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of L'viv Polytechnic National University

"Problems of Ukrainian Terminology"

№ 765

Korneyko I., Pylypenko M. Ukrainian technical terms with procedural meaning // Website of TC STTS: Herald of L'viv Polynechnic National University "Problems of Ukrainian Terminology". – 2013. – # 765.


The article are presented in the authors' edition

Iryna Korneyko

Mykola Pylypenko

Kharkiv National Medical University

S.P. Grygoriev Institute for Medical Radiology, Kharkiv


Ukrainian technical terms with procedural meaning


© Korneyko I., Pylypenko M., 2013


У статті висвітлюється актуальна проблема українського термінознавства – утворення термінів, семантичним компонентом яких є значення дії. Для систематизації термінів із процесуальним значенням пропонується логіко-граматичний аналіз семантики таких термінів.

Ключові слова: українська мова, термінологія, термін, дієслово, граматична категорія виду.


The authors feature an urgent issue of Ukrainian science about technical terms, i.e. formation of terms with a concept of action in their semantics. To systematize the terms with processual meaning logical grammatical analysis of them is suggested.

Keywords: Ukrainian language, terminology, technical terms, verbs, grammar category of aspect.


One of important tools of scientific language are verbal terms represented by nouns, which, on the one hand, constitute a large group of special concepts, on the other hand, possess in the Ukrainian language the features, which are mostly not available in Russian equivalents. This, of course, can cause problems in the process of translating scientific texts not only for scientists, but also linguists.

An example is випромінювання, awidely used in scientific texts on nuclear physics and medical radiology word. Its Russian counterpart is излучение, which in a large glossary "Dictionary of the Russian Language" [1] is defined as "Action presented by the verb излучить ― излучать, излучиться ― излучаться". Isn’t it because of this fact that in Ukrainian dictionaries, in particular, Russian-Ukrainian, we find only one version of the word, випромінювання, which denotes both the effect and the process? But the word излучение has also another meaning that is not mentioned in the quoted dictionary. In "Big Soviet Encyclopedia" in the article entitled "излучение" we read the following definition: "the process of forming free electromagnetic field (The term is used to define free, i. e. irradiated electromagnetic field itself)" [2]. This meaning of the Russian term излучение should be conveyed by Ukrainian obviously випромінення. But in some dictionaries, as already mentioned, this word is absent, except for only one [3], in which the translation of the word излучение is presented in two versions випромінювання and випромінення corresponding to its two meanings. Unfortunately, this linguistic error is multiplied in the laws of Ukraine (for example, the Law "On Protection of People against Ionizing Radiation"), departmental orders, and many other documents, research papers, media, etc.

On the contrary, another fate befell the Russian word изображение, which in the mentioned Russian dictionary [1] is presented by its two meanings: "1. Action conveyed by the verbs изобразить — изображать, изобразиться — изображаться, 2. A thing depicted (figure, photo, sculpture and so on), subject imaging something". Ukrainian dictionaries in this case give two separate words for each meanings зображання and зображення.

Status of research. The role of verbal nouns in modern Ukrainian scientific terminologies has been the subject of intense discussion at scientific forums, they are reflected in the works of linguists, but their correct use in the scientific literature is still a problem.

The question of verbal nouns in scientific terminology has a long history. В. Пілецький in his paper [8] cites the work of В. Сімович "На теми мови" (published in 1924), which highlights the problem of confusion of different forms of verbal nouns. At the present stage of development of Ukrainian terminology, this problem remains important, as evidenced by the publication of a number of authors [9–14]. It is widely acknowledged, that, unlike many languages (Russian in particular, because it largely influences Ukrainian scientific language) Ukrainian is able to transmit verbal noun characteristics such as action perfectiveness or imperfectiveness (finished – unfinished action), that is distinguish the action itself and its effect, or processes and their consequences. It is noted that some authors do not distinguish processes and their consequences and, as a result, do not covey these meanings ​​in technical terms [10]. When borrowing from Russian, this feature of the Ukrainian language is not always taken into account [1, 9, 11]. The presence of lexical gaps in the source language can lead to their appearance in the target language, which is often seen in dictionaries [1], and in scientific publications [12]. To prevent such occurrences, it was proposed to record separately term phrases with verbal nouns [13].

Since the problem of representation of verbal nouns in dictionaries has not been solved, it was proposed to specify the infinitives with suffix -ов- (imperfectiveness), for example, ізолювати ізольовувати [14]. The authors believe that the following forms can facilitate conveying the meaning of action, event, effects using verbal nouns formed from borrowed two-aspect verbs such as action – апробовування, event – апробування, result – апробація, апробування, and greatly facilitate the perception of forms Ukrainian equivalents. They also proposed to establish a clear set of rules that would help avoid denoting different concepts using one form.

