Германские языки | Филологический аспект №05 (97) Май 2023

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Дата публикации 20.05.2023

The ways of neologisms formation in the English biotechnology term system

Агаджанян Рубен Владимирович
Кандидат филологических наук, старший преподаватель, Российский государственный аграрный университет - МСХА им. Тимирязева К.А
Пуха Алина Сергеевна
студентка кафедры биотехнологии, Российский государственный аграрный университет - МСХА им. Тимирязева К.А

Agadzhanyan Ruben Vladimirovich,
Cand. Sci. (Philology), senior lecturer of Foreign and Russian languages department, Russian State Agrarian University - Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy
Pukha Alina Sergeevna,
student of biotechnology faculty, Russian State Agrarian University - Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy

Abstract: The article is devoted to the presentation of one of the possible ways of new terms formation in the field of biotechnology. This paper aims to discuss the great importance that neologisms reveal in replenishment of the biotechnology vocabulary. The authors provide relevant theoretical foundations of neology of the English language. In particular, the term «neologism» is clarified, approaches to the classification of word innovations are identified. Special attention in the study is paid to the representation of the most common models of neologisms creation in the English language biotechnology terminology. The analysis of structural and semantic features of neologisms in the specified area is carried out. The conducted exploration indicates the prospects of studying neologisms in the field of biotechnology. Thanks to the rapid development of this particular field of science, it can contribute to the emergence of new terms that will benefit the whole sphere of terminology of the language.
Keywords: English biotechnological term system, morphological method, concept, neologisms, classification.

Правильная ссылка на статью
Агаджанян Р.В., Пуха А.С. The ways of neologisms formation in the English biotechnology term system // Филологический аспект: международный научно-практический журнал. 2023. № 05 (97). Режим доступа: https://scipress.ru/philology/articles/the-ways-of-neologisms-formation-in-the-english-biotechnology-term-system.html (Дата обращения: 20.05.2023)

Biotechnology is a rapidly evolving scientific field with new innovations and discoveries. New words are constantly being coined to describe appearing advancements and to make scientific communication more efficient. Studying of neologisms in biotechnology offers a unique opportunity to understand the concepts and ideas that are driving innovation in the field. By examining the roots and meanings of neologisms, researchers can gain insights into the underlying principles of biotechnology and how they are being applied in different contexts.

The main problems currently being discussed in the terminology literature are gathered into groups in which some problems can be regarded as solved, others as unresolved, and still others as debatable. One such problem is the complex problem of the emergence, existence and development of new terms. Historically, the rapid process of development biological and technological sciences is accompanied by the replenishment of specialized language of the corresponding branch with new terms, reflecting the objective reality. The specifics of the creation of new terms, representing new concepts, is dealt with by the science of neology.

The problem of providing the scientific sphere with new terms has always been relevant for linguistics. It is neonymy that develops both questions of the emergence of new terms and their semantic comprehension, and borrowing from one language to another, as well as different ways of word formation [1, p. 55]. As we define it in this paper, neologisms are words that have been recently coined or gained new meanings, and they are particularly prevalent in the field of biotechnology. Many of these words are acronyms or abbreviations, such as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), and others are compound words, such as bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics, and proteomics. In one the latest studies, is said that «neologisms [Greek «neos» new + «logos» – word] are words that include the feature of novelty» [2, p. 466]. It means that the question of the methods of term formation and the ways of forming the term system of the biotechnological field of knowledge never loses its relevance.

The biotechnological term system is a complex phenomenon, since biotechnology is a complex combination of scientific knowledge of related disciplines – biology, medicine, genetics, ecology, bioethics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, law and etc.

Biotechnological terminology is at the stage of formation because science itself undergoes constant dynamic changes, which makes it relevant to study the specific features of new terms and terminological combinations, as they allow us to reveal the essence of the process of formation of the term system and show the patterns of formation of the special vocabulary.

According to T. Dankova, the biotechnological term system is represented by English-language neologisms, since the science is served mostly by English-language terminology. However, in the process of studying the sublanguage of biotechnology, it was revealed that Greek and Latin semantic elements with a wide range of meanings play an important role [3, p. 200]. Due to this, the study of terminology in this field of science is of great interest to linguists.

The object of this study is the English language biotechnological neologisms.

The subject of the study is the term system of biotechnology and its characteristics.

The purpose of the study is to analyze the specific features of biotechnological term formation and the ways of forming word–building models in this field.

The research methods used in this study are closely connected with the general trends in linguistics and based on structural word formation analysis

The practical value of the work lies in the fact that with the help of studied research materials, it can be possible to compile terminological minimum dictionaries on biotechnology, as well as to use the results of the conducted research in a teaching practice.

