Scholarly article on topic 'On the Degree of Equivalence of Latinate Terms in English and Slovak Linguistics'

On the Degree of Equivalence of Latinate Terms in English and Slovak Linguistics Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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{Terminology / equivalence / "core linguistic fields" / "Latinate origin" / "form semblance" / "semantic content"}

Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Alena Kačmárová, Magdaléna Bilá, Klaudia Bednárová-Gibová, Ingrida Vaňková, Marcela Michálková

Abstract The present research focuses on terms of Latinate origin in English and Slovak linguistics. They show formal resemblance, yet their semantic scope and function may differ. The underlying research question is whether the Latinate origin of linguistics terms guarantees one-to-one correspondence of content in recipient languages. The research tests two hypotheses: 1) total equivalence of the semantic content of the studied terms is largely not shared; 2) the biggest imbalance is in morphosyntax. Based on attesting to the conceptualization of the present corpus, 59% of the terms manifested other than one-to-one correspondence, and the biggest imbalance was in lexicology.

Academic research paper on topic "On the Degree of Equivalence of Latinate Terms in English and Slovak Linguistics"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 231 (2016) 61 - 68

International Conference; Meaning in Translation: Illusion of Precision, MTIP2016, 11-13

May 2016, Riga, Latvia

On the degree of equivalence of Latinate terms in English and

Slovak linguistics

Alena Kacmarova3'*, Magdalena Bilab, Klaudia Bednarova-Gibovac, Ingrida Vankovad,

Marcela Michalkova6

a-ePresov University, 17. Novembra 1, Presov, 08001, Slovakia


The present research focuses on terms of Latinate origin in English and Slovak linguistics. They show formal resemblance, yet their semantic scope and function may differ. The underlying research question is whether the Latinate origin of linguistics terms guarantees one-to-one correspondence of content in recipient languages. The research tests two hypotheses: 1) total equivalence of the semantic content of the studied terms is largely not shared; 2) the biggest imbalance is in morphosyntax. Based on attesting to the conceptualization of the present corpus, 59% of the terms manifested other than one-to-one correspondence, and the biggest imbalance was in lexicology.

© 2016 The Authors.Published byElsevierLtd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of MTIP2016

Keywords: Terminology; equivalence; core linguistic fields; Latinate origin; form semblance; semantic content.

1. Introduction

The present research falls in the field of lexicographic and translation studies. It is part of the research grant project aimed at compiling a linguistics dictionary. To prepare its inventory, it is necessary to explore the issue of equivalence between English and Slovak terminologies. Our present focus is terms of Latinate origin; hence, Latin and Greek serve as donor languages. It can be assumed that formal resemblance also implies resemblance of

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +421948315360. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of MTIP2016 doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.09.072

semantic scope and function; e.g. Slovak speakers of English commonly perceive terms like "phrase" vs. "fráza" as interchangeable. The underlying research question is whether the Latinate origin of a term guarantees one-to-one equivalence of semantic content in recipient languages; here, English and Slovak. Our hypotheses are as follows: H1) despite the frequent use of Latinate terms in Slovak linguistics, one-to-one correspondence is less than common across the core language fields when Slovak-English and English-Slovak relationships are concerned; H2) based on anecdotal evidence we are inclined to believe that the distribution across the core linguistic levels is not balanced: the biggest imbalance will be at a morphosyntactic level, and only small imbalance at phonic and lexical levels.