A separate section of the State Standard covers regulating the formation of terms represented by verbal nouns [15]. The standard recommends distinguishing the names of finished and unfinished processes and their consequences, differentiating the terms denoting completed and uncompleted process. A separate section for these nouns in the State Standard confirms the view of many authors about unresolved issue and its relevance to Ukrainian terminology.

Though the works featuring this issue are numerous, the work that would summarize the use of verbal nouns in term systems of various sciences is lacking; a systematic description that would present this complex and peculiar phenomenon in a convenient form and establish the rules, and thus would serve a practical purpose, the correct use of verbal nouns in the text, is missing.

Purpose. The purpose of this work is to systematize and describe verbal nouns in the Ukrainian language and establish the laws that would facilitate practical use of verbal nouns in scientific and professional literature.

Let us consider the verbal nouns in detail from the linguistic perspective. A verbal noun, i. e. such that is structurally and semantically motivated by verbs, constitute a large lexical group within the grammatical class of nouns, its identity is in combination of some elements of verbal semantic features of nouns with category features of the nouns [4]. However, the semantics of the verb is not transferred to the nouns fully. Grammatical categories of verbs are those of tense, voice, aspect, person. At formation of nouns from the verbs the categories of tense, voice, person are lost; only the category of aspect is transferred to the corresponding noun. This category, being specifically verbal, is associated with the semantics of verbs [5]. It does not change the dependent words in word combinations (читати книгу — прочитати книгу, читати журнал — прочитати журнал, читати журнали — прочитати журнали, читати вранці — прочитати вранці, читати вдома — прочитати вдома), as it is expressed by prefixes, suffixes, vowel alternation [6]. The other grammatical categories are expressed by endings, and, therefore, are lost at morphological transposition.

The category of aspect is common to all verbs of the Ukrainian language [6]; it is the main grammatical category. Aspectual meaning of the verb, the basis of which is formed by the concept of internal boundaries, indicating resultativeness or resultativelessness, continuity, or limitation, perfectiveness or imperfectiveness.

Aspect is a common verbal category as it covers all forms of the verb: infinitive, both voices, all tenses and persons, as well as participles, adverbial participles. Aspectual opposition is expressed grammatically in correlative verbs with a common root, acting as an aspectual pair, and only in rare cases in words with different word stems, is expressed suppletively [4].

The main purpose of imperfective aspect is to define an ongoing process without reference to timeframes (i. e., start, end) or repeated action. Perfective aspect bares the meaning of beginning, end or expendability of the process; it has shades of effectiveness, completeness, adequacy, intensity, prevalence [7]. These additional shades are transmitted in different ways, because a dynamic feature in the process of its formation or development manifests as realized or unrealized, continuing or not in the time limits [4].

Perfective verbs indicate a temporal limitation of actions. The additional shades, which are also transmitted in different ways, are indications of the beginning or the end of the action, its suddenness, gain, etc.

Imperfective verbs have a perfective correlative pair. The pairs are formed in two levels: the first one is formation of a prefixal perfective verb form (читати — прочитати — перечитати), the second one is formation of imperfective verbs from prefixal perfective verbs using suffixes ((прочитати — прочитувати, перечитати — перечитувати). The suffix conveys the meaning of duration, frequency, restorability.

Verbal nouns with derivational meaning of generalized action are formed with suffixes: -анн(я), -инн(я), -енн(я), -інн(я), which are joined to the full stem (постачати — постачання, примножити — примноження, ствердіти — ствердіння, випробувати — випробування) or shortened stem: зіткнутися — зіткнення, стягнути стягнення (compare стягувати — стягування). This way is used to form nouns from verbs both perfective and imperfective, as well as both levels of forming perfective and imperfective aspect. It is this group of nouns that retains the categorical semantics of the verb. They are able to point to such features as completeness or incompleteness, expendability or restorability, repeatedness etc., i.e. features the category of aspect.

Another method of forming verbal nouns is adding suffixes with the meaning of processing: (нарізка); -j{a) {забуття); -ин(а) (біганина); -б(а) (сівба). Verbal nouns formed in this way, completely loose categorical attributes of the verb.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of linguists, lots of mistakes related to the use of verbal nouns can be found in the special literature. Explanation of the fact can be found in the extralinguistic reality.

