Multi-word Lexical Units in English and Slovak Linguistics Terminology

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Abstract


The research issue discussed in the paper falls within pragmatics, lexicographic and translation studies. It is part of the research grant project entitled “Virtual interactive English-Slovak bilingual encyclopedic linguistics dictionary”. One of the key tasks is to deal with the linguistics term as a concept. This presupposes understanding not only the surface structure but also the deep structure of the term. In preparing the inventory of the prospective dictionary, conceptualization has to take place and defining and translating of the term has to be done accordingly. The ongoing research has shown that one of the most problematic terms is “multi-word lexical unit” (in Slovak “viacslovné pomenovanie”). The problem lies in the different conceptualization of the terms in the two languages. Straightforwardly, in Slovak, the term implies examples that in English would be mostly considered compounds (Ološtiak, Ivanová 2015); in other words word-formation is the case here. In English, the term is more heterogeneous and encompasses categories like collocation, phrasal verb, idioms, speech formulas (on the term, see Sonomura 1996), situation bound utterances (on the term, see Kecskes 2010), and paremiological expressions (Moon 2015). In these categories, pragmatics rather than word-formation and syntax is the case (Erman and Warren 2000; Gibbs Jr. 2002, Kecskes 2014). The paper offers the analysis of the deep structure of the term in question, explores the role of figurativeness, exemplifies the differences, proposes the translation equivalents, and justifies the different nature of the seemingly corresponding terms, often making an impression of being a calque.

About the authors

Magdaléna Bilá

University of Prešov in Prešov

Email: magduska_bila@yahoo.com
1, 17 Novembra Str., 08078, Prešov, Slovakia

Alena Kačmárová

University of Prešov in Prešov

Email: alena.kacmarova@unipo.sk
1, 17 Novembra Str., 08078, Prešov, Slovakia

References

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