2. Methodology of the study

2.1. The theoretical framework

The theoretical framework is built up of three concepts: term, conceptualization, and equivalence. The notion of a dictionary entry as a textual unit requires us to understand what a term represents. Unlike a common lexical unit, the meaning of a term is perceived as being deeper since a term results from scholarly study and exploration. The link between content and form is, however, more tenuous here than in non-terms, which is caused by the necessity to convey an identical concept by various forms depending on socio-cultural advances (cf Furdik, 2008). In becoming aware of a term, hermeneutic understanding takes place, which strictly involves hermeneutic prejudice (Gadamer, 1994) as the knowledge of the term in the mother tongue, and refiguration (Ricoeur, 2000) as a result of the process of encoding differences in the meaning of a term in the source and target languages. Therefore, hermeneutic understanding plays a vital role in the process of cultivating sensitivity towards the differences between the terminologies of both languages involved, and allows conceptualization of the term in both languages. Based on the concept of human being as a language animal (Taylor, 1985), conceptualization is to be understood as the competence of assigning meanings to the slices of extralingual reality which is allowed by a human's ability to recognize potential interpretation of the text within the broad socio-cultural context (Dolnik, 2009). In order to identify the differences in the conceptualization of terms residing in the lexicon of the two languages, a helpful tool is identifying a degree of equivalence (hereinafter DoE). The concept of equivalence holds a central position in translation theory. Nonetheless, it has also been a controversial one, causing heated debates among scholars due to its definition, nature, and applicability. Thus, we find scholars who consider equivalence an important concept (e.g. Nida 1964, Kade 1968, Koller 1979, House 1977, & Pym 1998, 2010), but there are very vocal others who view equivalence as rather unnecessary (e.g. Chesterman, 1998, & Baker, 1992), denying its legitimate status. In terminological and lexicographic research, however, it is of immense importance because it may be one of the major causes of imprecise and inaccurate translations.

2.2. Research plan

We compiled a corpus of 80 English and Slovak orthographically (though not phonologically) similar terms of Latinate origin (20 per field: phonetics and phonology, morphosyntax, lexicology, and stylistics). To ensure unbiased classification of the DoE, the terms were chosen randomly and as representatives of the core. Then the semantic content of every term was cross-checked (the dictionaries that served as reference sources are provided in References). In doing so, the conceptualization was attested to and the DoE could be arrived at: Kade's typology of equivalence (1968) served as a primary tool; yet, in line with the research goal, we adapted the typology so that we could assess the DoE of the semantic content:

1. One-to-one correspondence - a source language (hereinafter SL) unit has a permanent equivalent in the target language (hereinafter TL), with the same function, scope, and significance;

2. One-to-many correspondence - a given SL unit has several senses in the TL;

3. One-to-part-of-one correspondence - the meaning of a SL unit is broader than that of TL equivalent; a TL unit covers part of a concept designated by a single SL unit;

4. One-to-nil correspondence - the SL unit does not have a TL equivalent on the content level; the content, function, or significance of the TL equivalent is different.

Denoting concrete relationships between SL (here: English) and TL (here: Slovak) terms, equivalence in the present paper is treated as an empirical category. Our research draws on the concept of denotative equivalence: it involves the extra-linguistic content in that the SL and TL terms refer to the (relatively) same concept in the real world. Our objective is to establish whether the seemingly identical orthographic form unveils semblance in the content, and thus assists in entry formation in the prospective dictionary.

3. Findings and discussion

3.1. Overall results

The analysis yielded some interesting results. Hypothesis 1 was confirmed in that the occurrence of total equivalence was 41% as opposed to the occurrence of other than total equivalence - 59%. In the four areas, the results are as follows (Table 1):

Table 1. The degree of equivalence at the core language levels.

Type of equivalence Phonic level Morphosyntactic l. Lexical level Stylistic level Total of

One to one 9 (45%) S (40%) 7 (35%) 9 (45%) 33 (41%)

Other than one-to-one 11 (55%) 12 (60%) 13 (65%) 11 (55%) 47 (59%)

- One to many 1 4 6 3 14

- One to part of one 7 5 4 5 21

- One to nil 3 3 3 3 12

Hypothesis 2 was refuted in that the results point to a different situation than expected. The distribution of the types of correspondence was quite balanced, and the smallest DoE of the Latinate cognates was observed at the lexical level. In the following section, the explication is provided: examples of one-to-one correspondence do not undergo further discussion; for the other three, the differences and similarities are pointed out.

