UNITS OF INTERNATIONAL LEXICON AND WAYS OF RENDERING THEIR MEANING AND LINGUAL FORM



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UNITS OF INTERNATIONAL LEXICON AND WAYS OF RENDERING THEIR MEANING AND LINGUAL FORM



By internationalisms are meant such language units which are borrowed from one and the same source language by at least three genealogically different languages in the same or similar lingual form and identical meaning (cf. долар, атом, інтерес, директор, база, стадіон, театр, фізика, etc.). International, however, may be not only words and phrases/word-groups, but also morphemes - prefixes, suf­fixes and even inflexions, nothing to say about root morphemes as the English or Ukrainian words fund фонд, gas ґаз, lord лорд, ohm ом, park парк, pound фунт, smog смоґ and many others.

These morphemes are conveyed with the help of the translator's transcription (i.e. either transliterated or transcribed) sometimes, through, the combination of both these methods may be and is employed.

Among the most often occurring international affixes in English and Ukrainian are the following:


 

I. Prefixes: anti-/aHTH-, ех-/екс-, inter-/iHTep-, trans-/TpaHC-, ul-tra-/ynbrpa-; as in antibody антитіло, export (v.) експортувати, international інтернаціональний, transmission трансмісія, ul­traviolet ультрафіолетовий.

II. Suffixes: -ar/-ap, -er/-ep, -ist/-ncT/-icT, -ssionZ-сія, -йоп/-ція, etc. as in quasar/квазар, actor/актор, volunteer/волонтер, human-ist/гуманіст. constitution/конституція, agression/агресія, hu-morist/гуморист. etc.

III. Inflexions: -ит/-ум, (memorandum меморандум), -us/-yc, (ra­dius радіус), -а/-а (formula формула), etc.

The lexicon of each developed language comprises a very large layer of foreign by origin words, word-groups/phrases and even a small num­ber of sentences. These lexical and syntactic level units have been acquired by the borrowing languages to designate notions hitherto unknown in them. The bulk of these borrowed morphemes, lexemes and syntaxymes are found in many languages of a culturally, histori­cally, and often geographically common area as Europe, the Middle East or the Far East. They are used to designate notions belonging to different domains of human knowledge or activity.

Hence, there is distinguished: a) the social and political termi­nology comprising the most commonly used political, economic, philo­sophical, historical, sociological units of lexicon (audit, bank, consti­tution, parliament, party, president, barter, sophism, etc.). Here also belong terms designating international law, diplomacy, numerous lit­erary terms (cf. drama, poet, metaphor, epithet, hyperbole, etc.); b) natural history/sciences terminology (physics, mathematics, ge­netics, chemistry) used not only in special but also in scientific and popular works and in mass media (chemical/physical reaction, genes, pneumonia, etc.); c) numerous technical terms (names of machines and their parts: motor, carter, starter, accelerator, battery), as well as names of different means of transport (bus, metro, taxi) and commu­nication (fax, telegraph, telex, radio, e-mail), etc.

These and other words and phrases of the kind are referred to as internationalisms, or more precisely genuine internationalisms.The latter never considerably change their lingual (orthographic or sounding) form nor their internationally established meaning. (Cf.: motor мотор, audit аудит, therapeutic терапевтичний).

The main characteristic feature of genuine internationalisms, whether single words or words-combinations, is their semantic singu­larity. It means that their lexical identity and orthographic similarity in


 




the source language and in all target languages remains unchanged both at language level (when taken separate) and at speech level, i.e., when used in texts/speech.

Apart from many thousands of genuine international words and word-combinations, which retain in several languages an identical or similar lingual form and identical meaning, there exists one more group of international lexis called translation loan units of lexicon. These have also a generally common structural form (of word, word-combi­nation) but rarely a similarity in their orthographic form or sounding. Loan internationalisms are mostly different terms designating scien­tific and technological notions, in the main: brake гальмо, citric acid лимонна кислота; lead oxide окис свинцю; specific gravity питома вага; surplus value додана вартість; non-conducting непровідність; agreement узгодження; government керування, juxtaposition прилягання (gram.), etc.

Along with these two groups of word internationalisms there also exist many stable international phraseological/idiomatic ex­pressions in each language's lexicon. Their fund is constituted by the so-called absolute and near equivalents having a common lan­guage of origin - Greek, Latin or modern. Absolute and near inter­national equivalents of this subgroup retain in different languages of a geographical area the same (or nearly the same) denotative and connotative meaning, the same expressive force and pictur-esqueness: Heel of Achilles ахіллесова п'ята; sword of Damocles дамоклів меч; to cross/pass the Rubicon перейти Рубікон; the die is cast жереб кинуто; after us the deluge після нас хоч потоп; the fair sex прекрасна стать; tilt at windmills «воювати з вітряками» («донкіхотствувати»); the tree of knowledge дерево пізнання, etc.

The use of international idioms is restricted in all languages to belles-lettres, partly to social and political texts and to conversational speech style. These idioms are also occasionally used in didactic style and are practically not used in scientific and technical matter texts.

A separate subgroup of genuine internationalisms constitute proverbs, sayings and set expressions which are used in their foreign/ original lingual form (they are predominantly of Latin, French, English, German origin). Due to centuries long usage they have become regu­lar mots often referred to as barbarisms: sine qua non неодмінна умова; status in statu держава у державі; repetitio est mater


studiorum (Lat.) повторення - мати навчання; sotto voce тихо (впівголоса); finita la commedia (Ital.) настав кінець, крах (справі кінець); da istder Hund begraben! (Germ.) осьде собака закопаний! O.K., all right (Engl.) усе гаразд; c'est la vie (Fr.) таке життя.

The number of these idiomatic/stable word-combinations un­like the fund of genuine internationalisms and translation loans re­mains practically unchanged. That is mainly because idioms/phra­seological expressions penetrate into different languages through scholastic, literary and cultural channels, as a rule. This may be con­ditioned by some extralingual factors, which may facilitate in some important political situations their spontaneous appearance and pen­etration into several languages during a short period of time. For the last half a century there have appeared few stable expressions of this kind, e.g.: «the fifth column» (1936, Spain), «Iron Curtain» (1947), «peaceful coexistence» (1950's), «cold war» (1946, USA), «permis­sive society» (1967, Gr. Br.) and a few others.

The structural form of international idioms in most languages is identical or similar. The occasional absence of identity in their struc­tural form is explained by the divergences in the grammatical sys­tems and forms of expression in the source language and in the target language (cf. the heel of Achilles/Achilles' heel ахіллесова п'ята, the Pillars of Hercules/Hercules' Pillars (Herculean Pillars) геркулесові стовпи or стовпи Геркулеса).



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