With regard to the formation of verbal nouns Ukrainian and Russian languages are asymmetrical. Despite the proximity and affinity of languages, forms of verbs are formed in different ways, so verbal nouns cannot be formed in all cases (Russian: облучать облучение, облучить облучение, Ukrainian: опромінити опромінення, опромінювати опромінювання; Russian: розвернутьразворачиватьразвертывание разворачивание). The Ukrainian language nominalizes the action (i.e. assigns it a name) in a different way, distinguishing completed and uncompleted actions, emphasizing in nouns additional features of frequency, procedure, and Russian in the same case, gives one name for both. Naming shows that the action is given the status of a fact, so we observe selectivity of the languages in conferring the status of a fact on the action. The Ukrainian language is more flexible, more creative, more selective in describing the action by verbs, and therefore the group of verbal nouns is more diverse.

To ensure consistency and clarity of forming verbal nouns, we propose a method of sequential logical and grammatical analysis of the semantics of terms that denote actions. The scheme of the method is given in Table 1. At first the action is defined by the following features: its status: completed or ongoing and its consequence: available or not available, or change in the state of the object. Analysis by the following criteria allows to determine its semantics and choose the appropriate name.

As an example, let us consider the verb розтягнути. It indicates the completed action, which should lead to the changes in the state of the object. The object should become stretched; this is denoted by the name of розтяг (stretched condition). The verb розтягувати denotes action which is not completed, possibly repeated one, the outcome (or goal) is not defined. From this verb a noun meaning stretching process without finitude розтягування is formed. Розтягати means effects within uncertain time limits, the consequence does not come, розтягання denotes the name of action itself.

The category of aspect is associated with the projection of the world of the language speakers and reflects their perception of reality, that is, what aspects of extralinguistic reality (namely, properties of the process), he/she identifies as important, how he/she perceives the dynamics of the processes, if the result is more important to him/her.

Verbal nouns denoting actions can be divided into the following categories: names of events, names of actions (processes) with a possible emphasis on duration, frequency, recurrence of the actions, names of states, which have formed due to the action. The names of actions and events are transmitted by the nouns ending with —нн(я)) with verbal semantics, the names of states by those that lost it. The event names are motivated by perfective verbs, the process names are motivated by imperfective ones (additional meaning ​​of duration, frequency is accentuated in nouns formed from verbs of the second stage of formation of aspect pairs which have suffix -ув-).

Verbal nouns denoting actions are widely used means of scientific language. Although their use is criticized by the specialists in stylistics, because they violate the melody of speech, make it monotonous, complicate phrases (e. g., Б. Антоненко-Давидович [16] proposed to replace them by verbs wherever possible), they are necessary lexical means of language of science, namely its foundation, the technical terms. Verbal noun denote objectified action (objectified state or process), as well as specific objects or persons [17, p. 37], so it is thanks to them that terminological categories of processes and states are verbalized. They are irreplaceable in term phrases.

The category of aspect is associated with the projection of the world of the language speakers and reflects the perception of reality, namely, which aspects of extralinguistic reality (or properties of the process), they identify as important, and how they perceive the dynamics of processes and whether the result or duration is important.

Conclusions. Verbal nouns in the Ukrainian language have the potential to denote various aspects of action. The use of terminological lexis can transmit certain components of the term, thus avoiding homonyms, which are unwanted in terminological systems. The proposed scheme of lexical and grammatical analysis of the semantics of scientific terms describing procedures allows us to differentiate the terms by the components of their meaning and respectively to use a certain some form of a verbal noun.


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Table 1.

Logical and grammatical analysis of semantics of scientific terms denoting processes

 Emphasis on the consequence of the completed action or its duration




Name of the process or action consequence


вѝмірити, вѝміряти


Numerical value


Measured parameter; numerical value



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action вимірювати



The action goes on or repeats

The consequence is not evident


The process of determining numerical meaning of a value 




Free energy or  particle beam


Free electromagnetic field, energy beam or particle beam (ікс-випромінення, гамма-випромінення, бета-випромінення ect.)



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action випромінювати




Changes in the state of the action object


State of знекровленості



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action знекровлювати




The image has been created.


Photo, picture, graph, etc.




The action goes on, the consequence is not evident



Process of the action зображати



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action зображувати




Changes in the state of the action object


Act of activity  termination (зупин реактора)



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action зупиняти




Changes in the state of the action object


State of опроміненості



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action опромінювати




Changes in the state of the action object


State of  розтягнутості (розтяг зв'язок)



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action розтягувати



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action розтягати




Changes in the state of the action object


Act of activity  termination (спин реактора)



The consequence is not evident


Process of the action спиняти



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