Greek and Latin Elements in Modern English, Ukrainian and Polish Vocabulary

UDC 81.111’373.611 Olena Kruglii – candidate of philology, associate professor of the foreign languages department International relations faculty, Lesia Ukrainka Eastern European University

© Kruglii Olena, 2013

The article studies the combining forms borrowed mainly from Greek and Latin autonomous words. Being international units mentioned above word elements constantly enrich all languages. The work deals with the lingual nature of combining forms, their structure and main issues connected with this word building category. Taking into consideration the distributive properties of combining forms, their position in the word as well as their meaning the following groups of combining forms are distinguished: monopositional and bipositional elements. Distributional characteristics of the latter elements in modern English are analyzed. The examples of these Classic word elements with the free and fixed position in the word model in modern Ukrainian and Polish are given.

Key words: combining form, morpheme, suffix, stem, bifuctional combining forms.

Круглій Олена. Грецькі та латинські елементи в сучасній англійській, українській і польській мовах. Статтю присвячено комплексному дослідженню словотворчих елементів перехідного типу, що оформилися з повнозначних слів переважно класичного походження і постійно збагачують словниковий запас різних мов, будучи інтернаціональними.

У праці з’ясовано проблеми виділення словотвірної категорії комбінувальних форм у лінгвістиці, визначено статус і структуру цих дериваційних формантів. Проаналізовано дистрибутивні та внутрішньовалентні характеристики біфункціональних комбінувальних форм у сучасній англійській мові. Подано приклади дистрибутивних класів цих одиниць із вільною і фіксованою позицією у словотворчій моделі на прикладі сучасної англійській, української і польської мов.

Ключові слова: комбінувальна форма, морфема, суфікс, основа, біфункціональні комбінувальні форми.

Круглий Елена. Грецкие и латинские элементы в современном английском, украинском и польском языках. Статья посвящена комплексному исследованию словообразовательных элементов переходного типа, оформившихся из знаменательных слов преимущественно классического происхождения и постоянно обогащающих словарный запас различных языков в роли интернациональных. В работе выяснено проблемы выделения словообразовательной категории комбинирующихся форм в лингвистике, определен статус и структура этих деривационных формантов. Проанализовано дистрибутивные характеристики бифункциональных комбинирующихся форм в английском языке . Даны примеры дистрибутивных классов этих единиц со свободной и фиксированной позицией в словообразовательной модели на примере современного английского, украинского и польского языков.

Ключевые слова: комбинирующаяся форма, морфема, суфикс, основа, бифункциональные комбинирующиеся формы.

The general theoretical outline of the problem and its importance. Nowadays international terminological units play an important role in the language of science and technology of many languages for facilitating the development of scientific and technical ties between different countries. Furthermore, scientists can build new words by means of such elements in a case when it’s impossible to build a new short and precise term with a help of the national elements. International elements can be easily combined with each other and contribute to the future word formation.

The procedure of classical words borrowing by the national terminologies was accompanied by a process of demotivation and erasing of metaphors as well as semantic weakening of ties with etyma. A lot of derivational elements gained specialization, universal scientific nature and international status on the basis of ready Greek and Latin terms and the models of their formation. The following derivational units mainly of classical origin such as: aero-, auto-, bio-, blast-, mega-, -logy, -phile, -phobe, -scope, which are called “combining forms” (комбінувальні форми) are the object of our study [1; 2; 3]. They are characterized not only by the productivity, but also by high frequency in terminology. Today these elements become subelements of modern English, Ukrainian and Polish vocabulary.

Combining forms have been the subject of the study of many linguists such as B. Bartkov, R. Ziatkivska, O. Kubriakova, V. Novodranova, O. Smyrnytskyi, I. Potapova, M. Lavryk, L. Hmelyk etc, but in modern literature there is no clear definition of their status. Opinions of scholars regarding the status of these units are divided. Taking into consideration the difference in the morphemic classification of combining forms these elements are treated as roots, special root morphemes, affixes, affixoids, base morphemes, elements with special status, radixoids, international technical terms, and single words [4, 184].

