Research on the problems of morphological and syntactic method of forming terms in medicine and in the ophthalmological term system in particular has been conducted for many years in linguistics.
Starting from the works of the founder of the Russian terminology school, D. S. Lotte, who first raised the question of the need to systematize, unify and standardize terminology based on the theory of the term and terminology developed by him , theoretical studies of terminology have become the subject of scientific interests of many scientists [2,4,6,8].
"The creation of terms by abbreviation occurs in modern medicine and is its characteristic feature ... the need for this method is determined by the fact that long names that convey various medical concepts interfere with communication of both specialists with each other and with patients” . Analysis of the terms selected from medical dictionaries, scientific texts, medical histories, and other literary medical sources on ophthalmology over the past 5 years revealed a large layer of abbreviations in the ophthalmological terminology, confirming the thesis that the abbreviation term is usually the subject of the message, the semantic core of the article. Among the reasons that give rise to abbreviated terms is the high frequency of use of terminological units that represent the core of the message.
Regarding the activation of the abbreviation process in modern scientific and technical terminology, it is noted that “this method of word formation is one of the most productive at the present time, as evidenced by the presence of many new abbreviations not yet fixed by dictionaries” .
The widespread use of abbreviation in medical terminology is explained, according to S. I. Balishin, "by a number of extralinguistic reasons, and the main one is the requirement to save time and space" .
At the moment, abbreviations make up 4.7 % (529 units) of the entire sample (11 thousand) of English ophthalmological terms.
Among the abbreviations of the English ophthalmological term system of recent decades, the phenomena of synonymy and homonymy are observed. The progressive replenishment of the fund of terms-abbreviations with their unchanged tendency to synonymy and homonymy is a significant fact that deserves to be studied. Most often, both homonymy and synonymy are observed among terms-abbreviations of the initial type. Sometimes an abbreviation can act both as a homonym and as a synonym.
Synonyms-abbreviations are quite common in the studied sublanguage of medicine. We have registered 14 pairs of synonyms-abbreviations: ARMD, AMD (age-related macular degeneration); F, VF (visual field); A, Acc (accommodation); X, XP (exophoria); UCVA, UNCVA (uncorrected visual acuity and others.
It is not only abbreviated terms that enter into synonymous relationships with each other. Their relationship is as follows:
- simple term - abbreviation: A, Acc – accommodation; Ast – astigmatism; CA – cancer; D – diopter; ET – esotropia;
- сложный термин – аббревиатура: AV – arteriovenous; CMV – cytomegalovirus; IO – intraocular;
- terminological phrase - abbreviation: CRV – central retinal vein; HTG – high-tension glaucoma; TS-SPCL – transsclerally sutured posterior chamber lens; SS – scleral spur;
- abbreviation - abbreviation: F – VF (visual field); ON-NII (optic nerve)
In synonymous relations, the relationship between abbreviation and terminological phrases prevails.
Homonymous abbreviations are much more common in ophthalmic terminology combinations. We have identified 68 homonymous abbreviations: AC – accommodative convergence and anterior chamber; ACC – accommodative and anterior central curve; ALK – automated lamellar keratoplasty and automated laser keratomileusis; H – hyperopia, hypermetropia and hyperphoria and others.
Some English abbreviations of ophthalmological terminology have become international. For instance: LASIK – laser-assisted intrastromal keratomileusis; MR – medial rectus; YAG laser – yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. This is due to the fact that English has become the universal language of communication for scientists.
As a result of the study, the following data were obtained. The formation of various abbreviations is typical for the English language of ophthalmology, this can be explained by the desire of the language to save language resources. In the group of abbreviations, the phenomena of synonymy and homonymy are noted. The tendency to abbreviate in ophthalmic terminology should probably be considered as a natural reaction of native speakers to a significant increase in multicomponent terminological combinations that cause difficulties in the communication process.
The study and systematization of abbreviations is of theoretical and practical importance. A special role is played by terminological branch dictionaries, which must necessarily include lists of abbreviations used in this field of science.
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