Identification of International Lexicon Units

As has been noted, the units of genuine international lexicon are identified on the basis of their common in different languages lexical meaning and identical or only similar lingual form. Loan internationalisms, on the other hand, are identified mainly on the basis of their common sphere of use, their lexical meaning, functional significance and party - structural form.

The identification of genuine or loan internationalisms presents no difficulty so far as the monosemantic language units are concerned. That is explained by the terminological nature of the signs, which are used to signify social, political, scientific, technological, cultural and other notions (cf. parliament, theatre, theory, poet, arithmetic, artillery, botany, phoneme, suffix, theorem, proton, volt, decimal fractions, space probe, management, motor, computer, internet, electricity, etc.). These and many other internationalisms are monosemantic words or word-combinations.which constitute a peculiar layer of lexicon in quite different languages. They are characterized by a similarity of their lexical meaning, by an identity or similarity

in their orphographic and sounding form, by their denotative meaning and sometimes by their motivation. The meaning of these and a lot of other international words and phrases/word-groups of the kind does not change in any other contextual environment. Consequently, their nature is constantly monolithic.

The identification of the international meaning of some lexemes becomes much more difficult, however, when dealing with polysemantic language signs, which are a common feature in present-day English but less common in Ukrainian. That is because in English a lot of lexemes may often have one and the same lingual form for several notions, which is shown below in the vectorial representation of meanings pertained to the noun conductor:








genuine internationalism international loan word international loan word international loan word pseudo-internationalism pseudo-internationalism

As can be seen, only one out of six lexemes above has a common lingual form and meaning in English and Ukrainian («кондуктор»). The same vectorial disposition of denotative meanings can be observed in several other polysemantic English words of the kind. Hence, in order to avoid mistakes in translation, one must carefully study the contextual environment of such and the like language signs. Though sometimes the corresponding vectorial meanings of polysemantic words can be identified already at word-combination level. Cf.: a fit of depression/depression fit приступ/припадок депресії: depression of trade занепад/застій у торгівлі; the structure of the sentence структура речення; a multi-storied structure багатоповерхова споруда (будова/будівля).

Naturally, not every adjunct (identifying word or word-group) forming a word-combination with a polysemantic word, can discriminate the real nature and meaning of the lexeme. Because of this care should be taken when translating such polysemantic words, which may have under the same lingual form either a genuine or a

1 An illustration of this pseudo-international meaning of the noun conductorcan be seen in the following excerpt from The Economist journal (February 28, 1998): A spectacular example of Oxford Health Plans once fastest-growing HMO in America. The conductorStephen Wiggins was forced to resign as chairman on February 24th.

pseudo-international, e.i., common, non-international meaning, the latter being realized in a definite context only. A few more examples of such words may be useful:





художній мистецький артистичний

театральний драматичний

хвилюючий яскравий раптовий непередбачений


промисловість галузь промисловості старанність працьовитість



громадський цивільний

ввічливий чемний



доцільний фактичний

революція переворот

Revolution < оберт (навколо осі) сівозміна (с/г) кругообіг

Apart from the polysemantic words with several meanings, one of which is genuine international and the rest pseudo-international, i.e., non-international as in the examples above, there are also quite a few words in present-day English and Ukrainian which have an identical orthographic form but quite different lexical meaning: accu-rate точний, правильний, влучний but not акуратний: billet ордер на постій, приміщення для постою but not квиток; compositor складач (друк.) but not композитор; data дані but not дата; decade десятиріччя but not декада; decoration нагорода, прикраса but not декорація; Dutch голландський but not данський: fabulist байкар, вигадник but not фабуліст; intelligence розум, кмітливість but not інтелігенція: momentous важливий but not моментальний; matrass колба but not матрац (mattress): obligation зобов'язання but not облігація; potassium калій but not поташ; prospect перспектива but not проспект; production виробництво, випуск but not only продукція: replica точна копія but not репліка; spectre привид but not спектр, etc.

As can be ascertained, these English words quite accidentally coincide in their lingual form with some other borrowed words in Ukrainian. Thus, «replica», for example, has quite a different denotative meaning in Ukrainian than our репліка (cue, remark). So is the deno-

tative meaning of many other words, whose number by far exceeds that on the above-given list. These and the like pseudo-international words are often referred to as «false friends of the translator» (удавані друзі перекладача).

Unlike common lexical units, whose orthographic and sounding forms never coincide in the target language and in the source language, the lingual form of genuine international lexemes in all languages is always either identical or similar. It does not mean that the structural form of genuine internationalisms is necessarily always transplanted to the target language as it is observed in simple lexemes like drama, poet, opera, suffix, lord, kimono, sari, kiwi, motor, proton (драма, поет, опера, суфікс, лорд, кімоно, сарі, etc.).

More often the same genuine international lexemes in English and Ukrainian may have a different morphological structure. In Ukrainian they usually take derivational and often also inflexional affixes which is rarely observed in present-day English. As a result, most of genuine international words in Ukrainian are structurally more complicated than in English (cf. apathy-апат/я, dietic-дієтичний, form -форма, exploit - експлуатувати, economic-економічний), etc.

Some genuine international words, however, may be structurally more complicated in English than in Ukrainian: Cf.: Greek: analysis аналіз, diagnosis діагноз, sclerosis склероз, academician академік, geographer географ, mathematician математик, philosopher філософ, geologist геолог; Latin: appendicitis апендицит, tuberculosis туберкульоз, rheumatismus ревматизм, etc.

Hence, the structural models according to which different logico-grammatical classes of internationalisms are adopted in English and in Ukrainian mostly differ. On this ground relevant for the identification, as well as for the translation of any international word, remains its root morpheme, i.e., its sense bearing seme. Taking this into account, lexemes like anti-trade, arch-enemy, inventor consisting of international affixes and having common root morphemes are to be treated as non-internationalisms, i.e., as pseudo-internationalisms.The international nature/status of a source language lexeme is considered to be fully retained, when the root morpheme or at least the sense and lingual form (part of it) can be rendered in the target language. Consequently, the compounds consisting of a genuine international and a common root morpheme as school-male, coal-gas, washing-тасш'пе. etc. are to be defined in English as partly international, i.e., mixed-type lexical units. Similarly in Ukrainian: Газосховище, радіохвилі, водно-спиртовий.

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