Friday, 29 June 2012

Proposing Terminology Development Principles (part i)

Having attended many terminology development workshops, and informally reviewed many glossaries of terms, I know that one of the pitfalls of such exercise is the tendency to construct an explanatory phrase for a given source term/concept which often cannot be used in a meaningful communication.

Rather than focussing on an explanation of a given concept/object, a noun- or verb- based descriptor (even constructed ones like, kapuuti lit. 'stabbing instrument') should be sought.

Using, again, the example, kapuuti 'syringe':

kapijaujuq 'he gets a shot from syringe'

kapuutimut imiq 'vaccine'; 'syringe-administered medicine'

kapuutimut kutuk 'intervenous drip'

kapuutimut kutugviujunga 'I am on an iv-drip'

-the flexibility of a well-considered noun or verb root (at the conceptual level) makes for ease of constructing grammatical iterations of different usages of terms (like kapuuti). Another example:

(using function/form) ujaraujaq 'concrete'; 'cement' lit. 'functions like a rock/stone'

ujaraujaliqsimajuq Iqaluit aqqutingit 'the roads in Iqaluit are paved with concrete (asphalt)'

illurjuat ujaraujaaluit Ottawa-mi 'the buildings in Ottawa are made of concrete (and stone)'

In the next instalment, I'll talk about using etymology of source terms to generate new Inuktitut terms.


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