3.2. Justification and explication of the findings

3.2.1. One-to-one correspondence

In the subcorpus of phonetics and phonology, it has proved to be the most frequent type and it included 9 terms: allophone/alofona, assibilation/asibilacia, articulation/artikulacia, diphthong/diftong, glottis/glotida, phone/fona, phonetics/fonetika, isochrony/izochronnost', and phonotactics/fonotaktika. In morphosyntax, 8 terms were identified: conjugation/konjugacia, declension/deklinacia, verb/verbum, adjective/adjektivum, adverb/adverbium, predicate/ predikat, subject/subjekt, adverbial/adverbiale. In lexicology, 7 cases were observed: polysemy/polysemia, antonyms/antonyma, acronymization/akronymizacia, euphemism/eufemizmus, hyperonym/hyperonymum, phraseme/ frazema, paremiology/paremiologia (paremiological inventories in the two languages vary, yet the subject of is the same - culturally determined units). In stylistics, it has been verified to be the most frequent type involving 9 terms: stylistics/stylistika, deixis/deixa, discourse/diskurz, connotation/konotacia, microstructure/mikrostruktura, emotional lexis / emocionalna lexika, cohesion/kohezia, coherence/koherencia, and hyperbole/hyperbola.

3.2.2. One-to-many correspondence

In phonetics and phonology, we observed 1 case: codification - kodifikacia. The English and Slovak terms differ greatly, assumingly due to the distinct approach to language planning and language policy of the respective languages and cultures. Thus, the dominance of prescriptive tradition in Slovak orthoepy may have resulted in a very complex understanding making codification a focal point in Slovak linguistics, especially in pronunciation.

In morphosyntax, 4 cases were observed.

1/ indirect object / nepriamy objekt/predmet: formally, this language pair does not provide for formal semblance, yet it is worth commenting on. When discussed as one of the main sentence elements, the term "objekt" is commonly used in Slovak; when specified as direct or indirect, the Slovak equivalent reminds us of a calque. Propositionally, the Slovak understanding of this type of object is broader than the English one. In Slovak, it can stand by itself or can co-occur with the direct object; in English, it always co-occurs with a direct object.

2/ causative verb / kauzativum, kauzativny predikat: the English term typically involves a closed set of verbs (make, have, let, get, and their synonyms like force, ask, persuade) and implies syntactic constraints in terms of whether these verb forms are followed by a bare infinitive or to-infinitive. A Slovak understanding of "kauzativum" is a derived verb expressing the meaning of "making something happen". Its word-formative nature makes this an open category in Slovak, a category with a much wider inventory than English, and a much less defined membership. 3/ copular verb, linking verb / kopula: the main idea behind these concepts is in both languages the same. The difference seems to be in the size of the inventory. The English understanding covers a) the most common expressions (be, seem, appear), b) verbs indicating change (became, fall, turn, grow, etc.), c) and verbs indicating no change (stay, remain). The Slovak perception is identical with the English ones in a) and c), but not with b) (these are expressed by full verbs in Slovak); furthermore, in Slovak, the verbs with a reflexive element are included here. 4/ syntagm/syntagma: as a notion, both terms represent the same idea - a syntagmatic relationship between two or more linguistics forms. This function, however, is executed differently. In English, a syntagm is a less common term for a "phrase" (like noun phrase, adjectival phrase, etc.); a unit consisting of a head and a modifier. In Slovak, this syntactic relationship is of three types: subject-verb, verb-object, determiner-head. The types recognized in English fall within the verb-object type and determiner-head type of a syntagm. The subject-verb relationship is not present in the theoretical understanding of a syntagm in English.

In lexicology, 6 cases were observed. 1/ synonymy/synonymia: the main idea behind these concepts in both languages is the same. The difference lies in the size of the inventory. With regard to the wealth of relations between synonymous lexemes, the Slovak concept is much wider than the English one; Slovak is more abundant in absolute synonyms; in English, these are rare. 2/ motivation/motivacia: while the English term motivation specifies only the sort of motivation, (e.g. phonetic, morphematic, semantic), the Slovak term motivacia is much more specific. This may be caused by a rich tradition of research of Slovak linguists dealing with this line of enquiry. The reference to the lack of arbitrariness is not mentioned in the English concept, which makes it narrower.