Before examining of the structural features of the biotechnological term system, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the word «term». As we see it, the concept of the term is not special words, but only words in their special function. The special function in which a word acts as a term is the function of the name. The function of the name often includes words of quite everyday meaning, and everyday words can be terms. However, a household term is the name of a thing. Meanwhile, the scientific and technical term is certainly the name of the concept [4]. Here only the nominative function of the term is revealed, but other linguists put forward a thesis about the definitive function of the term. During the study of the features of the term by linguists, many definitions and meanings of the term have been expressed, since representatives of various disciplines have a specific meaning, and a different amount of content is invested in its concept. Meanwhile in all definitions of the term, its connection with the concept is emphasized. For example, «a term is a word (or phrase) of a special (scientific, technical, etc.) language created for the exact expression of special concepts and the designation of special objects» [5]. In one recent study, the term considers as a «language code expression that implies content which is inextricably linked to the plan of operation. Hence, it always takes into account their potential compatibility with other terminological and non-terminological lexical units» [6, p. 358].

Thus, the term in the presented article means «a special word or phrase of a professional language used in the conditions of professional discourse and bearing a certain meaning». The biotechnological term system is a set of lexical units, the meaning of which is directly related to the doctrine of biotechnology. The specificity of the term is determined by the specificity of scientific language as a whole. The term belongs to two systems simultaneously - to the logical and conceptual system of a certain branch of scientific knowledge and to the lexical system of the literary language. In these spheres the definitive function of the term is carried out, i.e. the function of definition. In addition, the term is the iconic expression of a concept, this is its nominative function. The term functions mainly are in the sphere of professional communication - here its informative (as a means of fixing the volume of scientific information) and communicative (as a means of professional communication) functions are carried out.

The biotechnological term system is represented by a set of biotechnological terms. In this article, a biotechnological term is defined as a word or phrase that serves the biotechnology industry and forms an idea of the use of living organisms and their biological processes in production. Since in this article biotechnology is interpreted as a branch of science that explores the possibilities of using living organisms and their life products in technological issues, as well as the creation of new organisms using genetic engineering, the biotechnological term is characterized by substantive and conceptual features that allow it to be attributed to this scientific field.

The study of the conceptual and terminological apparatus of scientific or pedagogical knowledge is impossible without defining the essence of such a phenomenon of interaction of thought and language as a concept. The concept of «biotechnology» appeared in the language relatively recently. In 1917, the term was first introduced by the Hungarian engineer Karl Ereki and meant «all types of work in which certain products are produced from raw materials with the help of living organisms». However, the beginning of the development and use of biotechnology in its modern concept is considered to be 1973, when Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer obtained recombinant plasmids and transformed E.coli cells with them [7]. Since biotechnology is a new and actively developing industry, the main part of its own vocabulary, not borrowed from the disciplines that form the basis of scientific knowledge of the industry, is represented by neologisms - these are words that are new in their forms and that relate to concepts that are new [8].

The term «biotechnology» itself is a fusion of widely used roots of Greek and Latin origins (from Greek. «bios» – life, techno − art, craftsmanship, «logos» – teaching) is a set of techniques and methods of industrial production that use living organisms and knowledge of the natural science industry to produce valuable products. The biotechnology industry is one of the most important areas on the spectrum of producing drugs with the highest possible therapeutic effect and the least possible side effects on the body. Since biotechnology has been transformed in this millennium into a complex science, it combined a number of areas in science and technology.

The fact of presence of neologisms in corresponding adjacent branches of science and technology is becoming quite obvious. In particular, biotechnical expertise is used to produce medicines, the so-called biotherapeutic or biosimilar preparations (biosimilars, bio-ginger tincture) and diagnostic tools (biochips, test systems). The field under discussion has been called «red biotechnology» or medical biotechnology.

Term formation in the sphere biotechnology knowledge is originally based on Greek and Latin morpheme elements. Due to this, elements of these languages are widely used in modern scientific terminology as international word-forming elements, implying definitions understandable to the entire scientific community [9, p. 2]. Giving the overarching importance of these two languages for the full development of medical scientific terminology, it is not surprising that such a tradition continues till today. The biotechnological terminological system certainly includes many medical terms, but its development nowadays is due to the synthesis of various concepts of different branches of scientific knowledge, mainly being part of the fields of biology and technological sciences.

In this paper, we have studied and revealed the most frequently used method of term formation, that is the morphological prefix-suffix method. In the process of English-language biotechnological terminology formation, prefixes of Latin (re-, de-, b-, pre-, ad-) and Greek (anti-, auto-, chemo-, bio-) origin play a big role due to the high frequency of use.

