Synonymy in Polish medical terminology of the second half of the 19th century Cover Image

Synonimia w polskiej terminologii medycznej drugiej połowy XIX wieku
Synonymy in Polish medical terminology of the second half of the 19th century

(based on "The Dictionary of Polish Medical Terminology" from 1881)

Author(s): Lucyna Agnieszka Jankowiak
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Philology
ISSN: 0208-4058
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: lexis; synonymy; word formation; morphology; language borrowing; medical terminology; history of medicine
Summary/Abstract: The book is an attempt to describe synonymy in scientific medical terminology (names of diseases) at the end of the 19th century based on the material obtained from “The Dictionary of Polish Medical Terminology” (Polish: “Słownik terminologii lekarskiej polskiej”) from 1881 including a broad description of historical background and the conditions in which Polish medical terminology developed at that time. The characteristics of synonymy concerned primarily structural, semantic and genetic aspects. A secondary aim of the book was to present the material, i.e. 940 synonymic series presented as a Dictionary and Index. The Dictionary of Polish Medical Terminology from 1881 is a work of Polish physicians belonging to Cracow and Warsaw schools. They attempted to systematise Polish medical terminology (collect current terminology and supplement it due to a considerable development in the field of medicine). The primary conclusion from the analysis is that it was impossible to avoid synonymy in the terminology that was created consciously, which was largely influenced by non-linguistic, rather than linguistic, factors (e.g. the influence of synonymy in foreign medical terminologies, especially in Latin, or influence of one of the regions on the selection of a given term). What is more, the range of synonymy in this terminology is substantial (approximately 38%). Synonymy concerns all names of diseases (both those known for a long time and those discovered just before the dictionary was made in 1881). 94.5% of the synonymic series consist of native terms only. In general, 65.5% of the series consist of terms with similar, homogeneous structures e.g. two-word items, which are the most common (437 series). Moreover, the series are usually composed of words with the same stems (41.7%). The synonyms in mixed groups (in terms of structure) have various (with diverse level of complexity) relations with one another (i.e. they have the same or different stems). Furthermore, a part of the terminological synonyms (154) present polysemic relations.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-64031-36-6
  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-83-64031-21-2
  • Page Count: 456
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Language: Polish