3/concept/koncept: both terms express the idea of "something abstract"'; however, the Slovak term koncept/pojem refers also to the meaning of the linguistic sign, i.e. signifié. This meaning is not commonly present in the majority of English definitions of the term concept.

4/ conversion/konverzia: while the English term is strictly used to define word-formative derivational process of the creation of a word from an existing word without any change in form, in Slovak terminology this term refers also to the definition of systematic relation within Slovak lexicon, particularly to the relation between lexical and grammatical opposites based on the change of expression or the function of participants in sentence structure (e.g. kupovat'/predâvat' [buy/sell]).

5/ dialectism/dialektizmus: the English term refers to a word belonging to the local speech of a certain area. Besides the usage of the term for a description of the word with the social, stylistic and territorial limitation, the scope of the Slovak term is extended to the field of literary theory and refers to the language item used for characters' description (Imrichovâ, & Ripka, 2003).

6/ idiom/idiom: the difference lies in the size of inventory in Slovak. The basic idea is shared: institutionalized multi-word units with fully or partially figurative meaning and relative fixedness. The Slovak term also refers to the language characteristic for regionally or socially limited group of speakers and to linguistic peculiarities of country dialect, or social class.

In stylistics, 3 occurrences were observed. 1/ paralinguistic/paralingvisticky: the English term refers to non-verbal and both vocal and non-vocal features of communication. Scope of the Slovak term is broadened by contextual aspects like setting and background knowledge.

2/ parallelism/paralelizmus: the English term conveys parallel syntactic structures, while the Slovak term, in addition to syntax, includes parallel sound patterning.

3/ style/styl: the English term does not have the same scope of significance in stylistics as a scholarly field as it does in Slovak. In the Slovak context, the recognition of the term is related to the linguistics tradition elaborating on the Prague Circle of Linguistics; a whole paradigm is based on this concept.

3.2.3. One-to-part-of-one correspondence

In phonetics and phonology, surprisingly, the subcorpus evidences 7 cases. 1/ accent/akcent: the English term is conceptualized as stress, variety of English, or manner of pronunciation, and the Slovak term as lexical or sentence stress. Reasons for a broader scope of meaning in the English term may be explained by a number of native-like manners of pronunciation resulting from specific development of English and approach to language variation. Likewise, the global spread of English may be viewed upon as a contributing factor in that a surplus of non-native-like varieties of English has emerged. The Slovak term appears to be of noticeably narrower scope and only refers to making a syllable more prominent through a set of phonetic features. 2/ affrication/afrikácia: the English term is conceptualized as the act or process of changing a stop sound to an affricate; the Slovak term as abolishing the closure in stops, i.e. it may not include a complete change of a plosive into an affricate.

3/ aperture/apretúra: the English term is used in various models of non-linear phonology to account for contrasts involving openness of articulation, i.e. as openness between the vocal folds, but also other types of openness (e.g. lip aperture and those given by Chomsky and Halle in their distinctive feature theory of phonology under the heading of secondary apertures (Crystal, 2008). The Slovak term is conceptualized as openness of speech organs, as openness between the vocal folds for producing the peak of a syllable which is followed by stricture.

4/ emphasis/emfáza: the English term is conceptualized as a forceful quality in the way something is said or written, thus accounting for accentuation both in speech and writing, and the Slovak term merely as extreme stress. 5/ hiatus/hiát: the English term refers to the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables. Such conceptualization stresses the idea that a speech signal is continuous and English connected speech may not be segmented into words but rather into stress-groups. The Slovak term, however, refers only to a combination of two vowels within a word at a morphemic border prefix + base reflecting the combinatory rules of the Slovak sound system).

6/phonology/fonológia: the English term means the study of phonemes and phonemic systems inclusive of the study of the speech sounds used in a language. The Slovak term refers to the study of phonemes and phonemic systems thus making a clear dividing line between phonetics and phonology.

