hoha (Van Gogh syndrome) is named after the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. So, inner form is able to preserve diverse structure of knowledge about linguistic and extra-linguistic reality which is particularly important in terms of anthropocentrism – methodological principle which plays the key role in studying of motivation, i.e., fixation of the connection (which speaker is aware of) between form and content of the lexeme in relation to the phenomena of linguistic and extra-linguistic reality.
Theoretical and practical problems of motivation for naming eponymic terms needs further terminological research, in particular, based on the principles of the anthropocentric paradigm. 

Keywords: term-eponym, terminological motivation, syntactic motivation, semantic motivation, word-formation and morphological motivation.


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