Information about the author: Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of Political Science Department at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”; Director of Political Analytics School;
Title: Pragmatic Functions of Politological Quasiterms and Political Terminoids
Rubric: Terminology of Social and Economic Sciences
Abstract: Ukrainians demonstrate an intense interest in the domestic and foreign policy of their country, as well as in what is going in geopolitical processes. Social and political discourse in Ukraine is highly politicised which results in a great variety of lexical elements found in everyday publications and discussions.
There are many political terminoids, politological quasiterms or quasitermini, political jargonisms, and pseudoterms of political realm that are extensively used both in Ukrainian and international discourse. Examples may vary from a term Trumpism, which bears a significant emotional load with pejorative connotations, to a more neutral term Thatcherism that became a part of political and economic reference books. Russian military aggression against Ukraine brought a new meaning to the terms Putinism, that resembles the term Hitlerism, as well as Rushism – a combination of Russia and fascism, which denotes an imperialist, chauvinist, aggressive, militant foreign policy of Russia, especially to its close neighbours. Different terms like that constitute a vibrant interdisciplinary field that is not paid sufficient attention to.
This article suggests approaching analysis of pragmatics functions of these lexical elements by analysing their role in more general course of terminologisation of political and social discourse. A number of different examples of such lexemes are listed and their use is commented by placing them into a broader context of lexicological studies. In the English language tradition such lexemes are studies within the discipline of language for special purposes, in this case – the language of politics. The German terminological tradition speaks of Fachjargonismen and Halbtermini, the latter may be regarded as a sort of an equivalent to the concept of quasiterms used in our terminological studies. Some examples of pejorative and metaphorical lexical elements used in political discussions are also described and commented briefly, like the terms Porokhobot as an example of a pejorative terms used to describe those who support the president of Ukraine Mr. Poroshenko and his politics, or the terms related to the revolutionary events in Ukraine in 2014 – Euromaidan – a term widely used outside of Ukraine, together with the term Leninopad to describe the removal of the monuments of Lenin as a part of the policy of de-communisation. It is claimed that this terminology allows broader public to participate in political discussions since it simplifies the discourse but also sets some terms of reference for placing opponents and proponents of certain political actors, ideologies, or parties according to lexical delimitation lines.
In the European Union those who criticize the policies of the Union and see a threat in the increased German influence go as far as to suggest a term Merkelreich to combine the name of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German word Reich to imply a rather brutal reference to the Third Reich. On the other hand, such a term provides a great simplification to the discussion about the nature of political processes within the European Union. By comparing Germany’s economic potential in the common market to the imperialistic ambitions it also sets discursive boundaries for a certain type of political debate. It is also stated that such lexical elements can indicate a shift in political and social developments since such pseudoterms have potential to transform into full-fledged political science terms in the future. It might be the case the militant and aggressive foreign policy of today’s Russia would one day named Putinism and become part of university textbooks in politics. As it is almost impossible to predict the future of a particular quasiterm, it is suggested that the current process of nomination of terms within the socio-political discourse should be studied with a particular attention.
Some discursive practices may reveal the mechanisms behind the logic of how certain terms are used. For example, a political expert or a political scientist would hesitate to use a terminoid with pejorative connotations in official lecture or in a peer-reviewed article, but he or she can use it in an emotionally heated discussion or, with some reservations, even on a TV-show. These terms are all around and the ways and rules of their application should be paid more attention to. The article concludes that these elements should be researched from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Кeywords: terminology studies, political science LSP, political science, terminology, quasiterms, terminoids.
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