7/ sonant/sonanta: The English term is conceptualized as a voiced sound and/or a syllabic sound; the Slovak term merely as a syllabic sound.

In morphosyntax, 5 cases occurred. 1/ object/objekt: both terms share the meaning of a sentence element indicating a recipient of an action; in English always following the verb, in Slovak typically standing after a verb. The extra meaning in English is that of "object of the preposition". Such association is absent in Slovak.

2/direct object /priamy predmet/objekt: the idea shared by the two terms is that the direct object follows a transitive verb. The difference is that in Slovak a direct object is only the one in the non-prepositional Accusative; in English, it is a non-prepositional form, yet not necessarily Accusative.

3/ participle/particípium : this English term covers two Slovak notions "pricastie" and "prechodnik" - "simple participle" and "compound participle" respectively. The former can become part of a predicate; the latter is always a non-finite form used instead of a relative clause.

4/ phrase/fráza: the English term is monosemantic and denotes a syntactic relationship between two adjacent sentence elements. The Slovak term is a homonym primarily associated with idiomatology; a syntactic affiliation is only secondarily assigned, moreover, it is not commonly present in the Slovak syntactic analysis of a sentence; rather is it is connected with the reference to generative grammar.

5/ clause/klauza: the term "clause" is a key term in English syntax. In Slovak, it represents a theoretical construct used to communicate meaning of "klauza" as follows: "[c]lauses ('klauzy') are neither coordinate nor subordinate; neither non-extended nor simple or two-member. A clause is in relation to a sentence just like a morpheme is to a

word" (Mistrik et al., 236-237; our translation). It follows that in Slovak it is understood as a super term, beyond the scope of units delimited within a sentence. On the contrary, in English, it is a regular syntactic term commonly appearing in compounds like nominal clause, adverbial clause, relative clause, wh-clause, etc.

In lexicology, 4 cases occurred. 1/ lexicology/lexikologia: both terms share the meaning of the study of the lexicon, however, the English term refers more often to the study of the history of words or even to lexicography, which is completely absent in the Slovak conceptualization. Regarding the scope of the English term there is some agreement, but also considerable differences: some definitions agree that it is a science about the meaning and use/behaviour of words, some claim it is the study of the history of its vocabulary, and some emphasise the nature and form of words. In contrast, the Slovak term seems less heterogeneous.

2/ lexeme/lexema: the quintessential term lexeme conveys a partly different conceptualization: whereas the English lexeme commonly refers to a family of lexical units (see Cruse, 1986), the Slovak lexema/lexikalna jednotka is seen synonymous with lexical unit (Imrichova, & Ripka, 2003). Where the English conceptualization makes a sharp distinction between lexeme and lexical unit, the Slovak one seems synonymous. Both terms share the idea of a class of variants. The extra meaning in English is that of "a headword in a dictionary" (Jackson, & Ze Amvela, 2007). 3/ collocation/kolokacia: the terms share the feature of co-occurrence, but the notion of transparency is present only in the English term. This may be related to the Anglophone approach to the study of collocations that views them as transparent language units in sharp contrast to idioms. The collocational range of English collocations tends to be wider compared to Slovak because in English a collocation is a matter of degree, ranging from weak (with only the slightest degree of predictability of co-occurrence) to very strong (a.k.a. a fixed collocation, entirely predictable). By contrast, the Slovak collocation is commonly more fixed.

4/ compound/kompozitum: both terms share the meaning of a word (lexeme) composed of two or more bases written as one word, or hyphenated. The English term includes also compounds written as separate words.