Among the most commonly used Latin prefixes, with the help of which single-component terms are formed, are:

  • co- (co-metabolism, co-transport, co-enzyme);
  • de- (denaturation, detoxification, decomposition);
  • di- (dialysis, digestion, diffusion);
  • ex- (explant, expression, explantation);
  • in- (im-) (inhibitor, insulator, inbreeding, inorganic, immunogen, imprinting, imposter);
  • inter- (interferon, interchromomere, interphase);
  • re- (recombination, redox, renaturation, replication);
  • sub- (substrate, subsite, subunit, sub-clone);
  • super- (superinduction, supercoil, superhelix, superstructure);
  • trans- (trans-splicing, transamination, transcription, transcytosis, transgene, transposition);
  • ultra- (ultrafiltration, ultracentrifugation).

Greek prefixes are represented by the following elements:

  • a- (аbiotic, аcellular);
  • anti- (antibiotic, anticodon, antigen, anti-oncogene);
  • dia- (dialysis, diastereoisomer, diakinesis);
  • endo- (endocytosis, endoderm, endomitosis, endonuclease)
  • hyper- (hyperploid, hypertonic, hyperpolarization);
  • hypo- (hypoploid, hypotonic, hypocotyl);
  • para- (paralogous, parahormone, parasite);
  • poly- (polygene, polymer, polymerase, polyploidy).

The prefix method of creating new terms is characterized by the addition of prefixes comprising different semantic load. The prefixes can be divided into groups according to their semantic meaning: prefixes to denote opposite concepts, prefixes to determine the intensity of a trait and prefixes to determine the completeness of a trait.

Thus, the English-language biotechnological terminology is an open system, represented by general terms that are actively used in the field of scientific communication, and is constantly replenished with new terminological units, since young science is dynamically developing and replenished with new terms. The study of the formation of biotechnology as a complex and intensively developing science, the subjects of study of which covers a wide range of related disciplines – biology, medicine, genetics, chemistry, ecology, bioethics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, law, and has a direct impact on filling its terminological system with new terminological units.

The diverse content of the terminological system of this scientific field allows us to identify larger groups of terms:

  1. general terms (general scientific);
  2. base terms (from the field of biology, medicine, genetics, chemistry, ecology etc.);
  3. own terms [10].

Here is the group of general terms includes general scientific terms used in texts of any branch of knowledge: analysis; hypothesis; method; synthesis; structure; theory; function. The basic terms include terms borrowed from related disciplines: chemistry – adsorption, diffusion, amino acid; biology – cell, strain, hybridization; genetics – gene, chromosome; medicine – ligation, vaccination. The proprietary terminology of biotechnology is represented by complex narrowly focused terms that denote concepts specific only to this field of scientific knowledge: genetically modified organizations (GMO), turbidostat, surface cultivation, monoculture, introduction, bioreactor. As it is seen, the classification of terminology in the field of biotechnology reveals its heterogeneous composition, which, on the one hand, is a set of terms from related scientific fields, and on the other hand, is represented by the industry's own lexical apparatus.

Since the industry is currently actively developing and being introduced into all scientific fields, the emerging biotechnological English-language terminology is considered as an open system, constantly replenished with new units. It should be added that terms and terminologies are necessary tools for formation of scientific theories, laws, provisions and are represented as an integral and integral part of science and technology. In this case, J. Zhigunova believes that mastering terminology is the main problem in comprehending any scientific knowledge, because terminological units play an important role in professional and scientific communication [11]. There is no doubt that solving the issue of terminological accuracy is a priority task not only in lexicology, but also in such practical plane as foreign language teaching, in particular, in non-linguistic universities, where it is almost the most important issue affecting the features of forming cognitive activity of students, mastering the most important concepts for their specialty with the help of a foreign language [12, p. 1].

Neologisms also provide a window into the social and cultural aspects of science and technology. By looking at how neologisms are created and adopted, researchers can gain a better understanding of how scientific knowledge is constructed and disseminated within scientific communities.

Moreover, studying neologisms in biotechnology can contribute to the development of more effective communication strategies in the field. By understanding the nuances and connotations of neologisms, researchers can communicate more clearly and effectively with each other and with the general public.

As a result of the conducted research, it can be concluded that the terminology of biotechnology is an open system represented by common terms of scientific knowledge. These terms denote concepts, methods, functions and objects of professional activity in this specific field. They are exclusively served by specifically conditioned terminology, in which the leading position belongs to multicomponent terms expressing the capacious names of scientific concepts and processes. The classification of terminology in the sphere of biotechnology demonstrates its heterogeneous composition, which is a collection of terms taken from a large number of sciences. Finally, the study of neologisms in the field of biotechnology offers a wealth of opportunities for researchers to gain insights into the concepts, ideas, and social dynamics that are driving scientific innovation. With new discoveries and innovations constantly emerging, the study of neologisms will undoubtedly continue to be an important area of research in biotechnology for years to come.

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