There is no unique definition of the combining forms in the main glossaries of Modern English. For example, ignoring the word-formative status of such items, the researchers believe they are similar to morphemes that can occur only in compound words: hematology [5, 23].

The authors of the another dictionary emphasize the differentiation of the above mentioned items by their location in a word: formants located in preposition belong to “combining forms”: Anglo-, aero-, hydro-; formants in postposition belong to the suffix (suffixes): -androus, -ocracy, -gen, -gynous; to the endings or to (endings): -grapher, -graphic, -lite, -logy; either to the terminal elements: -mancy, -lith, -manis, -meter; or the combining elements: -phile, -phonous, -plasty [6, 10]. Not recognizing the word-formative status of these units, some scholars believe that they belong to the related morphemes that can occur only in compound words: hematology [7, 23].

These morphemes don’t have independent functional correlates as well as different functions in language, various structural and semantic relations. All these approaches cause a lack of consensus on such items. The thorough analysis of such formants is very important for the study of basic linguistic and non-linguistic factors of both the national language and terminology, for the investigation of the main sources and linguistic ways of the formation of new formative elements, of their system and functional characteristics.

Combining forms are the special root morphemes that can be found only in the derivatives and compound words and in the units with terminological nature. They are regarded to be the minimal two-dimensional formants with the specific distribution. These formants have particular terminological meaning and can occupy different positions in the structure of the derivatives.

As to the position in the structure of the words all combining forms can be divided into units with free and fixed distribution. After analyzing of the factual material in terms of combining forms correlativity with independent words, the nature of lexical meaning, distribution characteristics the formants with free position in the word can divided into three distributive classes: 1) combining forms that appear only as the first component of word-formation model; 2) combining forms that serve only as the second component of word-formation model; and 3) bifunctional combining forms that can act as the first and the second component of the terms. Bifunctional combining forms are viewed as semantically similar morphemes that occur regularly as the first and second component of the terms.

The purpose of this study is to examine genetic, morphological and semantic features of combining forms using the example of bifunctional derivatives. 29 special root morpheme such as blast (o)- and -blast, graph (o)- and -graph, log (o)- and -log, carp (o)- and –carp, morph (o)- and –morph, odont (o)- and -odont etc are the data of study.

All terminological elements of this class are the morphemes with classical origin. The main source of their appearing in modern English, Ukrainian as well as Polish vocabulary is Greek. Most of these elements are updated in modern terminologies through Latin: blas (o)- and -blast, cyst (o)- and -cyst.

Depending on the position in the word and the possibility / impossibility to be freely used the bifunctional combining forms have different lexical meanings. Thus, the word graph means “chart, diagram”, at the same time the morpheme graph (o)- in a preposition has a meaning “writing” and in a postposition this item means “a device for transmitting image or record”, “record or image”. Therefore, all these positional variants of classical formants differ not only structurally but also semantically. The studied morphemes as the first elements in the words indicate the individual features of an object or phenomenon and are variable. As postpositional formant they become constant and name the classes of objects or phenomena. For example, in the position of the first component combining form hem- (hema-, hemo-, hemat-) indicates the genus-species or cause-and-effect relations (hemacytometer, hemangioma, hemoflagellate, hematology), and basic formant -emia (-hemia) indicates the violations in the blood composition (leukemia, azotemia, uremia).

As a rule bifunctional combining forms are the elements with substantive nature denoting phenomena, processes and objects of the world. There are any quantities or pronominal forms as well as units with meaning of relevant degree or extent of a number of objects, events or signs of action. The analysis of the semantic structure of the studied morphemes shows that the greatest part of these elements is monosemantic.

Combining forms in a preposition tend to have the meaning “associated with something, like something, the one that has to do with something” expressed by the second component of the word-formation models. They take part in the names of people, plants, animals, scientific theories, tools and utensils, chemical elements, compounds, groups, methods and means of implementing something. The models of the word cf + N (chromocenter, chromodynamics) and cf + cf (blastomycosis, cardiograph) possess the greatest congruence among all structural and semantic models with these units They take part in the formation of a number of lexical and grammatical classes of words such as nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.