In stylistics, 5 cases occurred. 1/ colloquial/kolokvialny: the English term implies ordinary, familiar in the sense of being more than informal on the scale of (in)formality while having the status of a style. The Slovak term is used with reference to the same kind of expression; however it is not recognized as a term describing a style. The English concept encapsulates all levels of expression (phonic, lexical, grammatical, and textual); in Slovak, the term refers exclusively to lexis. 2/ linguistic/lingvisticky: the English term has a double reading; it refers to both linguistics and language. The Slovak term has a sole reference to linguistics. In Slovak, in order to talk about language, not linguistics, a different lexeme is used. For example, in English we speak about linguistic phenomena and mean both the mere phenomena and a linguistic analysis of them. In Slovak, the former is "language" phenomena (phenomena existing in a language) and "linguistic" approach (applying the methods available in linguistics).

3/ expressive/expresivny: the English term expressive refers to a layer of vocabulary linked with a user's personality and individual creativity in terms of affective verbal behavior, mostly neutral. In the Slovak term, negative connotation prevails and communicates negative evaluation and/or inappropriateness of an expression. 4/ extralinguistic/extralingvisticky: the English term is conceptualized as something always related to communication, though not definable in linguistic terms (non-verbal contextual features); it may also include paralinguistic features. In Slovak linguistics, the term accounts merely for the contextual factors 5/ reference/referencia: the English term encompasses linguistic (cataphoric and anaphoric), situational, and mental reference. The Slovak term is reserved only for pragmatic context, reference to spatial and temporal features.

3.2.4. One-to-nil correspondence

In phonetics and phonology, in the subcorpus are 3 cases of zero equivalence: 1/ accommodation/akomodacia: The English term conceptualized as adaptation of sound combinations of vowel-consonant type and consonant-vowel type; the Slovak term as a type of assimilation only concerning consonants; 2/ continuant/kontinuant(a): The English term conceptualized as a consonant, as f or s, that may be prolonged without change of quality; the Slovak term as a semivowel, e.g. syllabic r, 1, r, 1, i.e. a segment of both vocalic and consonantal nature;

3/ inversion/inverzia: The English term conceptualized as retroflection; the Slovak term as a change in positioning

segments in a word.

In morphosyntax, 3 cases occurred. 1/ attributive modifier / atribut. even though the Slovak term 'atribut' makes us think it has an orthographically similar counterpart in English, the reverse is true. This term is absent in English syntax; its function is undertaken by 'attributive modifier'. The reason may as well lie in the very nature of syntactic analysis. In Slovak, a grammatical analysis of a clause (complex) involves two steps: sentence elements - word classes. In English, such an analysis involves three steps: sentence elements - phrases and constituents of a phrase (head, determining element) - word classes. A determining element fulfills the function taken up by 'attribute' in Slovak.

2/ particle/partikula: an English particle is a homonym. It can be understood as a hyperonym encapsulating an adverb or a preposition, typically used to form multi-word verbs (phrasal/prepositional/phrasal-prepositional verbs); or it can refer to negative 'not' or 'to' used with the infinitive. The Slovak understanding of the term is close to what a disjunct (or a discourse marker) stands for in English; their function is to contribute a speaker's evaluative stance. 3/inversion/inverzia: in English, inversion refers to the swapping of the positions of subject and verb. It is unmarked in questions and marked with fronted adverbials of place and negative adverbials. In the latter, the purpose is emphasis. In Slovak, inversion also occurs to fulfil the two functions, however, due to the common occurrence of "silent" subject, the word order is not often perceived as inverted. The usage of inversion for the emphasis relates to a noun phrase, not subject-verb position in a sentence. In English, the term used for this Slovak syntactic construction is postposition rather than inversion.

In lexicology, 3 cases were observed. 1/pseudosynonyms/pseudosynonyma: even if the Slovak term may trigger associations with the English term due to their orthographic semblance, the conceptualization is very different. The English term refers to so-called false-synonyms, i.e. pairs of words which give misleading impression that they have the same or similar meaning, but are in fact in antonymous association. The function of the Slovak term is performed by cognitive or loose synonyms in English.

2/ neologism/neologizmus: despite formal semblance and the presence of the element of "newness", the English term includes a reference to technological innovations, which is absent in the Slovak conceptualization. On the other hand, the Slovak term encompasses transfer of meaning and borrowings from other languages. This may be caused by English being a lingua franca and a language of a dominant and imposing language culture, which contributes to the rate of neologisms in Slovak. This understanding of the term is not present in the English term. 3/ phraseology/frazeologia: the Slovak term refers to a) a linguistic discipline concerned with the study of phrasemes and phraseological units, b) a set of phrasemes in the word-stock of a particular language, or c) typical expression of an individual or expression characteristic of a professional group, social class, etc. The primary meaning of the English term is that of the language used in a specific field, or as a representative of something. It is only slowly becoming an autonomous field, a linguistic subfield concerned with the study of word combinations of varying extent and type, and different degrees of fixedness (first efforts were recorded not even ten years ago).

In stylistics, 3 cases were noticed: 1/ formal/formalny: the difference in meaning is related to the function of the terms in that the English word refers to specific lexis and syntactic structures typical of a particular discourse; it has a status of a style peculiar to a certain communicative situation. The Slovak phrase 'formalny jazyk' (formal language) is typically understood as a compound used in the sphere of artificial intelligence and mathematics. It can also refer to speech, however, it is not considered a stylistics term, rather it is an opinion adjective describing the emphasis on form rather than content. 2/ contamination/kontaminacia: the content of the English term falls within the realm of orthography (e.g. replacement of earlier 'femelle' with 'female') or word-formation (forming blends); the content of the Slovak equivalent is related to the area of syntax and stylistics (combining two syntagms).

3/ informal/neformalny: in English, it is a common term in stylistics incorporating specific genres or discourse types. In Slovak, it is not a recognized term; it is used as an evaluative comment on a particular way of expression.

4. Conclusion

Our objective was to establish whether the seemingly identical orthographic form unveils semblance in the

content of the terms, and thus may assist in entry formation in the prospective dictionary. The results indicate that the consistency in orthography does not predict the consistency in content. The occurrence of other than total correspondence, being 59%, calls for double-checking the meaning of the term in the course of designing an entry in the prospective bilingual linguistics dictionary. With regard to the form, the orthography of the Slovak terms reflects a standardized, prescriptively correct way of using the writing system, while employing diacritics (the acute mark the palatalization mark v, the umlaut ", and the circumflex Words of foreign origin usually undergo formal modifications in order to harmonize with the Slovak writing conventions. As also evidenced by the studied terms, Latinate words undergo the following changes. The Latin grapheme "c" is replaced with "k" (objekt, koncept, kontaminácia, kauzatívum). The digraph "ph" is represented by "f" in Slovak (frazeológia, eufemizmus). The "y" and "i" are preserved in non-native Slovak words, including the Latinate terms (hyperonymum, antonymum, syntagma, idiom). The graphemes "w" and "q" are used exclusively in words of foreign origin; once the word becomes incorporated in the Slovak lexicon, "w" and "q" are replaced with "v" and "kv", respectively (kolokviálny, ekvivalencia). While the grapheme "x" also occurs in foreign words, like "w" and "q", Slovak retains it (expresivny, extralingvisticky, deixia, lexikológia). Although double consonants tend to be preserved in Latin and Greek proper names, most common nouns and their derivations replace the double consonants with the single ones (paralelizmus, kolokácia, kolokviálny, akomodácia). The conducted research emphasizes the fact that cognate SL and TL terms share some kind of 'sameness', implying an 'illusion of symmetry between languages' (Snell-Hornby qt. in House, 2015), however, it has to be accounted for the fact that equivalence is a relative notion as it is influenced by a variety of linguistic, cultural, including societal and historical factors (Baker 1992). In any cultural community, we have to deal with the dynamics of its language causing that the development of form and content do not coincide, which the present research manifests and poses as a task in the lexicographic work.


This paper is part of the research grant projects KEGA 007PU-4/2015 Virtual interactive encyclopedic English-Slovak and Slovak-English dictionary of general linguistics and APVV 0342-11 Dictionary of multi-word naming units (lexicographic, lexicological and comparative research).


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