Combining forms in a postposition also take part in the names of people, plants, animals, tools and instruments, phenomena and processes of the world, sciences, theories and doctrines. The model of the word cf + cf (urochrome, blastocyst, cardiograph) has the greatest congruence among all structural and semantic models with these units. Elements of this group are involved primarily only in the creation of nouns and sometimes adjectives.

International classic word-forming elements pass into generic usage in modern Ukrainian language. The “Dictionary of foreign words” edited by O. S. Melnychuk comprises 180 blocks in a preposition and about 100 blocks in a postposition. Only 15 blocks have double functions and can occur in both positions as well as at the beginning and at the end of the word: біо- …-біоз: біосфера, біогенез, біографія, біокібернетика … ентеробіоз; граф-…-граф: графологія, графоман, графопректор… бібліограф, термограф, осцилограф; дермато- … – дерм(а): дерматоген, дерматологія… екзодерма, склеродерма; кардіо- … карді(я): кардіологія, кардіографія, кардіоспазм … стенокардія; кін(о)- … кін(ез)(ія): кінематографія, кіносеріал… бластокінез, брадикінезія; літ- … -літ: літогенез, літографія… неоліт, лепідоліт; лог- … -лог(ія): логограма, логографія, логометр, логарифм… біолог, біологія, філолог, філологія; метр- …-метр(ія): метроном, метрологія … барометр, спідометр, кілометр; ол(е)-…-ол: олеографія… нігрол; пед-… -педія: педогенез, педологія, педоцентризм… гіпнопедія, ортопедія; термо-… -терм(ія): термометр, термограф … ізотерми; топ- …-топ: топоскоп, топоніміка, топограффія … ізотопи; фон-… -фон(ія): фонограма, фонограф … магнітофон, стереофонія. The biggest part of these units is of Greek origin. Only some of them are of Latin origin: авіа-, аудіо-, бібліо- ві-, відео-, імуно-, карб-, квазі-, кон-, контра-, лакто-, мото-, мульти-, радіо-, спектро-, уні-, -ол,, хемі-, -фікація, ретро-; German origin обер-, лейб-; and Franch санти- [8].

Comparing the studied words with their counterparts in other Slavic languages one can find full international correlates in Polish language: bibliograf, bibliografia, biograf, biografia, kinematograf, kardiograf, kinematografia, termodynamika, termometr, termometryczny, termostat, termoelektryczny, termojądrowy, termonuklearny; metrampa, metryka, metryczny, metronom, metropoliten, metropolita, kilometr, termometr etc.

Perspectives of further investigations. Nowadays an important task is inventory of all international word-forming elements as well as typical word-forming models in modern languages. A detection of such systems of elements in different fields of knowledge will enable the researchers to study their productivity and to express an opinion on the appropriateness of their use in scientific and technical fields, and in the academic style of modern English, Ukrainian and Polish languages.

List of the used literature

1. The Oxford English Dictionary. – Oxford, 1961. – 760 p.

2. Webster’s New World Dictionary. – Clivend and New York, 1959. – 1740 p.

3. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. – Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1999. – 1600 p.

4. Круглій О. Р. Про статус комбінованих форм у сучасній англійській мові / О. Р. Круглій // Науковий вісник Волинського державного університету імені Лесі Українки. Серія „Філологічні науки”. – Луцьк : РВВ “Вежа” Волин. держ. ун-ту ім. Лесі Українки, 2004. – Вип. 3. – С. 183−187.

5. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. – Tenth Edition. – Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1999. – 1559 p.

6. The Oxford Dictionary of New Words / Elizabeth Knowles, Julia Elliot. – Oxford University Press, 1997. – 357 p.

7. Словник іншомовних слів / за ред. О. С. Мельничука. – К.: Головна редакція УРЕ, 1977. – 775 с.


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